US army corps to build hundreds of temporary hospitals for corona crisis
WASHINGTON, Mar 31: US officials want to build hundreds of temporary hospitals across the country to cope with the thousands of new coronavirus cases being diagnosed daily after the United States endured its deadliest day yet on Monday with 575 fatalities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which converted a New York convention center into a 1,000-bed hospital in the space of a week, is searching for hotels, dormitories, convention centers and large open space to build as many as 341 temporary hospitals, the chief of corps said on Tuesday.
"The scope is immense," Lieutenant General Todd Semonite of the corps told the ABC News "Good Morning America" program. "We're looking right now at around 341 different facilities across all of the United States."
The U.S. caseload rose by more than 20,000 confirmed cases on Monday, overwhelming hospitals that are running out of doctors, nurses, medical equipment and protective gear.
The number of U.S. dead climbed past 3,000, more than the number who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the caseload rose to more than 163,000, according to a Reuters tally of official statistics.
U.S. officials estimate the death toll could reach 100,000 to 200,000.
The corps, the engineering arm of the U.S. Army, joined with New York state officials to convert New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center into a facility to treat non-coronavirus patients. The conversion will relieve the pressure on hospitals treating patients with COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the novel coronavirus. -Reuters