Mothballed Nightingale could be up and running within days if needed
The Nightingale field hospital, once mothballed, could be re-established within five days should the virus return with any virulence.
The facility, which is situated at Europa Point, has been unused since its establishment and will slowly be decommissioned in line with the de-escalation of the general restrictions stemming from the public health emergency.
Speaking at the daily press briefing Dr Daniel Cassaglia, the clinical lead at that facility, said: “We now know that our healthcare system will be able to cope with a resurgence of cases that may arise after relaxing lockdown measures.” [Text Wrapping Break]
He added: “Hopefully we won't need to but we are ready in case we do.” [Text Wrapping Break]
“The Nightingale facility, thankfully, has not been used for patients and will slowly be decommissioned in tandem with the release of the lockdown.”
At the moment, Dr Cassaglia said, the facility can be reactivated at very short notice, and can be up and running within 24-48 hours.
“But as the lockdown proceeds, if we’re confident that we’re not going to need the Nightingale facility we can mothball it little by little.”
“We will always have the equipment and the facility available - we’re going to be storing it and we can bring it up at some point in the future should there ever be a need to have a field hospital.”
Once mothballed, the hospital could be re-established within five to seven days.
Dr Cassaglia added that a regular exercise could be put in place to test how they set up the hospital again.
Additionally, the Nightingale staff have been retrained and redeployed to form part of the contact tracing bureau.
“This has been another example of great team spirit,” he added.