In autumn, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health prepared a field hospital in the Prague Exhibition Centre in Letňany, preparing to take in patients should the regular hospitals overflow. The hope was to not have to use it, but as the number of cases continues its spike, the Ministry of Health has got the makeshift hospital on standby, capable of opening up within 24 hours.
On Thursday, consideration of opening up shop in Letňany began when over 1,500 new patients were admitted to domestic hospitals within the previous six days, bringing the current number of hospitalized people to over 7,100. In the same period, over 62,000 people became newly infected.
Bulovka University Hospital, in Prague 8, will be in charge of the field hospital set up in Letňany. Jan Kvaček, director of the hospital said “it’s up to the Ministry” whether they begin operations in the Exhibition Center or not, adding that they’re still waiting for instructions.
Jana Zechmeisterová, from the press department of the Ministry of Defense, says that the military is currently guarding the facility, and there are three staff members on shift inside maintaining the equipment and acting as a link between the facility and its headquarters in Bulovka.
The Czech Republic will join a growing list of other countries who claim they require additional field hospitals to keep up with the flow of COVID-19 patients “overwhelming” regular hospitals, including Canada, the U.S, and the U.K.
Jan Kulveit, a co-creator of the PES system that the country uses to measure the severity of the pandemic and impose restrictions, stated on Facebook that he estimates that by summer, the number of people in the Czech Republic dead from coronavirus will increase to 30,000.