The first of China’s emergency medical centres, that have been built to control the spread of the coronavirus that has already killed more than 100 people, has opened after just 48 hours of construction.
Workers and volunteers in Huanggang City managed to put the work in to get the doors open on the Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre, which will provide treatment for around 1,000 patients, in just 48 hours.
This facility, one of four emergency treatment bases being established by the authorities, was converted from an empty building.
The other facilities in nearby Wuhan – the epicentre of the viral outbreak – are being built from the ground up in a method similar to that used to combat the SARS outbreak of 2003.
The Huanggang City authorities said that the work that was completed so quickly was thanks to the combined efforts of construction staff, paramilitary police officers, and utility companies.
This new building is in the city’s Huangzhou District and was originally supposed to act as a brand new branch of the Huanggang Central Hospital until the new problems emerged and superseded that need.
It was originally scheduled to open in May, according to the local government.
The revamping works started on Saturday after the go-ahead to convert the place into a specialist facility for containing the spread of the coronavirus on Friday.
By Monday, they had water, power, and internet installed and were practically ready for the arrival of patients.
Huanggang is about 75 kilometres to the south west of Wuhan, and has been one of the places that has been worst affected by the virus.
The city has a population of around 7.5m and went into lockdown last Thursday, the same day that Wuhan was also locked off.
The Chinese authorities extended the New Year holiday in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Drone footage emerged yesterday that shows the progress that is already being made on the Fire God Mountain Hospital in Wuhan, another of the facilities that is being built from scratch, after just four days of work.
That hospital is expected to begin taking patients in by 3 February.
As well as those two projects, another hospital is being built in Wuhan called Leishanshan, or Thunder God Mountain Hospital, and a third in Zhenzhou in Henan Province.
In total, the escalating crisis and lockdowns as a result of it have led to 56m being under effective quarantine.
A total of 106 people, all from China, have died so far. Sickness has been reported by 4,592 people, although scientists believe the number of people infected could be much higher.