An Irish nurse working in New York painted an apocalyptic picture when she described how Coronavirus patients are dying alone and without their loved ones.
Irish nurse Margaret Murphy, Chief Nursing Officer at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, said that nurses are now stepping up to fill the void and offer support to dying patients.
New York has become the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak in America with almost 60,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths at the time of writing. Almost 8,500 people were hospitalized in New York on Sunday alone and the numbers don't look like slowing down.
Hospitals are struggling to cope with the growing amount of patients and the US naval hospital ship Comfort is due to arrive in Manhattan today to ease the strain.
New York hospitals have banned visitors to curb the spread of the virus but that means that people can't visit their loved ones in their final hours.
Speaking to Saturday with Cormac O'hEadhra on RTÉ Radio One, Murphy described the dire situation in New York hospitals. She said that nurses are struggling to cope with the emotional burden of comforting dying patients.
“This has become one of the most difficult challenges in this entire thing, is the emotional load that nurses are carrying," Murphy said.
“I actually had to tell one of our nurses that she couldn’t be with a loved one, who had just passed away.
“That’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Murphy said that she expects the virus to get worse before it gets better in the state of New York but said that she thinks President Donald Trump is handling the crisis well.
“I think he is doing everything that he can from his perspective. I think he is very concerned."
Trump recently announced that federal Coronavirus guidelines will be extended across the United States until April 30.
The US President previously suggested that the guidelines, which include social distancing, would be relaxed on Easter Sunday (April 12). However, Trump said that the United States would experience its highest death rate in two weeks.
He pledged that America would be well on the way to recovery by June.