As the coronavirus rages through Southern California, Los Angeles County’s ICU beds are filling fast, and the county’s health agency has instructed ambulance services not to deliver patients with a low chance of survival to the emergency room. Last week, LA County supervisor Janice Hahn called for the Navy to deploy the hospital ship USNS Mercy to provide backup for the region’s strained healthcare system, as the ship did during the first COVID surge in March. However, the Navy said Wednesday that Mercy is not available: she is undergoing an overhaul at the Vigor Industrial yard in Portland, Oregon, and is not currently able to sail, a Military Sealift Command spokesperson told USNI News.
“We need the USNS Mercy back in Los Angeles. But I have heard reports that the ship is dry-docked in Portland for ‘scheduled maintenance,” said Hahn in a social media message. “I am not an expert, but I have to question the wisdom of dry-docking a hospital ship in the middle of a pandemic. This surge is overwhelming our hospital system. The Navy should expedite the Mercy’s maintenance and return her to service as a hospital ship— or at the very least find a way to send the Mercy’s medical team.”
The Mercy has been at the yard since July 2020 for a “major overhaul,” including a flight deck upgrade, lifeboat upgrades and propulsion and structural work – part of a service-life extension program that is intended to carry her through to 2036, spokesman Tom Van Leunen told USNI. She will not be available until refit work and sea trials are completed this spring.
USNS Mercy was last deployed to the Port of Los Angeles in March 2020. The plan called for her medical facilities to treat existing non-COVID patients in order to relieve pressure on area hospitals. However, LA’s hospitals never used Mercy’s referral-only services at the intended scale, and she only served about 77 patients over the seven-week span of her deployment. She sustained an onboard coronavirus outbreak several weeks after her arrival, forcing 100 crewmembers to quarantine.
This time the need is different, local officials say. The LA hospital system is running out of ICU beds to treat ordinary patients with serious medical conditions, and it is even running short on medical-grade oxygen. According to the county’s data, there are only about 40 ICU beds available across the entire system of 70 hospitals in the region – down from 300 ICU beds in April.
“This situation has drastically changed from the original docking of the USNS Mercy . . . in [March] 2020. The need has not been any greater to assist with other medical ailments such as heart, cancer and non-COVID-19 related illnesses,” said Patrick Furey, the mayor of the city of Torrance, in an appeal to the county.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]