The first phase of the field hospital for COVID-19 patients on the premises that housed the old Muscat Airport was inaugurated by Sayyid Saud bin Hilal al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, and a number of high-ranking officials on Monday.
The ministers and accompanying officials were briefed on the field hospital and procedures and protocols set to receive and treat COVID-19 patients.
“This hospital will play a role in reducing the burden on hospitals across the governorate, and consequently, these hospitals will be able to provide their regular services,” Sayyid Busaidi later said.
“The first phase of the hospital has 100 beds, but the facility will eventually have 312-bed capacity. We are also trying to establish an intensive care unit in the field hospital soon. A shelter centre will be attached to the field hospital spread over 10,000sqm with a capacity of 384 beds. The shelter will be transformed to a hospital if necessary,” Dr Sa’eedi informed.
“The field hospital was completed in less than two months, which is a record time. Unfortunately, some citizens and residents do not adhere to the procedures and continue to hold gatherings. This hospital will relieve pressure on the Governorate of Muscat and the neighbouring areas,” he said, adding that hospitals of Muscat are full to capacity.
“The government has provided and will provide everything possible to combat the virus.”
Addressing the issue of rising infections, he said, “The number of COVID-19 patients and deaths is increasing day by day. We currently have 210 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, which is the highest number for a single disease. Getting medical staff to work in ICUs is not an easy thing, but we have provided staff for this work. The economy will not stop, but I hope that all members of society abide by the health measures and the decisions of the Supreme Committee.”
Besides relieving pressure on the sultanate’s hospitals, the field hospital also aims to maintain the health of the health workers in the hospitals.
Talking about immunity shots for COVID-19, he said, “Vaccines depend on scientific studies. Some vaccines are in the final experimental stages. Unfortunately, there is no specific date for the production and sale of the vaccine commercially.”
He thanked His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik for his support to the health sector on behalf of MoH.
“We also thank PDO for its support to establish the field hospital. I wish all young people to cooperate with us to limit the spread of COVID-19. I hope everyone follows the precautionary measures, ignores rumours and believes information only from the right source,” Dr Sa’eedi said.
Spread over 6,100sqm, the field hospital has beds for mild and moderate cases, a temporary care section, a pharmacy, a laboratory and a radiology section. It will be run by a medical team from MoH comprising 30 doctors, 115 male and female nurses, seven lab technicians, seven assistant pharmacists and seven radiologists.
The field hospital will cover patients from the governorates of Muscat, South and North Batinah, Dakhliyah and North Sharqiyah. Other governorates will be covered in future if the need arises.
The establishment of the field hospital was a collaboration between a number of government and private authorities, including MoH, Civil Aviation Authority, Oman Airports, PDO, Royal Court Affairs and Royal Oman Police.