MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-based Carnival Corporation wants to help health care professionals during the coronavirus pandemic by offering to convert cruise ships into temporary hospitals.
The company announced Thursday that select cruise ship from Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia will be made available to communities for use as temporary hospitals for non COVID-19 patients as a way to free up space in land-based hospitals.
The company says if any communities or governments accept their offer, they’ll be asked to pay for the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port.
Carnival says cruise ships can be provisioned to serve up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions. These temporary cruise ship hospital rooms 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.
The temporary hospital facilities would also have the ability to provide 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. 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.