Civil Protection

Porto. field hospital set up to handle Covid-19 patients closes but remains in standby

  • Article



The field hospital "Porto." that was set up at Super Bock Arena- Pavilhão Rosa Mota, to handle coronavirus patients a month ago will close by the end of the week but it will be fully operational again if needed. 

Now that public hospitals in Porto have internment capacity for patients, the field hospital will be shut down. This means that the entire structure is maintained in stand by and will be ready for rapid deployment if there is the need to accommodate patients from a second Covid-19 wave.

This unity was set up by Porto City Hall, in collaboration with other entities, upon a protocol signed by both public hospitals in the city of Porto and the Northern Regional Medical Association. The Mission Hospital received patients as of 14th April.

If things go as planned, the remaining patients will be discharged on 15th May and the Field Hospital, where 300 doctors, nurses and cleaning staff worked on a volunteer basis, will be closed and cleaned. It will be in standby.

Should there be a second wave of this pandemic, and both pubic hospitals cannot accommodate patients or are overburdened, this unity can be deployed in a matter of days. The field hospital shall be in place till 31st July.

The hospital has received circa three dozen patients, which means a 20% capacity occupancy. The hospital had 150 beds on the lower level, which could have been activated if needed.

The hospital's first mission was to accommodate residents from longterm care facilities that were compromised by Covid-19.

Fortunately, the systematic testing performed by the Municipality had extraordinary results, and it made it possible to alleviate internment needs.

Once both public hospitals in Porto showed the need to have extra internment capacity, this hospital was set to receive Covi-19 patients, displaying mild symptoms.

Porto City Hall is very pleased with the project's development; not only social action teams were relieved the Municipality had backup solutions, but also health care centres could promote senior's internment when needed.

According to Rui Moreira, "the Field Hospital was not an isolated or individual project; it fit in a plan to fight Covid-19 in various ways. The first measures were the one taken before the Emergency State. The second measures were related to taking care of the main risk group, the elderly at nursing homes. To doing that, it was necessary to create a screening and testing system - over 70 in the city - as a backup, and the Field Hospital was our safety, but also the Youth Hostel and the Seminar of Vilar. This last one was not needed". 

Regarding operation costs, the Municipality has not yet assessed all operational costs, but all contracts with suppliers, namely cleaning, hospital waste treatment or meals were contracted while anticipating that the activity would be interrupted.

Also, the facility was lent by the operator at no cost and the beds were loaned by the army. The assembly costs and running operations should not surpass the amount of the donations received through the fund raising campaign held by RTP and also donations by business angels.

Porto was the first city in Portugal to take the impact of Covid-19 infected people, mainly because of its links to Northern Italy. After a few weeks, Porto remains below the reported cases of Lisbon, number one in the country with Covid-19 reported infections.