Cruise ships to be used as hospitals for non-Covid-19

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 26 March 2020

Carnival Corporation, a US-based company which owns several cruise lines, has said that it will make its ships available to hospital patients who test negative for the coronavirus.

The offer, extended to various governments and medical facilities, will help free up hospital beds on land for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

‘With the continued spread of Covid-19 expected to exert added pressure on land-based health care facilities, including a possible shortage of hospital beds, Carnival Corporation and its brands are calling on governments and health authorities to consider using cruise ships as temporary health care facilities to treat non-Covid-19 patients, freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of Covid-19,’ the company stated.

‘As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port.’

The company says that its ships can quickly be converted to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 rooms and that these rooms can have remote patient-monitoring devices installed with ‘cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video-monitoring capabilities,’ the statement said.

‘The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.

‘Additionally, cruise ships being used as temporary hospital facilities to treat non-Covid-19 patients would have the ability to provide up to seven intensive care units in the ship’s medical centre, equipped with central cardiac monitoring, ventilators and other key medical devices and capabilities.

‘Similar to land-based health facilities, cruise ships can also house multiple medical functions in disparate locations by using different decks on the ship to separate each required medical area.’

According to Times Live, South Africa’s health department has not yet responded as to whether it would consider this offer.


Image credit: Carnival Corporation

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