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The Numbers Behind The Hospital Ships



This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Niall McCarthy


The pictures of the USNS Comfort arriving in New York City are likely going to prove historic. The massive hospital ship docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side and its presence is aimed at relieving pressure on hospitals overwhelmed by patients infected with COVID-19. This isn’t the Comfort’s first time in New York – it was also deployed to the city in the aftermath of 9/11.


The Comfort is one of two such hospital ships in the U.S. Navy, the other being the Mercy. The USNS prefix identifies both vessels as being non-commissioned ships owned by the Navy and operationally crewed by Military Sealift Command civilians. Converted from oil tankers, the ships are large, stretching 894 ft and displacing 69,360 tons


They also have impressive medical facilities onboard with a capacity for 1,000 patients, 12 operating rooms, a pharmacy, oxygen producing plants, radiological services and an optometry lab among others. They have an active medical and dental staff of 1,156.


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