Noah’s Ark hospital in Madrid against Coronavirus


Ifema, the fairground of Madrid, has become the largest hospital in Spain to act as a retaining wall against the coronavirus.

This hospital was built in a race against time in Ifema, with the help of the Military Emergency Unit (UME). Most of the patients that have arrived there are mildly ill patients derived from the various hospital centers in the capital, which are totally overwhelmed.

The initiative is inspired by the ‘Noah’s Coffers’ in the Chinese city of Wuhan, epicenter of the global pandemic. This type of facility called Noah’s Ark was open for a little over a month, and minor cases were treated there in an attempt to contain the expansion of the coronavirus.

Its objective was to welcome a large number of patients with mild symptoms and thus to prevent the highly communicable disease from continuing to spread.

The city of Wuhan came to house 16 temporary hospitals that were installed in the Convention and Exhibition Center or in sports venues. Following the same idea, the regional Government of  Madrid has built this hospital center in record time

To begin with, in pavilion number 5, 300 conventional beds have been installed. On Tuesday 23rd morning, Pavilions 7 and 9 are scheduled to be operational with another 1,300 beds and 96 ICU posts. This number can be expanded to 3,000 and even to 5,000 beds if necessary.

In total, the site covers about 35,000 square meters, making Ifema the largest hospital in Spain. To get an idea of ​​the dimensions of the new compound, the Ramón y Cajal hospital, one of the biggest ones in Madrid, has 750 beds and the largest hospitals have around 1,000.

At the arrival point there is a triage area, a kind of reception where the data is taken and the patients are classified. After this first step, the patients access the hospitalization area where there are nursing controls and they are distributed based on sanitary criteria.

Another entrance area has also been enabled for health professionals to put on all self-protection measures and an exit tunnel, so that the material is decontaminated.

All the modules have 50 beds, expandable to 80. The separation of the beds will be three meters. All the modules are going to be exactly the same in such a way that knowing how to work in one you can work in anyone.

In the center of the pavilion, the bathroom containers and portable showers are installed, a work that is being carried out by the military. The installation of liquid oxygen tanks and distribution pipes under the two pavilions have also begun, a vital work to provide respiratory assistance to those affected.

In turn, a logistics support network is being created to support the tasks of assembly and distribution of materials. Material from all civil protections is being brought. Madrid municipality EMS SAMUR and regional EMS SUMMA are coordinating for the distribution of the material. A rest area is reserved also for the staff because working with the suits is quite exhausting.