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US seeks medical staff from abroad for COVID-19 fight

Announcement comes after new case numbers turn US into world's coronavirus infection capital

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 27.03.2020
US seeks medical staff from abroad for COVID-19 fight

ANKARA

The U.S. Department of State announced on Thursday night that it is looking to hire international medical staff to handle the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.

“We encourage medical professionals seeking work in the U.S. on a work or exchange visitor visa (H or J), particularly those working on #COVID19 issues, to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy/ Consulate for a visa appointment,” said a tweet by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The U.S. is now the coronavirus infection capital of the world, after surpassing China and Italy last night, with 85,991 confirmed cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19 were encouraged to reach out to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment, the statement added.

The State Department also urged foreign medical professionals already in the U.S. to take necessary steps to extend their stay.

“J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may consult with their program sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programs in the United States ... Note that the expiration date on a U.S. visa does not determine how long one can be in the United States,” the statement said.

The data by Johns Hopkins shows the U.S. is followed by China with 81,782 cases and Italy with 80,589.

The worldwide total since last December has surpassed 532,000, which includes over 24,000 deaths and more than 122,000 recoveries.

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