Coronavirus: China builds hospital in 10 days

President Xi Jinping said controlling the virus was China's most important task.

In the provincial capital of Wuhan, 48 people died.

Xi presided over a special meeting of the top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, telling the Politburo standing committee on Monday the country must race against time to curb the spread of the virus.

Fears of the virus have spurred people in the densely-populated country of 1.4 billion to stock up on single-use surgical masks, while frontline medical personnel at the centre of the outbreak have reported equipment shortages.

The government has been live-streaming footage of the construction to show how it is responding to the outbreak. Officials say they were able to build the hospital so quickly because they used prefabricated modules that could be assembled on-site, and people worked around the clock in shifts to assemble the components. The first batch of patients are being transferred to Huoshenshan (Fire God Mountain) Hospital, which was delivered on Sunday after a 10-day construction.

Workers in Hubei province - where the virus epicentre of Wuhan is located - are not scheduled to return to their jobs until after February 13. City officials took the lead on building the structure, working with the country's health ministry and others.

Hong Kong was hit hard by SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2002-03, an illness from the same family of viruses as the current outbreak and which many believe was intensified by official Chinese secrecy and obfuscation.

In total, around 150 people have been infected with the new virus outside China. Wuhan's cases of infection had risen from 495 to 4,109 during the same period.

The CDC says an epidemic is an "increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area". On Friday, the U.

"I don't think that these two cases change the risk to the general public", said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

"We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent", Tedros told the World Health Organization executive board in Geneva, reiterating his message from last week when he declared an global emergency, Reuters reports.