A group of 72 elderly residents have been moved from the Sant’Anna ward at the Gozo General Hospital to the Downtown Hotel in Victoria.

Steward Health Care Malta said it completed the transfer on Friday as part of its COVID-19 contingency plan.

The hotel was made available three weeks ago through cooperation with the Gozo Ministry in order to free up space at the hospital to be able to cater for more COVID-19 patients.

So far, the hospital has 41 beds available for COVID-19 patients. The transfer of the elderly patients will free up another 80.

Throughout the past weeks new motorised beds and other mobility equipment was installed at the hotel, together with nurse call systems, storage of clinical and nonclinical supplies, and shower facilities for staff.

The downstairs area has been converted into dining and recreational facilities and now also hosts a chapel.

All patient rooms are twin rooms with television and ensuite bathroom facilities.

The residents will be looked after by the same hospital staff to minimise disorientation and ensure continuity of care.

All residents and staff have been swabbed for COVID-19.

One hotel worker was found to be positive prior to the move and was sent home to quarantine.

The hotel was disinfected twice over a 24-hour period and full infection control measures are being taken to safeguard the residents and staff.

All staff are provided with appropriate PPEs, in line with guidelines from the Infection Control Unit at Mater Dei, Steward Malta said in a statement.

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