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'We respond to disasters, even when it's hard' | Samaritan's Purse flies emergency field hospital to Italy

A group of 32 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other disaster response specialists flew to Italy to help with the coronavirus crisis.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Samaritan's Purse prepared a plane for Italy on Tuesday morning. The wheels went up shortly after 8 a.m. in Greensboro. 

A group of 32 doctors, nurses, and other disaster response specialists flew to Milan to help with the coronavirus crisis. Samaritan's Purse said it will eventually have about 60 volunteers on the ground there. 

The North Carolina-based disaster response organization didn't just fly supplies to the country - it flew an entire emergency field hospital. 

The cargo plane carried 68 beds and 20 tons of medical equipment.

The volunteers will set up shop just outside of Milan, where the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the health care system there. 

"We respond to disasters, even when it's hard," said Kaitlyn Lahm, spokesperson for Samaritan's Purse. 

Samaritan's Purse has been in contact with the World Health Organization and the CDC to ensure its team is taking necessary precautions. 

Lahm said once volunteers come home, they will go through the quarantine process. 

The last time Samaritan's Purse flew an emergency field hospital somewhere, was to the Bahamas in response to Hurricane Dorian. 

According to the World Health Organization, Italy has reported more than 27,000 cases of coronavirus - the second-most out of all other countries. 

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