Carnival Corporation is calling on governments and health authorities to consider using cruise ships for use as temporary hospitals .
Carnivals brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia have been offered to treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions. Carnival hopes by using cruise ships as hospitals this will increase capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of COVID-19.
As part of the offer, governments and health authorities will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port.
All ships across Carnival Corporations fleets have suspended operations for at least 30 days due to the outbreak of the coronavirus / COVID-19 with may of the companies ships docked in ports around the US.
Upto 1,000 hospital rooms per ship
In a press release, Carnival said each ship is capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions.
These cruise ship cabins 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, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.
Additionally, cruise ships would also have up to seven intensive care units (ICUs) in the ship’s medical center 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.
Who will pay for the temporary hospitals?
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.