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REUTERS/Stefan Jeremiah
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) lift a patient that was identified to have coronavirus disease (COVID-19) into an ambulance while wearing protective gear, as the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City, New York, U.S., March 26, 2020.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Friday for a national enlistment effort to bring all available doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to New York City to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With about 53,000 cases of the virus, 10,590 hospitalizations and 1,584 deaths thus far, New York City remains the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States.

The plan, de Blasio said, is to have the nation’s medical workers rush to wherever they are most needed in the country. Once the number of coronavirus patients becomes more manageable by local medical personnel, out-of-state health care workers can then move on to the next coronavirus hotspot.

“We will then offer our personnel to go to the next front as well,” said de Blasio during his daily coronavirus briefing on April 3 at City Hall. “That is the only way that we are going to get through the months ahead.”

The mayor’s call to action was punctuated by an emergency alert dispatched to cellphones across the city Friday afternoon seeking any and all available medical personnel around the country to come to New York.

De Blasio repeated his previous calls for American military aid to quickly mobilize medical personnel. He stated that they have “not been brought into the fight anywhere near how they could be” and called on President Donald Trump to deploy the “tens of thousands” of medical personnel in the military and reserves to New York.

“There is a peacetime approach in Washington, and that won’t cut it,” said de Blasio. “I’m urging the president to do something that no president has had to do in our modern history.”

The mayor’s call to action is part of his effort to get 45,000 additional medical staff, 7,500 traditional hospital staff and 37,500 nontraditional staff, into the city by May. The city now has contracts with 3,630 extra hospital staff, according to the mayor’s office.

It ‘s unclear how the city will address providing personal protective equipment to new medical personnel from out of state given the shortage of PPEs in city hospitals, clinics and pharmacies already.

“We will be honest with people with what we have and what we don’t have,” the mayor stressed that the city most of the PPEs that it needs for next week. “We will have to ration… we are doing it now and we’re absolutely going to have to keep doing it.”

This story first appeared on amny.com.

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