As cruise ships are pulled from operation, Carnival Corp. & plc offered its ships as temporary hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients to free up space in land-based hospitals overrun by virus patients.
The company said select cruise ships from its cruise line brands – including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia – will be made available to governments and health authorities. Interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port, the company said in a press release. Governments or health authorities with interest can contact Monica Puello by email at [email protected] or by phone at 305-406-8656.
President Trump said in a press conference that he had spoken to Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, the Miami Herald reported.
If needed, cruise ships can quickly be provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions. The staterooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship’s high-speed network – providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video-monitoring capabilities. The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, and isolation capabilities.
Additionally, cruise ships have the ability to provide up to seven intensive care units in their medical centers equipped with central cardiac monitoring, ventilators and other key medical devices and capabilities. Similar to land-based health facilities, cruise ships can house multiple medical functions on different decks.
The temporary hospital cruise ships would be berthed at a pier near the community in need and operated by the ship’s crew, with all maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services provided by crew members on the ship. Medical services would be provided by the government entity or hospital responsible for fighting the spread of COVID-19 within that community.
Carnival Corporation & plc operates nine cruise brands with 105 ships with 254,000 lower berths.
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