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MSC Group Converts Ferry Into Floating Hospital

Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), a ferry operator that is part of MSC Group, has converted the ferry ship Splendid into a floating hospital equipped for patients with and recovering from COVID-19.

Stationed in the ferry terminal in Genoa, Italy, it has 25 beds in single cabins, although it is possible to equip up to 400 beds. The floating hospital also features a heliport and dedicated areas to healthcare personnel and crew.

GNV started working on the project with classification society RINA in early March, in coordination with Italy’s Liguria Health System and Civil Protection. RINA verified that the floating hospital complied with current regulations, identifying the balance between safety protection, naval regulations, the medical needs of a hospital and the regional health care authority.

In the U.S., Carnival Corp. has offered ships to serve as hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients, to free up space in hospitals. Also, American Queen Steamboat Co. and Victory Cruises have offered idled ships to the military to house personnel who need to be quarantined.

Also, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) launched a new initiative called “Hotels for Hope” to help find lodging in more than 6,500 properties for first responders and health-care workers as the COVID-19 crisis grows.

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