China has completed the construction of an emergency hospital at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak within 10 days, Chinese state media say.
- The project has been called “mission impossible” due to the timeframe
- Construction was live-streamed around the clock on China’s state broadcasters
- The rapid number of infections has placed pressure on the country’s medical facilities
The 1,000-bed hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, was built to treat coronavirus patients and will start taking in patients today, according to Xinhua state media reports.
The makeshift hospital — called the Huoshenshan — will be staffed by some 1,400 medical staff from the Chinese armed forces.
The project was called “mission impossible” by Chinese officials due to the logistical challenges of completing a fully functional hospital within the timeframe.
The plan for the hospital was completed within five hours and a design draft was done within 24 hours, with thousands of workers operating 800 equipment simultaneously to complete the task in time.
“For a project of this scale, it usually takes at least two years,” project manager Fang Xiang told local media.
“It takes at least a month to construct a temporary building, not to mention a new hospital for infectious diseases.”
The progress of the construction was live-streamed around the clock on China’s state broadcasters.
Chinese health officials reported 361 deaths from the disease, confirmed more than 17,205 cases and cured 328 cases.
The rapid rise of infections within Wuhan have placed pressure on the region’s medical facilities, which failed to provide enough beds, forcing many patients to stay home for quarantine and treatment, state media reports.
The hospital is said to be a replica of the Xiaotangshan Beijing hospital built to treat and contain the deadly SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003, killing 774 globally.
The Huoshenshan hospital is one of two hospitals being built to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has now been labelled as a global “public health emergency” by the World Health Organisation.
The second, 1,500-bed Leishenshan hospital, is expected to be completed by February 5 and will open for patients the following day, state-owned media have reported.
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