COVID-19 patients in Port Moresby will be cared for in a 76-bed isolation facility at the Rita Flynn Sports Complex following its opening last Friday.
Facility manager Dr Gary Nou told guests, the media and medical staff that there was enough space to have a least 100 beds inside the complex.
“Beyond that, we have a contingency plan to cater for the worst case scenario, meaning that there will be a surge and increasing numbers up to a thousand,” he said.
Dr Nou said there was a plan to utilise the existing space around Rita Flynn.
“We have the softball oval, the Aussie rules oval, the cricket oval, lawn bowls field, touch rugby and rugby union ovals,” he said.
“All have structures built into place – sanitation, water and electricity lines connected.
“We can put a helipad there to bring in heavy tent structures if we need to.
“If we need to call in international assistance, they will have a space to put down their field hospitals.”
Dr Nou said they had five ventilators at the facility and said they would need more than 20 ventilators on standby.
He said patients with mild and moderate symptoms would be housed inside the complex.
Severe cases would be transferred to the Port Moresby General Hospital for the time being as the section designated for severe cases was yet to be set up to international standards.
However, Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi, who attended the opening, told NCD Governor Powes Parkop that his objective was to free up the hospital so it could look after its existing patients.
“Our important priority at Port Moresby General Hospital is to protect our patients,” he said.
“Because already vulnerable patients are there. “Some with kidney, some with heart problems who could be severely affected by the Covid-19.”
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