Jeddah's first coronavirus field hospital opens as cases rise

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The 500-bed facility in the exhibition centre will open to a limited number of cases before eventually expanding to ease pressure on local hospitals

The Jeddah Health Affairs Department opened its first field hospital on Sunday to treat Covid-19 patients in an effort to alleviate hospitals overrun with virus patients. Handout image

The Jeddah Health Affairs Department opened its first field hospital on Sunday to treat COVID-19 patients in an effort to alleviate hospitals overrun with virus patients. The 500-bed facility is located at the Jeddah Center for Exhibitions and Events and was set up on an area covering 8,000 square meters.

The 500-bed facility is located at the Jeddah Center for Exhibitions and Events and was set up on an area covering 8,000 square meters. Handout image

A Saudi man wearing a protective face mask performs the Friday prayers inside the Al Rajhi Mosque, after the announcement of the easing of lockdown measures amid the coronavirus disease in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. REUTERS

Muslims perform the Friday prayers inside the Masjid Al Nabawi while practising social distancing, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Madina, Saudi Arabia June 5, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

A security man checks the worshipers before they perform the Friday prayers inside the Al Rajhi Mosque while practising social distancing. Reuters

Women pick up their order from a restaurant in a shopping mall in the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP

Women shopping at a mall in the Saudi capital Riyadh as they wear face masks. AFP

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Salah Fareed

June 8, 2020

June 8, 2020

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The Jeddah Centre for Exhibitions and Events reopened on Sunday as a field hospital for Covid-19 patients in an effort to alleviate hospitals overrun with cases.

The 500-bed facility now takes up the 8,000 square meter exhibition centre.

Its large white tents house rows of hospital beds as well as a laboratory, pharmacy and X-ray machines.

According to Ali Al Shihri, the site supervisor, the field hospital will open for a trial run with 20 patients in order to ensure the site is properly established and the needed equipment is in place before taking more admissions.

"This is done as a precautionary measure for Covid-19 patients in case they need to have ventilation and then ICU healthcare," he said.

The hospital will have a capacity of 500 beds once it becomes fully operational and includes all the needed auxiliary medical departments including laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and medical supplies.

The site will only take Covid-19 positive patients who require medical assistance.

Saudi Arabia passed 100,000 cases on Sunday and for the second day in a row, the number of new cases was above 3,000.

As of Sunday, the number of cases in the kingdom had reached 105,283, with 746 deaths. So far 74,524 have recovered.

The kingdom has eased some restrictions in much of the country, allowing people to leave their homes, to pray at mosques and meet in small groups. This follows a week’s long day-long curfew in much of the country to try and stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Travel into and out of the country is closed except for Saudi nationals being repatriated or foreigners in the kingdom being flown home.

Updated: June 8, 2020 05:58 PM

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