Moscow unveils Chinese-inspired coronavirus hospital

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks along the street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Moscow April 10, 2020. ― Reuters pic
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks along the street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Moscow April 10, 2020. ― Reuters pic

MOSCOW, April 21 — An 800-bed hospital that was hastily built to treat coronavirus patients has opened outside Russia’s capital Moscow, city officials said today.

The clinic, 70 kilometres south of Moscow, was inspired by a coronavirus facility in the Chinese province of Wuhan, officials said, and was built in a month.

“Unlike similar facilities that open in many countries to fight COVID-19, this in-patient facility will work on a permanent basis,” Moscow city hall said in a statement.

“After the pandemic is over any types of infections will be treated here.”

Cranes and heavy building equipment still dot the site and construction work is still going on, an AFP journalist who visited the facility yesterday said.

Yet the hospital already employs 500 staff and has admitted its first 20 patients, city hall said.

The clinic may expand its capacity by 100 beds and will eventually employ more than 1,000 medical specialists, the statement said.

The complex is equipped with a lab and a dormitory for staff.

More than 3,000 workers raced to complete the clinic after construction began in March.

The outbreak has put a huge strain on hospitals in Moscow, which is the epicentre of the epidemic in Russia, and President Vladimir Putin warned on Monday that the peak of the infection has not yet passed.

Health officials on Tuesday reported 52,763 coronavirus cases and 456 fatalities. — AFP

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