First patients admitted to new China coronavirus hospital built in 10 days

  • First patients admitted to new China coronavirus hospital built in 10 days

First patients admitted to new China coronavirus hospital built in 10 days

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force has dispatched eight large transport aircraft to Wuhan, with 795 military medical staff and 58 tonnes of supplies on board to help the city fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, two specialised hospitals for the treatment of the new type of coronavirus, were built in record time and will begin receiving patients on Monday and Thursday next week, respectively.

Footage released today by Changjiang Daily on social media shows masked medics donning military uniforms gathering in Huoshenshan Hospital, or Fire God Mountain Hospital, preparing to treat the sufferers.

Amid accusations of a slow official response to the outbreak, six officials in the city of Huanggang, next to Wuhan in Hubei province, were fired over "poor performance" in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

With an area of 75,000 square meters, the Leishenshan (Thunder God Mountain) Hospital which accommodates 1,500 beds is expected to receive patients on February 6, according to Zhou.

Reopening of schools was also delayed to keep the virus from spreading further in hardest-hit central Hubei province, where the specialized hospital in the provincial capital Wuhan was completed in just 10 days. It has 30 intensive care units.

The Huoshenshan temporary field hospital under construction is seen as it nears completion in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province Sunday Feb. 2 2020. The Philippines on Sunday reported the first death from a new virus outside of China where author
The Huoshenshan temporary field hospital under construction is seen as it nears completion in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. Image credit AP

Doctors can talk with outside experts over a video system that links them to Beijing's PLA General Hospital, according to the Yangtze Daily.

It will specifically handle patients infected with the novel coronavirus, and will be overseen by 1,400 medical staff from the Chinese armed forces, some with experience fighting infectious diseases such as SARS, reports Efe news.

In other cities, the government has designated hospitals to handle cases of the new virus. In April 2003, Beijing built a similar, 1,000-bed facility in the town of Xiaotangshan. The government has yet to say whether it might be used for patients with the new disease.

The viral outbreak has infected more than 17,300 people globally, with 57 more confirmed dead within the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 361.

Japanese officials were deciding whether to quarantine more than 3,000 people on a cruise ship which carried a passenger who tested positive for the virus.

Coronavirus has now surpassed the 2003 Sars outbreak in deadliness, with 362 fatalities recorded as of today by Johns Hopkins University, and 17,485 confirmed cases, nearly all in China. They gave no details of the patients' identities or conditions.