Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), part of MSC Group, has converted its Splendid ferry into a floating hospital equipped for patients with Covid-19 and those convalescing
GNV began working on the project with class society RINA in early March, in close co-ordination with Italy’s Liguria Health System and Civil Protection. MSC said “Together they defined a suitable solution that could be implemented in a very short period to increase Liguria’s hospital capacity and, where necessary, to serve other areas of the country”.
MSC said the project has a high level of flexibility and scalability and can be quickly adapted to meet the future needs of the Liguria Region as the Covid-19 emergency evolves.
Stationed at Ponte Colombo in Genoa’s ferry terminal, the current solution offers 25 beds in single cabins – although it is possible to equip additional cabins up to a total of 400 beds. The floating hospital features a heliport and dedicated areas for healthcare personnel and crew, organised to “guarantee suitable standards, comfort and flexibility”.
MSC highlighted the importance of RINA’s contribution, saying it has been “core to the project, thanks to its knowhow in the field of certifications and inspections in the maritime sector, which the company has provided free of charge.”
It added “RINA verified that the new floating hospital complied with current regulations, identifying the correct balance between safety protection, naval regulations, the medical needs of a hospital indicated by ASL, the regional healthcare authority, and the urgent need to find a means of helping authorities and the National Health Service to address the fight against Covid-19.”
Numerous partners have made available products and services free of charge to equip the ship with all the necessary supplies, including HP-Aruba, Alpha Trading, Artigo Rubber Flooring, San Giorgio del Porto, Auscomar, ItalBrokers, Le Navi Maritime Agency, Burger King, Covim, Emis, Giunti Editore, IdealService, Infomaster, Mantero Sistemi, Provveditoria Marittima Ligure Angelo Novelli and Ansaldo Naval Technical Studio.
Other passenger ship operators are considering converting ships temporarily to assist with the coronavirus outbreak. Carnival Corp announced that select cruise ships from the company’s global cruise line brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia, will be made available to communities to use as temporary hospitals to help address the escalating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on healthcare systems around the world.
Elsewhere, RINA is leveraging remote technologies for vessel inspections in response to Covid-19.
The Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry has approved using RINA’s remote technology to inspect Liberia-flagged vessels. Shipowner d’Amico will take advantage of this facility in a pilot case on its fleet.
RINA said that as the marine industry adjusts to the constraints placed on people’s movements imposed by national governments to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, remote ship inspection has gathered pace. This move could shortly be followed by other flag administrations.