CNN  — 

The US Navy Hospital Ship Comfort docked in New York City, the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, on Monday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said they expected it would take two full weeks to get the ship – which has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms and 1,000 hospital beds on board – to the city. It ended up only taking eight days.

The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort heads into New York, Monday March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

“That means help has arrived quicker, and we’ll be able to do the lifesaving work right now,” de Blasio said. “This is like adding a whole other hospital to New York City.”

The ship is not expected to treat coronavirus patients. Rather it will be used to relocate shore-based patients undergoing treatments that are not coronavirus-related.

New York City needs to triple its hospital bed capacity by May, de Blasio said at a press conference as the ship arrived. “Our nation has heard our plea for help in New York City,” he said, referring to the ship’s arrival.

The ship is expected to be operational soon.

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