Virus field hospital set up in Melbourne
New York's Central Park transformed into a field hospital back in March while in Canberra, where there are no active coronavirus cases, a similar facility has gone completely unused.
But in Victoria, a 30-bed "urgent care clinic" has only just been established at the Melbourne Showgrounds after the state recorded more than 300 COVID-19 cases in three days.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced 127 new cases on Monday, making it the highest daily total for the state since the pandemic began.
Of the new cases, 26 are residents locked down under detention directions in North Melbourne and Flemington. There are now 53 cases linked to the public housing towers.
Two deaths from COVID-19 were also announced in Victoria in the 24 hours to Monday morning - a man in his 90s and a man in his 60s.
Mr Andrews said there are 31 infected patients in hospital including five in intensive care.
"To further assist with the triage and treatment of patients in lock down the Royal Melbourne Hospital has partnered with St John Ambulance to establish a 30-bed urgent care clinic at the Showgrounds to provide critical and comprehensive first aid to residents if needed," the Department of Health and Human Services said on Monday.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Twitter clarified the clinic, just over four kilometres from the hospital, is to care for the "housing residents".
To assist with the triage & treatment of patients in lockdown the @TheRMH has partnered with @StJohnVic to establish a 30-bed urgent care clinic at Melbourne Showgrounds to provide critical & comprehensive first-aid to housing residents if needed https://t.co/751aSBHBF6 #springst pic.twitter.com/g6g1Plcn63— Jenny Mikakos MP #StayHomeSaveLives (@JennyMikakos) July 6, 2020
The Royal Melbourne Hospital said "countless staff members" had worked around the clock on the weekend to get the clinic ready.
"As valued residents of our community, you are our highest priority," the hospital said.
"We are working hard to deliver assistance to you as quickly as possible."
Melbournians need our support more than ever. Which is why we've partnered with @TheRMH & @VicGovDHHS to set up an Urgent Care Clinic at the Showgrounds providing medical care to local residents. The mammoth effort St John volunteers have put in has to be commended - we thank you pic.twitter.com/L2IzEgesHW— St John (VIC) (@StJohnVic) July 6, 2020
The field hospital has the capacity for critical patient care including a resuscitation bay.
"We can, if the patient deteriorates, resuscitate them and put them on a ventilator," St John Ambulance incident commander Daniel Ciccosillo told Nine.
Originally published as Virus field hospital set up in Melbourne