China to build 1,000-bed hospital within a week

RNS: China has pledged to build a new 1000-bed hospital within six days in Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus that is sweeping across the country and through Asia. The facility, built specifically to contain and treat the virus, will be located on a 25,000 square metre (269,000 square feet).
According to the media reports, the new hospital is being built around a holiday complex originally intended for local workers, set in gardens by a lake on the outskirts of the city, the official Changjiang Daily reported on Friday. Prefabricated buildings that will have 1,000 beds will be put up, it said.
Building machinery, including 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers, arrived at the site on Thursday night, with the aim to get the new facility ready by Monday, the paper added.
“The construction of this project is to solve the shortage of existing medical resources,” the report said. “Because it will be prefabricated buildings, it will not only be built fast but it also won’t cost much.”
China State Construction Engineering, one of the companies building the hospital, said on Friday it was “doing all it can and would overcome difficulties” to play its part, adding it now had more than 100 workers on the site.
Notably, China has a record of getting things done fast even for monumental projects like this. An official said, engineers would be brought in from across the country in order to complete construction in time. They have records of building skyscrapers at speed. This is very hard for westerners to imagine. It can be done, he said.

Changjiang Daily reported, this hospital aims to copy the experience of Beijing in 2003, when the city battled Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). As many as 774 people died in the SARS epidemic, which reached nearly 30 countries.
At the time, Beijing built the Xiaotangshan hospital in its northern suburbs in just a week. Within two months, it treated one-seventh of all the country’s SARS patients, the Changjiang Daily reported.
“It created a miracle in the history of medical science,” the paper added. The Beijing hospital, built by 7,000 workers, was originally designed only to take people who were in recovery from SARS to relieve pressure on other hospitals.

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