Maastricht convention center opens doors as temporary hospital from Monday

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The Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Centre is on track to begin taking in Covid-19 patients from Monday after workers spent a week converting the facility into a 276-bed temporary hospital. Located a short walk from the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), the MECC will be run as a temporary addition to the hospital strictly for coronavirus patients "who have been diagnosed with the virus, but for whom basic care is sufficient."

The 276 hospital beds, which will be confined to a single hall of the MECC, have been cordoned off from one another using dividers and curtains, according to local news service 1Limburg, with connection points being kept available for oxygen, electricity and data traffic. Staff at the facility will be able to keep their patients under observation, administer fluids and medicines intravenously, and will handle nutritional needs.

Patients will reportedly also have access to Wi-Fi facilities and to an iPad. According to MECC medical coordinator Taco Blokhuis, these facilities are in place to “enable people to make video calls home.” The hospital also had to take into account safety of everyone entering the facility, and thus no guests will be allowed in.

“Due to the fact that we will soon have patients test positive for Covid-19 here, no visitors will be received,” he adds. “So we’re trying to lighten things up a bit.”

The development of the cornavirus pandemic will determine if the extra capacity is utilized. As of Friday, the MUMC+ had not reached full capacity.

“We are still in the happy position that we can start in phases,” Blokhuis explains. “This is much better than waiting for panic because healthcare facilities everywhere are overflowing. We can now adjust everything in peace and guarantee the quality of care.”

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