With a fleet of cruise liners ending their latest cruises, and with no further trips on the horizon, Florida-based cruise company Carnival has taken the decision to offer its laid-up ships to governments and hospitals.
Carnival Corp said late Thursday March 19th that ships were available from Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. It said that the vessels could be converted into temporary hospitals for non-COVID-patients.
Those ships would relieve pressure on land-based hospitals, freeing up capacity in regular hospitals to care for Covid-19 patients. On-board medical clinics would be able to provide up to seven intensive care units, Carnival said.
Carnival said that “if needed, cruise ships are 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” It said that temporary cruise ship hospital rooms could be converted quickly 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”, the company said.
All maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services would be provided by crew members on the ship, while the medical services would be provided by the government entity or hospital responsible.