Jan 29 (DailyMail) – China’s first coronavirus hospital has opened today in a city near Wuhan after workers and volunteers spent just two days converting an empty building to a 1,000-bed emergency facility.
The first batch of coronavirus patients were transferred to the Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre at around 10:30pm local time today, reported local media.
The project was completed within 48 hours thanks to the joint effort of staff from construction firms, utility companies, and paramilitary police officers, the city’s authority said.
The hospital building in the city’s Huangzhou District was originally built as a new branch of Huanggang Central Hospital and expected to open in May.
On Friday, the local authority ordered the building, which was completed but empty, to be used for treating coronavirus patients only.
Revamping works started from Saturday.
By Monday, all of the beds had been set up by volunteers, and water, electricity and internet had also been installed, according to the government of Huanggang.
Footage released by China’s Cover News shows medical workers familiarising themselves with the facility today before the patients started to arrive.
More than 500 workers and a dozen heavy vehicles worked two days and nights in order to complete the task on time.
Situated 75 kilometres (46.6 miles) south-west of Wuhan, Huanggang has a population of around 7.5 million and is one of the cities that have been hit by the coronavirus the hardest.
It went into lockdown last Thursday, the same day as Wuhan.
The coronavirus has killed at least 131 people – all in China – and sickened nearly 6,000 worldwide.
As of yesterday, four people from Huanggang have been killed by the deadly virus and 213 people have been infected.
Although the Huanggang coronavirus hospital was the first to open, it was not the first to be planned.
The government of Wuhan announced last Thursday that they would build a coronavirus hospital in a week.
There are at least four of such facilities completed or being completed in the country.
All of them are modeled on a temporary medical centre in Beijing in 2003, which was built in seven days to tackle SARS and treated one-seventh of the country’s SARS patients in the space of two months.
The authority of Wuhan is building two special facilities to treat a total of 2,300 coronavirus patients.