Carnival Offers to Convert Some Cruise Ships to Hospital Ships

In a press statement released by Carnival Corporation, they offered to convert select cruise ships from Carnival, Holland America, Princess and P&O Australia into temporary hospital ships.   

Carnival cruise ship could become hospital ship
Carnival Magic prepares for its first cruise from Port Canaveral

Carnival could help free up local hospital’s beds 

The press release went on to say that the converted ships would be used to treat and care for patients who have been hospitalized for non-COVID-19 patients. 

At Thursday’s press conference, Trump responded to Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison’s offer to employ a select amount of cruise ships.

“Well you could increase places to stay. Let’s say, places to stay — if it works,” Trump said. “I don’t know, maybe people won’t want them. But he made the offer, it was a very generous offer. And he said that he has some ships that would be ideally suited for what we’re doing. And certainly, they have a lot of rooms. They’re big, and they have a lot of rooms. So we appreciate it from Carnival.”

States that have expressed an interest are of course the places where land-based hospitals are or soon will be stretched beyond normal capacity.  These include Washington state, California and New York. Communities would only be asked to cover the essential costs incurred while the ship is in operation in port.  

“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,” Carnival stated in their press release. “The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.”

The select ships can quickly be converted to floating hospitals with up to 1,000 rooms for non-coronavirus patients.  Temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be outfitted with remote patient monitoring devices over the ship’s high-speed network.  This would provide cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities. Not to mention the benefit of private bathrooms, fresh air and sunshine.  If needed, isolation rooms are also possible.  

Select ships also have up to seven intensive care units within the ship’s medical center.  They are equipped with ventilators, cardiac monitoring and other essential capabilities.  

It was also noted that different decks on each ship could serve a different purpose, similar to a land-based hospital where each floor has its own medical needs. 

Each ship’s crew would provide the day-to-day operations including cleaning, preparing and serving food and beverages.  Local hospitals along with the community’s government where the ship is docked, would delegate and provide medical service onboard the ships. 

US Navy Hospital Ships will soon be helping overcrowded hospitals

In addition to Carnival Corporation and their offer to enlist certain ships to become floating hospitals, two United States Navy hospital ships, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy will be deployed.  USNS Comfort with its 1,000 hospital beds and 12 operating rooms will be sent to New York City. The ship can staff up to 1,200 medical professionals including doctors, nurses and specialist.  

USNS Comfort US Navy Hospital Ship

Unfortunately, the Navy hospital ship is undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, Virginia and it’s expected to take weeks until the ship is ready for New York. 

The other Navy hospital ship, USNS Mercy is currently in San Diego and will eventually take up position on the west coast.  While this ship will be ready sooner than USNS Comfort, there are no doctors, nurses or other medical specialists yet on staff.  

As with the Carnival Corporation ships, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy will also care for non-coronavirus patients which in turn will open up beds in New York City and west coast hospitals for those infected.


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