NEW YORK  — The Samaritan’s Purse Christian humanitarian organisation is currently constructing a field hospital in New York City’s Central Park to treat patients that have tested positive for COVID-19, a Sputnik correspondent at the scene reports.

The field hospital is being built in partnership with the Mount Sinai Health System. Elliott Tenpenny, a team leader for the Samaritan’s Purse organisation, told Sputnik that the hospital is expected to have 68 beds.

Tenpenny added that the facility will have 10 beds equipped to provide intensive care treatment. Between 60 and 70 medical professionals will be able to work at the temporary facility, he stated.

“This is a 68-bed field hospital that Samaritan’s Purse is putting up here. It has 10 ICU beds, enough ventilator capacity to take care of 10 very sick patients. For a total capacity of 68 beds, there is between 60 and 70 staff that will help man this facility,” Tenpenny told Sputnik.

The humanitarian organisation has already built a field hospital in Italy to treat patients in the epicentre of Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak. The makeshift clinic in the Italian city of Cremona in Lombardy region comprises 14 tents.

“In Cremona, Italy, we set up a field hospital exactly like this one about two weeks ago. It has been full ever since, so we’ve learned a lot from that, and we’re here to do it again in New York City,” Tenpenny stated.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Sunday evening that over 670 people have died in the city after contracting the disease, with a total of 32,300 cases having been confirmed since the start of the outbreak.

Authorities in the city have ordered all non-essential businesses to shut down, banned social gatherings of any size and directed residents to remain at a distance of six feet from one another. Residents who do not comply with the guidelines on social distancing may face a fine of up to US$500.