Vilnius is preparing for all scenarios: the City planned for involving regions and setting up a temporary hospital


Having successfully set up mobile test units and fever clinics in a very short time, the City of Vilnius has also prepared for the third step in the fight against the COVID-19 virus for increasing the number of hospital beds, if necessary. An algorithm was developed to determine the order in which medical institutions in Vilnius would be opened to patients in need of intensive care, with the establishment of a new temporary hospital with 2 000 beds at the last stage, if needed.

According to this algorithm, the plan is to leave the Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinic (VULSK) at the front line in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. In the second stage, after VULSK fills up, patients would be referred to Vilnius Republican Hospital (RVUL) in Lazdynai and M. Marcinkevičius Hospital. After 75% of the latter hospitals fill up, additional capacities of the VULSK and RVUL hospitals would be involved, also adding other hospitals of Vilnius region – Vilnius City Clinical Hospital, S. Kudirka Hospital in Alytus, Ukmergė Hospital, and setting up a temporary hospital in Vilnius.

According to estimates, in the worst-case scenario, a temporary hospital with about 2 000 beds would be necessary in Vilnius: 300 resuscitation and intensive care, and another 1700 beds with oxygen system.

In the fourth stage, all the beds of the temporary hospital would be used to the maximum, involving hospitals of smaller cities of Vilnius region, including Elektrėnai, Švenčionys, Druskininkai, Šalčininkai and Trakai.

While we expect that the worst-case scenario will not happen, we want to prepare for it in advance. The Gediminas Legion which the City of Vilnius brought together of volunteers, including architects, helped to create plans for adapting various public facilities for temporary hospitals. Since finding a single building, which would accommodate a 2 000-bed hospital doesn’t seem likely, plans are being made to spread it over several spaces.

The plans developed by Do Architects studio include Siemens and Jeep arenas, which could accommodate 680 to 1 200 beds, depending on their layout. If necessary, the City of Vilnius is determined to also adapt other spacious premises to this end, considering places from indoor football arenas to the Litexpo exhibition center.

Possibilities to set up hospitals in all Vilnius schools were also assessed. Schools were divided into 10 types, preparing bed layout plans. However, schools would be used in the worst-case scenario only – the adaptation of sports and entertainment facilities is expected to be sufficient to meet the need for temporary hospitals in the Vilnius region in full.