Boone-based Samaritan’s Purse deployed an Emergency Field Hospital to New York City on Saturday.

In cooperation with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), New York state, and local hospital officials, Samaritan’s Purse will open a 68-bed field hospital specially designed as a respiratory care unit.

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.

“We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”

This response comes one week after Samaritan’s Purse opened an identical unit in Cremona, Italy. Operating two Emergency Field Hospitals simultaneously is unprecedented for Samaritan’s Purse.

An advance Samaritan’s Purse team arrived in New York on Friday to begin assessments and site preparation. The Emergency Field Hospital is being trucked from North Carolina on four Samaritan’s Purse tractor-trailers.

Once it arrives on-site, it will be built and operational in roughly 48 hours. This convoy’s arrival will be followed with doctors, nurses, lab technicians, water and sanitation experts and other support staff.

The U.S. now has the largest outbreak of COVID-19 with nearly half of these cases in New York state. Thousands of new cases are reported each day.

“As Samaritan’s Purse helps bring critical surge capacity to New York, another team of medical personnel is running an Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona, Italy. Less than 24 hours after opening this hospital, the intensive care unit was full. As soon as hospital beds are open, they are immediately filled with patients suffering from the virus,” stated a Samaritan’s Purse press release.

Samaritan’s Purse infectious disease experts have been working in coordination with the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure the team is taking necessary precautions both in the U.S. and in Italy, the press release said.

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