(Natural News) A naval ship that’s been docked off the coast of Los Angeles as a floating hospital for non-coronavirus patients is now experiencing its own outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
The USNS Mercy, which was sent to the Port of Los Angeles by the United States Navy to help alleviate the burden on land-based hospitals treating Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, is reporting a total of seven crew members that it claims have tested positive for the novel virus.
All infected persons have reportedly been removed from the ship and put into isolation, but many are now wondering whether or not it’s safe to continue treating patients aboard the vessel.
Those recently in contact with the infected individuals have also been placed into isolation for monitoring, while the remaining 1,000 some-odd military personnel who’ve been working on the ship, along with a small civilian staff, remain in place.
“The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crew members and patients on board,” reads a statement from the Navy, which has indicated that the Mercy will not be ceasing its operations despite the outbreak.
“This will not affect the ability for Mercy to receive patients at this time.”
As a precautionary measure, 112 other personnel who may or may not have the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) have been quarantined ashore just to be sure that others aboard the ship, including patients, are safe from infection.
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Four personnel aboard the USNS Comfort in New York also tested positive for coronavirus
All the way across the country in New York City, the USNS Comfort, a sister ship to the Mercy, also experienced its own small outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in which four personnel tested positive. However, all four of these individuals are said to have since recovered and returned to work.
The USNS Mercy reportedly left San Diego, where it usually lives, on March 23, and arrived in Los Angeles a few days later. The USNS Comfort was undergoing maintenance before being rushed out and sent to New York City on March 28.
Both ships have been operating under capacity, with the Mercy currently treating about 20 non-coronavirus patients, including one ICU patient. The Comfort, which is accepting both non-coronavirus and coronavirus patients, is currently treating about 70 patients total, including 34 people in intensive care.
All in all, the Comfort has treated 120 people total, including 50 that have already been discharged. About half of these patients were infected with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The Comfort was set up to provide assistance and care for patients, and that is exactly what we are doing,” a spokeswoman from the service indicated in a statement.
Other Navy ships are also experiencing outbreaks of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), including the deployed aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is reporting almost 600 cases. Multiple sailors have also had to be hospitalized for the novel virus, while one is said to have died from related complications.
“The tests are giving off over 80% false positives, and sure enough everyone tests positive,” wrote one Zero Hedge commenter, speculating as to why this might be happening despite the Navy’s rigorous safety protocols.
“[I]f they have the flu, they turn a treatable condition with a ventilator and push fluids into the lungs and kill the patient … how many people have to die [until] the boys in the white coats figure it out? Treat the patients with IV vitamins, it’s working.”
To keep up with the latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), be sure to check out Pandemic.news.
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