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Two hospitals, two weeks: Time lapse shows China's speedy reaction to coronavirus

Two hospitals, two weeks: Time lapse shows China's speedy reaction to coronavirus”

Medical teams from the People's Liberation Army were arriving in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, to relieve overwhelmed health workers and to work at the new 1,000-bed hospital, located in the countryside far from the city center.

About half of the two-storey, 60,000-square-metre building is isolation wards, according to the government newspaper Yangtze Daily. It has 30 intensive care units.

According to the Associated Press, the two-story, 600,000-square-foot Huoshenshan building features doubled-sided cabinets and ventilation systems that essentially quarantine patients, allowing hospital staff to deliver supplies without entering their rooms. Hong Kong was severely impacted by the SARS outbreak, which many believe was intensified by official Chinese secrecy and obfuscation.

The construction process has been live streamed by Chinese state media, providing an aerial view of how China is taking steps to fight the outbreak of coronavirus.

An aerial photo of the Wuhan hospital.

The Wuhan treatment centers mark the second time Chinese leaders have responded to a new disease by building specialized hospitals nearly overnight. As severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread in 2003, a facility in Beijing for patients with that viral disease was constructed in a week. The government has yet to say whether it might be used for patients with the new disease.

Health authorities released updated figures of 361 deaths and 17,205 confirmed cases, an increase of 2,829 over a 24-hour period, as other countries continued evacuating citizens from hardest-hit Hubei province and restricted the entry of Chinese or people who recently travelled in the country.

A new medical facility in the city of Wuhan opened its doors to patients Monday after just 10 days of construction, marking the latest effort by Chinese officials to stymie the rapidly spreading coronavirus that has sickened more than 17,000 people in the country. They gave no details of the patients' identities or conditions.

The Philippines on Sunday reported the first coronavirus fatality outside China, hours after President Rodrigo Duterte was reported to be set to issue a travel ban on visitors from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, to curb the spread of the disease.

Wuhan, a city of around 11 million, has been on lockdown since January 23 after it became the scene of the first outbreak of the previously unknown form of coronavirus - a group of illnesses that includes SARS.

In a sign of the economic toll of the outbreak, China's Shanghai Composite index plunged 8.7 percent as financial markets reopened Monday following the Lunar New Year holiday.



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