Carnival offers cruise ships as temporary hospitals during coronavirus fight

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Miami-based Carnival Corp. announced Thursday it would be using cruise ships from four of its brands to serve as temporary hospitals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s largest cruise line suggested its ships could be used mainly to treat non-coronavirus patients, in order to free up beds in land-based hospitals for COVID-19 patients. The company said it could provide up to 1,000 hospital rooms and would be able to quickly provide the necessary medical equipment, including intensive care units.

The announcement came after President Trump said at a White House press conference that he had spoken with Carnival Chairman Micky Arison about the possibility.

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Trump said during a briefing that he would present the offer to New York and California during a teleconference later Thursday with all 50 governors.

Carnival employees would provide things such as food and beverage, cleaning services, and would work with local medical personnel to handle the treatment of patients, a statement read.

"These temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship’s high-speed network -- providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities," Carnival said in a statement. "The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed."

Two U.S. Navy hospital ships will also join the effort to fight the novel coronavirus.

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Florida so far has 360 confirmed cases and 9 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.