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China is building an entire hospital in a week to treat virus outbreak patients

Published Jan 24th, 2020 4:35PM EST
coronavirus outbreak
Image: WALLACE WOON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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The coronavirus outbreak that began in China weeks ago is now growing by the hour. The tally of infected individuals has skyrocketed in the past two days, with new suspected cases popping up all around eastern Asian and even the United States. Now, with health officials scrambling to put a lid on what could become a very serious situation, China is in the midst of constructing an entirely new 1,000-bed hospital specifically to house patients who may be carrying the virus.

The massive new structure will sit on a lot in Wuhan, and it’s based on the design of an existing hospital located in Beijing. It’s being prefabricated, and once the components are ready to go, the building process will be completed in just days. The hospital is expected to be built by February 3rd.

As AP reports, this isn’t the first time China has taken drastic action to head off a pandemic. In the early 2000s, the country was forced to rapidly build a hospital for SARS patients, completing the entire project in just six days.

At the moment Wuhan is locked down, and nobody is allowed in or out via train or plane. China issued this lockdown order in the hopes of containing the spread of the virus, but health officials in the United States and Europe are already reporting that travelers from China have likely made the disease an international issue.

As of the latest tally, a total of 26 people have died from the novel coronavirus strain, while the total number of confirmed infections is around 830. Both of those numbers are a whole lot higher than they were just days ago, but in the grand scheme of things, this outbreak is still very small in scale. Nevertheless, it’s a scary situation, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that health officials and scientists can put a lid on it before it gets too out of control.