Responding to Coronavirus

Samaritan’s Purse airlifted a 30-bed Emergency Field Hospital and critical medical supplies to King Salmon, Alaska, on June 1 in advance of a possible COVID-19 outbreak. The threat is expected to significantly rise this summer as more than 10,000 fishermen and cannery workers from around the world descend upon the Bristol Bay region.

We are deploying this Emergency Field Hospital at the request of the state of Alaska. If an outbreak does occur and it is necessary to set up the facility, our teams are ready to provide excellent, compassionate care in Jesus’ Name.

Any coronavirus spike could overwhelm the local healthcare capacity and prove devastating for those who call this remote area home. Many of Bristol Bay Borough’s approximately 1,000 permanent residents are Alaska Natives. The community still remembers the devastating effects of the 1918 Spanish flu on their population.

Earlier in the year, Samaritan’s Purse also deployed Emergency Field Hospitals to New York City and Italy in order to provide critical care for people seriously ill with COVID-19.

We operated our respiratory care unit in Central Park from April 1 to May 5. Through our partnership with the Mount Sinai Health System, we treated more than 300 coronavirus patients in New York, including 190 at the park site. More than 240 relief specialists served at various times on the Disaster Assistance Response Team there.

We ran a similar medical facility outside of Milan, Italy, that opened on March 20 and closed May 7. The 14-tent unit was set up adjacent to the Cremona Hospital in order to treat an overflow of coronavirus patients. Our DC-8 aircraft made two airlifts to Italy in order to deliver the hospital, 20 tons of supplies, and a large Disaster Assistance Response Team.

The city of Cremona, in northern Italy's Lombardy region, was at the heart of the pandemic in Europe. The local hospital was forced to suspend all medical care, except for maternity and pediatrics, due to the overwhelming numbers of people suffering from this terrible disease. Our respiratory care unit provided vital assistance, treating 281 patients.

All patients under Samaritan’s Purse care have now been discharged in both Italy and New York City.

As our disaster relief specialists served in Jesus' Name in both locations, they brought comfort and the hope of Christ to hurting people. We saw patients recover from near physical death, and we also saw God bring salvation to some under our care.

Samaritan's Purse also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by donating personal protective equipment. In March, we sent more than 50,000 face masks to hospitals in North Carolina, including 10,000 to UNC Health.

Please pray for those sick with this coronavirus and their families around the world, and that this pandemic will soon come to an end.

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