Steward Healthcare, the operator of three state hospitals, has made 138 beds available should a major COVID-19 outbreak hit Malta.
In a social media post, Steward explained that in Gozo, there are ten new ICU beds for critically ill patients in need of mechanical ventilation and 100 non-ICU beds. At the same time, there Is a 28-bed ward at Karin Grech Hospital in Pieta available.
The statement came after The Shift News claimed that Steward was making no apparent contribution to the current situation, explaining that all COVID-19 patients were being sent to Mater Dei hospital in Malta.
Steward explained that they are following the government’s directions. However, they said that this “ is expected to change in the coming weeks as the number of cases grow”.
“Our leadership works in close cooperation with that of Mater Dei, meeting regularly and collaborating in terms of expertise and guidance, in a situation that is unpredictable and unchartered.”
“Always in the best interest of our patients and the communities that we serve. Similarly, for our doctors and nurses, and other hospital staff, who liaise with their colleagues at Mater Dei on a regular basis. But who are working just as hard to ensure that our hospitals are as prepared as they can be.”
“We also work very closely with the Ministry for Gozo to ensure that the needs of the Gozitan community are understood and catered for.”
“We all have a role to play in this pandemic. We must continue to look to the health authorities for their guidance and leadership in this national emergency, while doing our part to ensure that the spread is contained, our communities health needs seen to, and that patients testing positive are given the best treatment possible.” the statement read.
Currently, visitors to any of the Steward-run hospitals have been restricted to the bare minimum, and all are screened before entering the hospitals. Swabbing and testing is being led by the Department of Public Health.
Malta now has 73 registered coronavirus patients, out of which two have officially recovered. One man is currently in ITU battling the illness. Local transmission has continued.