Israel opens first designated coronavirus hospital

The converted Sharon Hospital in Petah Tikva has 200 beds and 1,400 staff

Israel’s first designated hospital for treating coronavirus patients opened its doors and received its first patients Thursday.

The Sharon Hospital in Petah Tikva was converted into a 200-bed facility in less than two weeks after all its patients were transferred to other hospitals and the 1,400-strong staff received training in treating coronavirus patients and self-protection against infection with the disease, which has so far claimed the lives of eight people in Israel.

The hospital, part of the Rabin Medical Center complex, has 40 mechanical respiratory ventilators and four ECMO life support machines that replace the function of the heart and lungs. Most of the treatment will be administered remotely, through five command and control centers with closed-circuit cameras.

Some 37 coronavirus patients are already hospitalized in the facility, five of them in serious condition, including a 46-year-old man with preexisting medical conditions and a 38-year-old man with no preexisting conditions.

“I am proud to be at the helm of a hospital that has taken on a mission of national importance,” said Dr. Eitan Chaver, the head of the Sharon Hospital. “The mission is complex and challenging.”

Dr. Eithan Wertheimer, the director of the Rabin Medical Center, said the hospital was the first in Israel to be able to offer wide-scale hospitalization in isolation conditions.

“In addition to the fact that this is the first hospital of its kind in Israel, it is unique in that it can offer the entire apparatus of surgical theaters and recuperation rooms for any intrusive surgery that may be required by coronavirus patients.”

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