Irish man Michael Dowling, the owner of Northwell Health, a major health company in New York, is helping in the US city's fight against Covid-19.

When he received a call from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking for help in co-ordinating the hospital response to the virus, Mr Dowling said: "Yeah, I'll help in any way I possibly can."

Mr Dowling, who is originally from Knockaderry in Co Limerick, told RTÉ's News at One that he believes that "overall, hospitals in New York are doing well, and managing the situation in a good way".

This week the US overtook China and Italy for having the most cases of Covid-19 in the world, with almost 86,000 confirmed cases and 1,300 deaths.

In relation to the number of ventilators required in New York, Mr Dowling said: "We are scouring every place we can think of to get more."

He said Mr Cuomo is also "working with the federal government to release the federal stockpile to New York", and added that he hopes President Donald Trump will grant access to those ventilators.

It is possible for two patients to share the same ventilator at the same time, which he said is an example of the innovation that is occurring across the US health system at this time.

Some BiPAP machines are also being converted to be used as ventilators in a bid to cope with demand.

He said New York is experiencing a surge now, and he said "I think this week and next week the number of cases will continue to escalate. People will get quite sick, including quite a number of healthcare staff".

There is currently 73,000 staff employed by Mr Dowling's company. He said staff members are rotating shifts, working longer hours, and non-clinical nurses and physicians are being redeployed to frontline roles.

He believes that Covid-19 restrictions should remain in place "as long as possible, until we have clearly flattened the curve", because "if you lift them too soon, we'll have real problems".

"I have never been through a situation like this one," Mr Dowling said.

He believes that the measures being taken now "will change how we work and how we relate to one another".

"I have 40,000 people working from home right now. When this is all over, a good portion of them will continue to work from home. It will change to how we do business. Times like this will get us to realise frankly how very fortunate we are under normal circumstances."