After three weeks of intense work, the Covid hospital in Civitanova – in the province of Macerata – has been officially handed over to the Marche Region. With its 84 beds – 42 for intensive care and reanimation and 42 for sub-intensive care – it is ready to accept the first Coronavirus patients, including those coming from other regions.
The Marche Region’s request for health support at the beginning of April has been met by this hospital, the second one set up with the logistic support of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps after that of the Milan Fiera, and covering some 5400 square metres. Over thirty enterprises, mostly local, have worked together to construct the facility in record time, with many donating equipment or charging lower costs for it.
“The only way to tackle a possible second Covid-19 wave is to create specialised facilities with pre-trained staff. Obviously, this kind of unit cannot be built in a week, and it would be deplorable to find ourselves in the same difficulties as the first period,” explains Gerardo Solaro del Borgo, President of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps. “When we talk of a Covid hospital we have to think of a temporary hospital, suitably organized to assist patients, and not a field tent only useful for containing the first emergency. We are talking about bridging structures that can stay in place even for several years, enabling a revision of health policies. In our preventive healthcare experience, the Order of Malta has also been asked to set up emergency response facilities.”
The Order of Malta was involved in raising funds for the Marche Covid hospital in order not to burden the public administration. To date, over 8 million euro have been raised, thanks to the generosity of many. Part of the medical equipment comes from donations to the Marche region’s health service. All the beds have double oxygen intake, double vacuum socket and medical compressed air. The hospital has a CAT diagnostic laboratory, an operating theatre, changing rooms, bathrooms and storage areas.
The Ambassador of Jordan to Italy and to the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fayiz F. Khouri, was also present at the hospital handover ceremony. The Order of Malta is working with the Jordanian authorities for the possible construction of a Covid hospital in Jordan. The next online meeting of the “Doctor to Doctor” project, created to share best practices in the medical field for managing the Covid-19 emergency, will be held precisely with the Jordanian health authorities.
The Order of Malta’s commitment in the Covid-19 emergency continues, both in Italy and abroad. Numerous projects have been launched to support national health systems, as well as transport and assistance services for patients. The Order of Malta’s healthcare workers manage pre-hospital triages and offer psychological support. Its volunteers distribute basic necessities and medicines in five continents.