The hospital was built in 48 hours and can accommodate 1,000 patients. Photo: Xinhua
WUHAN: A new 1,000-bed coronavirus hospital has opened in a city close to Wuhan where the outbreak of the disease began. The Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre started receiving patients at 10.30 pm last night after workers spent just 48 hours converting an empty building.
More than 500 construction workers, electricians, and police worked around the clock to open the hospital in the Huangzhou District. It was originally intended to be a hospital that would open in May, but faced with the growing threat of the spread of coronavirus they managed to complete the task much sooner.
Local authorities announced on Friday that the building would be converted and work started on Saturday. Yesterday, it had water, electricity, and internet, ready for patients. An even more ambitious building project is underway in Wuhan itself where authorities have given a deadline of Monday for another large hospital in the city.
Four hospitals are being built in super-quick time, using pre-fabricated buildings and modeled on a medical center built in Beijing in 2003 in seven days to tackle SARS.
The death toll in mainland China following the outbreak of coronavirus has risen to 132 while nearly 6,000 people are infected, authorities have said. There were 26 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, with all but one recorded in Hubei province.
Wuhan is building two hospitals in a matter of days to add 2,500 beds for the treatment of patients with the virus. Experts worry the new virus may spread more easily than originally thought or may have mutated into a form that does so. The coronavirus family is responsible for causing the common cold as well as more serious illnesses such as SARS.
(With inputs from Agencies)