A local developer has offered up one his properties in the event that London area hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
“This is a unique situation and we have to go forward and help,” Shmuel Farhi, the president of Farhi Holdings Corporation, said.
“We are fighting a war against an invisible enemy. We don’t know who the enemy is here, but, strangely enough, we’re all fighting to defeat it,” he added.
The uptick of cases in the province prompted Farhi to offer up a vacant 86,000 square-foot former fitness centre on Wellington Road South to the London Health Sciences Centre in case they need more space to treat patients during the pandemic.
“Our front line workers are sacrificing their lives and we must provide them with the resources they need during this unprecedented time,” he said.
Many European countries along with North American states like New York have repurposed large spaces which are typically used for conferences or entertainment events to house thousands of COVID-19 patients.
In Canada, provincial and municipal governments are gearing up to do the same if hospitals reach full capacity.
In an interview on the CBC’s London Morning, Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health for Middlesex-London, said plans are in the works in case a field hospital is needed.
Farhi said he chose the property on Wellington Road South because of its proximity to both Victoria Hospital and the 401.
“This is what I thought could best assist not only London, but Middlesex and Elgin,” he said.
With close to 2000 cases and 33 deaths in the province as of Tuesday, Ontario clinicians are bracing for a surge in COVID-19 cases, which could overwhelm hospitals and create a need to treat patients at unconventional sites.