China Is Now Building A Special Hospital Within 6 Days To Fight The Wuhan Virus

The new hospital will contain about 1,000 beds.

Cover image via RTHK & Reuters

The Wuhan virus is spreading fast.

As of this writing, it has killed 41 in China and has infected a total of 1,354 people globally. Of the infected, three are now in Malaysia.

Earlier today, Malaysia became the 14th country/region, along with the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Australia, and Nepal to confirm positive coronavirus cases.

The three people in Malaysia who tested positive with the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are related to the son and father from Wuhan, China, who tested positive with the virus in Singapore three days ago.

"The three positive cases are the wife of a 66-year-old man tested positive in Singapore on 22 January, and their two grandchildren aged 11 and two," Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said.

Prior to this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday issued a statement, saying that the outbreak currently did not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

According to the statement sent to SAYS, the WHO said the members of its Emergency Committee thinks it is still "too early" to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The PHEIC label is a rare one. It is defined by the WHO as an extraordinary event and has only been used for the gravest epidemics such as the H1N1 in 2009 or swine flu from 2014 to 2016.

The Emergency Committee said that it is ready to be reconvened in approximately ten days' time, or earlier should WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus deem it necessary.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad at Health Ministry CPRC - crisis preparedness and Response Centre.

Image via Hariz Mohd/Malaysiakini

And as the virus disrupts everyday life in China with authorities suspending public transport in 10 cities, shutting down several tourist attractions and temples over the Lunar New Year, the government in Wuhan is now building a new hospital to treat the infected

According to The Wall Stree Journal, officials said that the special hospital would be completed within six days after the municipal health committee issued a statement saying it was short of resources.

BBC reported that patients suspected of contracting the coronavirus will be treated at the new hospital. In its report, BBC also said that the hospital will be built in six days.

Video and photos circulating online showed a fleet of excavators and bulldozers preparing the massive site for the prefabricated building, with construction workers donning surgical masks.

The new hospital, which is based on a similar hospital set up in Beijing to help tackle the SARS virus in 2003, will contain about 1,000 beds

In 2003, Beijing built a new prefabricated hospital in seven days.

"It's basically a quarantined hospital where they send people with infectious diseases so it has the safety and protective gear in place," according to Joan Kaufman, a Harvard Medical School lecturer in global health and social medicine, as quoted by BBC.

A Reuters report said that for the construction of the new hospital, building machinery, including 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers, arrived at the site on Thursday night.

Authorities aim to get the new facility ready by Monday, according to the Reuters' report.

"The construction of this project is to solve the shortage of existing medical resources. Because it will be prefabricated buildings, it will not only be built fast but it also won't cost much," said the report.

One of the companies building the hospital in Wuhan said that it was "doing all it can and would overcome difficulties" to play its part

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