Carnival offers cruise ships as floating hospitals amid coronavirus pandemic

The Carnival Corp. cruise ship Fascination sets sail December 17, 2001 in Miami, Florida. Setting the stage for a battle of the cruise-ship giants, P&O Princess Cruises PLC rejected on December 16, 2001 a 3.2 billion pound ($4.61 billion or 5.16 billion euro) hostile takeover offer from Carnival Corp. and reaffirmed its merger plans with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Ltd. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Carnival Corporation announced on Wednesday, March 19 that some of their cruise ships will be made available to use as temporary hospitals to help address the escalating impacts of coronavirus on communities around the world.

They said that as the pandemic adds pressure on land-based health care facilities, including a shortage of hospital beds, governments and health authorities can consider using their cruise ships as temporary health care facilities to treat non-COVID-19 patients.  The ships can feature up to 1,000 hospital rooms.

Carnival said that this will free up additional space on land to treat patients with COVID-19.

The ships would dock at a pier near a community in need and would be operated by the ship’s crew with all maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services provided by crew members, they said.

Those who take Carnival’s offer will reportedly only be asked to cover the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port.

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