The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in the US is set to build a field hospital at the bottom floor of its parking garage to treat Covid-19 patients.
The federally staffed mobile hospital tent can provide treatment for up to 50 patients at a time, giving some relief to UMMC’s Emergency Department, where several admitted patients are held until a regular or intensive care unit bed opens up.
UMMC chief administrative officer Dr Jonathan Wilson said that the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Office of the Governor, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the UMMC requested for help from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Federal employees including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists will be deployed to work at the Covid-19 hospital.
The cost will be covered by the federal government.
The field hospital will provide treatment including iV infusion of monoclonal antibodies, which generally are administered in a hospital setting.
These antibodies will block the Covid-19 virus from attaching to human cells and make it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm.
UMMC Health Affairs vice chancellor Dr LouAnn Woodward said: “The big thing that will help us is to encourage people to get the vaccine, and when they are indoors or in a crowded situation, to wear a mask.
“We are trying to stop the rapid rise of new cases … to turn it around. That’s what we need to catch our breath, and to get around the corner.”
Over 90% of Covid-19 patients who are being treated at UMMC are not vaccinated.