Its 167m-long RoPax ferry Stena Saga is to be converted into a hospital ship with accommodation for 520 patients, Stena RoRo has announced. The work is likely to take two to three weeks and the ship’s potential availability has been notified to authorities in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Norway.
Originally built in 1981 with four refurbishments since then, the 590-cabin vessel will undergo internal alterations to ensure sufficient segregation between ship’s personnel and patients; its ventilation system will be rebuilt; and alarms, communications and interior furnishings will be replaced. It will not be equipped for intensive care.
Per Westling, Stena RoRo CEO, said: “The idea is to provide care for corona patients who need hospital care but not intensive care. There may also be a need for beds for patients who have left intensive care but still require medical care a while longer. Probably it’s mainly a matter of being able to relieve the load on conventional hospitals.”
Westling added that the company’s project manager on the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy, currently under construction at Tianjin Xingang Shipyard in China, is now in Sweden and likely to lead the project to convert the Stena Saga.
Until March 19th, the RoPax was deployed on the service between Oslo and Fredrikshamn. Since sailings were suspended on that date, the ship first sailed to Gothenburg but is now berthed at the quay in Uddevalla.