Carnival Corporation is to make its ships available as floating hospitals to help countries around the world battle the coronavirus.
The group said selected brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia, will be made available for use as temporary medical facilities for non-Covid-19 patients to free up space for land-based hospitals to treat those with the virus.
Carnival said its ships were capable of being quickly converted to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 beds that can treat patients suffering from less critical conditions.
Remote patient monitoring devices can be connected to the ships’ high-speed networks – 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.
Ships being used as temporary hospital facilities to treat non-Covid-19 patients would also have the ability to provide up to seven intensive care units (ICUs) 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, ships can also house numerous medical functions in multiple locations by using different decks on the ship to separate each required medical area.
The temporary ship hospitals would be berthed near the community in need, Carnival said, and operated by the ship’s crew, with all maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services provided by crew members on the ship.
As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover “only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port,” Carnival added.