By J. Jala | 10:30 PM February 03, 2020
A 1,000-bed hospital built in just 10 days to handle the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, China, welcomed its first patients Monday.
China’s state news agency Xinhua News Agency reported that the hospital was built specifically to handle patients infected with the novel coronavirus that has sickened thousands of people and left more than 360 dead.
The new hospital has a capacity for 1,000 beds, intensive care units and sections for diagnosis and infection control.
It took workers just 10 days to complete work on the Huoshenshan Hospital on the outskirts of the city with its 11 million residents, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, it said.
On Monday, the hospital — which covers 60,000 square meters (645,000 square ft) — opened its doors and welcomed its first patients, according to Chinese state media. There was no information about the patients or their conditions.
Construction of the hospital began on Jan. 24 with a crew of 7,000 people working around the clock. Live video of the construction site was carried by Chinese state media and showed the sheer scale and speed of the project.
A second dedicated hospital with 1,300 beds is also expected to be ready later this week.
Hundreds of doctors and medical personnel have been drafted in from China’s military to treat patients at the hospital, Xinhua also said.
Many of the 1,400 medical specialists have worked in the past to treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which the novel coronavirus is related to, and the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the agency added.