The hospitality industry, which has been paralysed from the coronavirus outbreak, is stepping up and getting creative, offering to help alleviate pressures to health care systems around the world, some of which are at their brink.
The world’s largest leisure travel company, Carnival Corporation, for instance, is calling on other cruise liner companies to offer up their empty, docked cruise ships to governments and health authorities as temporary hospitals, should the need arise.
The announcement comes after clusters of the coronavirus broke out on several major ocean liners around the world over the last few months, forcing cruise ships to find harbour and go on quarantined lockdown.
“Carnival Corporation and its brands are calling on governments and health authorities to consider using cruise ships as temporary healthcare facilities to treat non-Covid-19 patients, freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of Covid-19, ” reads a statement.
Carnival proposes converting up to a thousand of their cabins into hospital rooms for patients suffering from non-Covid-19 conditions, which would free up hospital beds for more critical cases.
Remote patient monitoring devices can also be connected over the ship’s high-speed network to provide cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Lufthansa Airline has offered to dispatch internal employees with medical training as volunteers to work at health care systems in need of extra personnel. The airline would continue to pay their salaries.
Airlines employ staff physicians and nurses to care for pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel.
In France, empty hotels are also being used to house the homeless during the lockdown. (In Malaysia, some hotels and owners of budget and B&B accommodations have also offered help by allowing out-of-town frontline healthcare workers to stay at their place for free during the movement control order.) – AFP Relaxnews