BEIJING: A central Chinese city that is the epicentre of a new SARS-like virus outbreak is building a second hospital "within half a month" to treat cases, state media reported Saturday (Jan 25).
According to the People's Daily, the new hospital will add 1,300 hospital beds, in addition to another new facility which is being built in Wuhan to deal with the outbreak - reportedly within 10 days.
The first new hospital will be built around a holiday complex originally intended for local workers, set in gardens by a lake on the outskirts of the city, Changjiang Daily reported on Friday. Prefabricated buildings with 1,000 beds will be put up.
Building machinery, including 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers, arrived at the site on Thursday night, with the aim of getting 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."
The 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 said.
"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.
In the end it treated nearly 700 SARS patients.