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Makeshift hospitals play 'irreplaceable' role in Wuhan's anti-virus battle

Updated: Apr 28,2020 14:39    Xinhua

BEIJING — The large-scale construction of makeshift hospitals had played an "irreplaceable" role in the battle against COVID-19 in Wuhan, the hardest hit Chinese city by coronavirus, a health official said.

Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission, made the remarks while talking about what had been done to increase the number of most-needed beds in Wuhan's anti-virus battle in a recent interview with Xinhua.

One in four COVID-19 patients in Wuhan was treated in makeshift hospitals, Ma said, speaking highly of the strengths of makeshift hospitals — quick readiness, large capacity, low cost and high concentration.

Wuhan was facing a surging number of COVID-19 cases and a short supply of medical resources, with increasing the number of beds being the most urgent task, when a central guiding group overseeing the novel coronavirus efforts in Hubei province arrived in Wuhan on Jan 27, he recalled.

A four-prong strategy had since been taken by authorities to make up for the shortages of beds to ensure all COVID-19 patients are admitted in Wuhan, Ma said.

— A total of 16 makeshift hospitals were built by converting public venues.

— Two new hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, were built.

— Existing hospitals were renovated.

— More than 530 hotels, training centers and sanitariums were converted into quarantine sites.

The number of severe COVID-19 cases in Hubei dropped to zero on April 24, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases in Wuhan went down to zero on April 26, marking an important achievement against COVID-19 in Hubei and Wuhan, the main battlefield of China's war against coronavirus, the official said.