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MSC Group Converts Ferry Into Floating Hospital

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Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), a ferry operator that is part of MSC Group, has converted the ferry ship Splendid into a floating hospital equipped for patients with and recovering from COVID-19.

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Stationed in the ferry terminal in Genoa, Italy, it has 25 beds in single cabins, although it is possible to equip up to 400 beds. The floating hospital also features a heliport and dedicated areas to healthcare personnel and crew.

GNV started working on the project with classification society RINA in early March, in coordination with Italy’s Liguria Health System and Civil Protection. RINA verified that the floating hospital complied with current regulations, identifying the balance between safety protection, naval regulations, the medical needs of a hospital and the regional health care authority.

In the U.S., Carnival Corp. has offered ships to serve as hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients, to free up space in hospitals. Also, American Queen Steamboat Co. and Victory Cruises have offered idled ships to the military to house personnel who need to be quarantined.

Also, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) launched a new initiative called “Hotels for Hope” to help find lodging in more than 6,500 properties for first responders and health-care workers as the COVID-19 crisis grows.

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Coral Princess Docks in Miami with Two Dead, Others Ill

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Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess has finally docked in Miami after having been denied permission to disembark its passengers at ports in multiple countries, although no one aboard had actually tested positive for COVID-19 until this week. Onboard medical staff noticed a higher-than-usual number of ship’s occupants coming down with flu-like over a week ago and, starting March 30, guests were asked to stay in their rooms.

CNN reported that the ship arrives with two dead and several others sick with the novel coronavirus. While it’s unclear exactly how many of Coral Princess’ 1,000-plus passengers and 878 crew will be cleared to disembark in Miami, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN that the most seriously ill will be transported off the ship first, bound for local hospitals. Two guests, in particular, who require immediate medical attention were to be taken to Miami’s Larkin Community Hospital, said the mayor.

Gimenez also explained that about fifteen coronavirus-positive passengers who don’t need immediate hospitalization will remain aboard to receive care in the ship’s medical ward until they are cleared the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Reportedly, those passengers who are deemed fit to fly home will begin disembarking tomorrow, although the process, Princess Cruises said, “is expected to take several days, due to limited flight availability,” Mayor Gimenez disclosed that over 990 passengers and 840 crew members have thus far been deemed fit for travel.

The Coral Princess was about halfway through its itinerary when, on March 12, Princess Cruises announced that it would end underway voyages as soon as possible as worldwide concern grew regarding the spread of COVID-19. The cruise, which departed from Chile on March 5 and was scheduled to finish March 19 in Argentina, lasted more than two weeks longer than originally planned.

The vessel tried to disembark on March 19 in Buenos Aires as originally scheduled, as many passengers had air travel booked home from that point. When it did dock, the government would only allow Argentine passport holders and others who had confirmed same-day flights off the ship. The Argentine government warned that, if the Coral Princess did not cast off again that same night, it would be required to remain there indefinitely with no passengers disembarking.

The Coral Princess afterward appealed to authorities in Uruguay, where it was able to resupply, and in Brazil, but was denied disembarkation by both. Heading towards Florida, the ship picked up supplies once more in Barbados before finally finding safe harbor in Miami.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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