COVID field hospital demobilised

The emergency field hospital at the Family Life Centre was demobilised on Sunday. - Photo: GIS

The emergency COVID-19 field hospital at the Family Life Centre, which was set up in May last year in case coronavirus cases swamped local hospitals, has been demobilised.

According to a press release issued Friday, the field hospital was dismantled and shut down last weekend, when Hazard Management Cayman Islands placed the 60-bed facility’s equipment and fittings into storage.

If the need arises, the hospital can be remobilised or the assets reallocated for other national and potentially regional disaster situations.

“Sustainability was the key word throughout the design and mobilisation stages of the field hospital. Everything was done with the objective of its remobilisation as a whole or in part in the Family Life Centre or in other locations,” Public Works Department Senior Project Manager Simon Griffiths said in the release. “In addition, certain assets were chosen for relocation within the HSA once the hospital was demobilised.”

A field hospital has been set up at the Family Life Centre in the event that local hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID cases
The emergency field hospital at the Family Life Centre was set up in May 2020 at a cost of $400,000.

Among the relocated equipment is a standby generator that will be sent to Cayman Brac’s Faith Hospital. Mobile hand wash basins are being sent to various locations, including the Owen Roberts International Airport vaccination clinic and COVID-19 testing district clinics.

Bed partitions and a fully demountable electrical system will be stored in a warehouse with other equipment from the temporary facility and may be utilised by HMCI for emergency sheltering purposes.

“It’s pleasing to report that this attention to sustainable ethic has worked as even the plastic sheeting used to shield certain parts has been saved and will be used elsewhere,” Griffiths said.

The field hospital was never put into use, as the feared widespread transmission of COVID-19 did not happen, and local hospitals have not faced an influx of patients.

The hospital was set up by the National Emergency Operations Centre, in collaboration with the government, charities and the private sector.

The bed partitions will be stored for use in emergency shelters if the need arises. – Photo: GIS

“The NEOC and supporting organisations initiated this project with the single-minded focus of saving lives. We wanted to ensure we had the infrastructure in place to handle the very worst scenario,” HSA Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood said.

She added, “If the field hospital was ever to be utilized, it would mean that all the beds of the local hospitals have been filled and we are now in a national emergency situation. Therefore, it has always been our hope that the facility would not have to be used, but if needed, it can always be remobilised in a relatively short time.”

According to the release, the UK Association for Project Management awarded the Cayman Islands government winner of the social project of the year category for the cross-sector project management approach taken for the construction and delivery of the field hospital.

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