A new 60-bed field hospital that will be used if Seychelles’ current facilities become overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients was officially opened on Saturday.
The hospital, which is located at the Seychelles Coast Guard base at Perseverance — a man-made island — was donated by the government of Qatar and assembled by a group of Qatari military personnel.
The new fully air-conditioned facility has 30 ventilators, backup generators, an intensive care unit (ICU) and a pharmacy, already fully functional.
“This facility will be kept as a backup should other hospitals become overwhelmed with patients suffering from the effects of COVID-19,” said the Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot.
She added that “we hope we will not have to ever use this facility but it be very essential should the pandemic worsen.”
Yousef Al-Mulla, the humanitarian researcher at the Qatar Fund for Development, and Vidot officially opened the new facility in the presence of the Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan.
During his speech to mark the occasion, Al-Mulla said, that he “appreciates the relationship between the two countries where the hope is that Qatar and Seychelles can continue working together.”
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.
Such a facility will surely require additional human resources in order to effectively care for the patients.
“Human resource is a concern, but while we hope that this facility will not be needed, we will be taking into account the human resources needed at the facility and if the time comes, we will ensure that we have the required staff,” said Vidot.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has 584 active cases of COVID-19 and has recorded 114 COVID-related deaths.