What You Should Know:
– Rambam opens the largest COVID-19 facility in Israel for COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a fortified underground emergency hospital.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Israel, Rambam Health Care Campus has opened the largest COVID-19 treatment center in Israel. COVID-19 patients at Rambam Health Care Campus are now being hospitalized in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital, which opened earlier today for the first time since its completion in 2014. Located 16.5 meters below ground level, this dedicated coronavirus treatment center will contain 770 beds, including 170 for patients on ventilators.
The facility is a fully-equipped hospital, containing an emergency room, operating rooms, an intensive care unit, three coronavirus departments, a pediatrics area, a delivery room, and a dialysis treatment area. Notes Dr. Michael Halberthal, Rambam’s General Director, “We have invested a great deal of time and effort in this project while hoping that we would never be forced to reach this point.”
Rambam began preparing the infrastructure during the first wave of the pandemic, following a request by Israel’s Ministry of Health. The underground hospital was built to be used during biological, chemical, and conventional attacks, protecting those inside from above-ground threats and contamination. Repurposing the hospital for use as a COVID-19 facility required the planners to alter its infrastructure to keep the area outside safe from the virus within. “Rambam is world-renowned for its expertise in trauma and mass-casualty situations, and our experience in successfully handling these scenarios has helped to ensure our readiness for the current national emergency,” explains Dr. Halberthal, adding, “We believe this situation will remain through the winter.”