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Israeli hospital turns coronavirus ward into bomb-shelter neonatal unit

The neonatal unit is the first to be transferred in a secured area, but a spokesperson for the center explained that they have the capability to move up to 600 beds underground.

 

Sheba Medical Center turned an underground parking lot that had previously served as a coronavirus ward into a bomb-shelter neonatal unit on Friday. Several dozen babies were moved there.

The hospital, located in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is one of the largest in the country and in the past few days has endured several rocket alerts.

The neonatal unit is the first to be transferred to a secured area, but a spokesperson for the center explained that they have the capability to move up to 600 beds underground.

As the pandemic raged, the hospital set up a corona unit in its parking lot for COVID patients who were critically ill. The unit had some 40 beds.

As the coronavirus numbers dramatically dropped, hospitals closed their special wards. The Sheba area returned to serve as a parking lot.

In southern and central Israel, several hospitals are relocating units that are in non-protected parts of their buildings to secured areas.

On Thursday, Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot announced it reorganized its structure to move several wards treating patients unable to evacuate in the event of a rocket attack to secured areas.

Some 180 patients were relocated and some departments were merged.

“The safety of patients and hospital staff is our number one priority,” Director of Kaplan Medical Center Dr. Sarit Avishai-Eliner said. “From the beginning of Operation Guardians of the Walls, and as fire against our area increased, we have decided to relocate the departments situated on the upper floors.”

“We are following the developments, and we will continue to be prepared for any scenario and give the best medical care and response to our patients, despite the security threats,” she added.

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