Seychelles will have a fully functioning 60-bed field hospital set up within two weeks after a facility donated by the government of Qatar arrived in the island nation on Tuesday on a special Qatar Airforce cargo plane.
The field hospital was handed over to the chief executive of the Seychelles Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, by the humanitarian researcher at the Qatar Fund for Development, Yuosef Ahmad Al-Mulla, at the Pointe Larue international airport.
A field hospital is a temporary hospital or mobile medical unit that takes care of casualties on-site before they can be safely transported to more permanent facilities usually used by the military.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, field hospitals are now facilities used to quarantine mild to moderate cases of the virus. It has an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity to care for the critically ill.
The new hospital was in response to a request from the government of Seychelles.
The field hospital arrived on a special Qatar Airforce cargo plane on Tuesday. (Rita Joubert-Lawen, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY
Al-Mulla explained that there were some delays in getting the facility to the Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, as there procedures and approvals were needed.
The field hospital is equipped to be fully functional as soon as it is erected.
“When we decided to send the hospital, we thought included everything with it so that you do not need anything from the outside. You don’t need any logistics, you just take it and use it,” said Al-Mulla.
The new field hospital has 60 beds with 30 ventilators and other equipment needed such as air-conditioners and backup generators.
A group of military personnel from Qatar is in Seychelles to help the local authorities set up the hospital.
“The hospital will take some three to four days with our manpower, the electricity, the sanitation and after some weeks of time you can start using the hospital,” said Al-Mulla.
Louange said that the field hospital will be located at the Seychelles Coastguards base at Perseverance.
“We are planning that should there be another surge in the number of COVID-19 cases like the one we had at the beginning of the year, this hospital will be used as a stand-by. We will mainly be admitting mild to moderate cases of Covid at this hospital as this will not require as much manpower as another facility,” he added.
Louange said that since most families are almost full while normal services in the hospitals are continuing “if by chance we find that a medical situation arises we will have the space needed to care for patients.”