Domestic energy giant China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) is helping Kuwait transform a local oil refinery project into a makeshift hospital to aid the country in its fight against an outbreak of COVID-19, as the number of confirmed cases rises and Kuwait moves to repatriate its citizens from abroad.
A subsidiary of Sinopec, Sinopec Fifth Construction Co, is helping transform a camp of the Al-Zour New Refinery Project (NRP) into a makeshift hospital to accommodate the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the company told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The makeshift hospital is scheduled to be completed by April 20, a Sinopec Fifth Construction employee surnamed Chen told the Global Times.
The camp was built for NRP workers, who totaled 4,500 during the peak construction period. It is located in the southern desert of Kuwait and covers 170,000 square meters, equivalent to the size of 24 football fields. There are 1,066 rooms and canteen, clinic and bathroom facilities.
“The Kuwaiti government chose our camp because it is in the desert, a good place for isolation. With its existing facilities, it can be converted into a makeshift hospital with little modification,” said Chen.
About 1,700 people will be admitted to the hospital, which will greatly promote the treatment and intensive isolation of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait, according to Sinopec’s announcement.
Six of the NRP’s 15 main oil-refining units, built by the Sinopec subsidiary, were handed over to its general contractor at the end of October 2019.
“After the project was delivered, more than 10 of our employees stayed on for maintenance. The camp was supposed to be used as a dormitory facility for a follow-up project. Our employees have now left, and the company is paying for their stay in Kuwait,” said Chen.
Kuwait had 1,300 confirmed cases as of Monday, and those receiving treatment at hospitals reached 1,148 patients, the Kuwait News Agency reported on Monday.
Kuwait also plans to repatriate 50,000 citizens stranded abroad.
“Increasing cases of the COVID-19, as well as an influx of returning Kuwaiti citizens, means the makeshift hospital is necessary to accommodate any increase in confirmed cases in Kuwait,” a medic surnamed Shi told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Source: Global Times
Hospital beds are placed in the canteen at a camp of Sinopec subsidiary Fifth Construction Co in Kuwait, which will be transformed into as makeshift hospital to combat the COVID-19. Photo: Courtesy of Sinopec Fifth Construction Co