Wuhan to build 19 more makeshift hospitals to contain epidemic




Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, plans to build another 19 makeshift hospitals to receive more infected patients, local authorities said Friday.

Upon completion, all makeshift hospitals in Wuhan are expected to offer 30,000 beds by February 25, said Hu Yabo, deputy mayor of Wuhan at a press briefing.

To date, Wuhan has converted 13 existing venues into temporary hospitals, with a total of 13,348 beds, and about 9,313 beds have been put into use to treat patients with mild symptoms, said Hu.

To improve their medical treatment capability, every makeshift hospital will be supplied with CT scanners and other medical equipment including ECG monitors (a device used to analyze patients' heart rhythm and other cardiac issues), Hu added.

Meanwhile, among these makeshift hospitals is one converted from a factory. It will boast the largest number of beds among the city's makeshift hospitals.

The construction of Rihai temporary hospital with 3,690 beds was completed and passed checks on Thursday, according to one of its constructors, China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) Second Harbour Engineering Company.

The hospital was converted from four empty plants, covering a total area of 54,000 square meters.

Liu Yiquan, the project chief with the company, said ventilation and air purification systems were added in the hospital to ensure air quality, which he said posed a major challenge for isolation wards of a large size. The wastewater produced by the hospital will also be disinfected before discharge, Liu said.

Apart from air-conditioning, shower rooms and mobile toilets, the hospital is also complete with leisure areas, including libraries, movie areas and snack bars for patients to read and relax.

Wuhan's temporary hospitals, converted from gyms and convention and exhibition centers, have been set up as the city faces a shortage of beds amid the coronavirus epidemic. The hospitals are meant mainly to treat patients with mild symptoms.

About 72 medical teams from other regions of China have been dispatched to these temporary hospitals to aid local colleagues to treat patients and contain the virus spread. A total of 32,572 medical personnel from across China have been sent to save lives here.

The total number of confirmed cases in hard-hit Wuhan was 49,063 as of Friday.

Across the Chinese mainland, more than 75,000 people have been infected and 2,236 have died from the virus.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency