New York to get 1000-room hospital ship to fight coronavirus

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Coronavirus patient.
Coronavirus patient.

New York is to get a 1 000-room hospital ship that will dock in the city's harbour to fight coronavirus, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Cuomo said US President Donald Trump would dispatch the USNS Comfort to America's financial capital immediately.

"It's an extraordinary step. It's literally a floating hospital, which will add capacity," Cuomo told reporters.

"It has about a 1 000 rooms on it. It has operating rooms."

Cuomo said he spoke to Trump on Wednesday morning and that the president was "making arrangements" to send the ship.

Fully engaged

"I can tell you he is fully engaged on trying to help New York. He is being very creative and very energetic," Cuomo said of Trump.

He said he and Trump agreed on the approach to containing the pandemic which has killed over 8 000 people worldwide and brought cities grinding to a halt.

More than 200 000 people have been infected globally, according to an AFP tally using data based on national authorities and information from the the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We're fighting a war, and this is a war, and we're in the same trench," said Cuomo.

"His actions demonstrate that he is doing that," the governor added of Trump.

Cuomo also announced that he was barring all non-essential businesses from having more than 50 percent of the workforce work outside of their home.

As of Wednesday morning, Cuomo said New York city had more than 1 330 confirmed cases of COVID-19, hundreds more than the day before.

New York state has more than 2 300 cases.

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