Crews are working around the clock to set up a field hospital to aid those affected by North America's largest outbreak of COVID-19.

Samaritan's Purse staff members are quickly setting up an Emergency Field Hospital in East Meadow in Central Park, New York City, to provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19. A large Disaster Assistance Response Team, including doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel will soon be on the ground as well. Coronavirus patients will be arriving from the Mount Sinai Health System. Samaritan's Purse says the first priority is to move patients from Mount Sinai Brooklyn and Mount Sinai Queens.

On Sunday volunteers from local churches were helping staff set up the 68-bed respiratory care unit, which was prepared especially for this response to provide support and to help save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. The field hospital, in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System and intergovernmental agencies, is expected to open on Tuesday.

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” says Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”

The U.S. is now reporting more than 135,000 active coronavirus cases—the highest total in the world. New York City is at the global epicentre for this terrible disease, which has already killed around 2,400 people across the country.

Samaritan's Purse says that "the situation in the city is dire, with the death total increasing daily. Earlier this week, a makeshift morgue was set up outside of a Manhattan hospital, the first of which is expected to come at other local hospitals as the crisis continues to escalate.

"Medical facilities are running out of beds in their intensive care units, as about 20 percent of all people who test positive in New York City are requiring hospitalization. Ventilators and critical medical equipment are also in short supply."

The charity says that about 50 per cent of all cases in the U.S. are coming from the state of New York, with the New York City metro area alone reporting more than 600 deaths and nearly 34,000 cases across its five boroughs.

Luther Harrison, Vice President for North American Ministries, prayed with staff before the Samaritan’s Purse trucks left North Carolina and began the drive to New York City.

“Lord, our name is on the side of these trucks, but more importantly, Your Name is on the side of these trucks. We commit ourselves and our mission to You.”