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Medical leader calls makeshift hospitals a success

Zhao Lei
Updated: May 05,2020 07:23    China Daily

A leader of the medical assistance team sent by Liaoning province to Wuhan, Hubei province, said on May 4 that the Leishenshan Hospital was a remarkable success during Wuhan's fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Liu Zhiyu, deputy president of the Second Hospital of Dalian Medical University who headed a group of medical personnel from Liaoning at the Leishenshan Hospital, said at a news conference in Beijing that the temporary hospital received a total of 2,011 COVID-19 patients during its two months of operation and the overall mortality rate was 2.3 percent. He added that the mortality rate among the 1,073 patients with serious or life-threatening symptoms was 4.3 percent.

None of medical personnel at the hospital contracted the highly contagious disease, according to him.

During the first days of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, an economic and research hub in Central China with a population of 14 million, the numbers of confirmed and suspected infections rose beyond the capacity of local hospitals.

To cope with the situation, authorities decided to establish temporary hospitals and transform public buildings into makeshift medical complexes in the city.

Construction of the Leishenshan Hospital, undertaken by China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co, began on Jan 26 and it received its first group of patients on Feb 8.

Liu recalled that about 3,000 doctors and nurses from more than 280 hospitals around the country were sent to the hospital around Feb 8, when it was delivered to medical personnel and started operation.

"When we arrived at Leishenshan on Feb 9, many places inside the facility had not been equipped with medical instruments and were not ready for patients," the doctor recalled. "We worked hard together with equipment technicians and managed to make negative pressure isolation wards in only a day and a half."

Liu noted that despite the rapid preparations, medical personnel did not compromise on quality and did their best to serve patients.

Leishenshan ceased operation in mid-April as the epidemic gradually waned in Wuhan.

The large-scale construction of makeshift medical complexes had played an "irreplaceable role" in the battle against COVID-19 in Wuhan, said Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission.

Speaking of the most-needed hospital beds in Wuhan in a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency, Ma said that one in four COVID-19 patients in the city was treated in such facilities.