KUWAIT: Col Dr Raed Al-Tajalli, director of the quarantine camp, speaks to Kuwait Times. - Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The ministry of defense has prepared a massive quarantine camp for expats who have recovered from coronavirus, where they can spend two weeks in isolation, in addition to other cases of institutional quarantine. This camp is located at the defense camp in Subhan with a capacity of more than 1,000 beds, around half of which are occupied at present. The first group of patients arrived on April 5.

"Recovered patients, after leaving the hospital, are brought to this camp to stay for 14 days in quarantine to make sure they are 100 percent clear, especially since most of them are 'bachelors' who stay with many other roommates. The tents here are of different sizes, but all are according to conditions and instructions of the ministry of health, including allowing for social distancing with all medical equipment. All tents are equipped with air-conditioning units too," Col Dr Raed Al-Tajalli, director of the quarantine camp, told Kuwait Times during a tour of the camp.

This is the second phase of operations. "In the first phase, we received suspected cases or those who were in contact with infected patients. Now there are only a few such cases, and the majority are recovered patients. We are only at half capacity," he added.

Emergency clinic
The quarantine camp also includes a clinic for minor health issues and a field emergency clinic. "This clinic is equipped with 11 beds and two resuscitation beds. The clinic is ready for any emergency case. Our medical services are ready 24/7. It's fully equipped with all necessary medical equipment inside and outside the clinic. We also have an emergency gathering point for any emergency or evacuation," explained Tajalli.

"We are cooperating closely with the ministry of health, and they arrange swab tests for patients with results between 24 to 48 hours. The patients are transferred from our camp to the hospital under the supervision of doctors from the health ministry along with their files from our clinic with their full medical history that is prepared according to the system of the health ministry. All medical staff working in this camp are from the ministry of defense," he said.

"Special staff from MoH sterilize the place daily and also spray our staff working here daily. Also, the fire department helped us with organizing safety measures between the tents including the paths, exits and entrances, placing fire extinguishers and so on," he pointed out.

Patients can move around the tent. "Also, each group of recovered patients is placed in the same section of tents, so they don't mix with other groups. There is a toilet cabin for each tent, and all services are available for patients including three meals a day. But if they want to order food from outside, they are free to do so. There are some sports facilities too, but they were closed due to the ministry's precautionary measures to maintain social distancing," Tajalli added.