China announced today that it is swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital dedicated to patients infected with a new virus that has killed 26 people, sickened hundreds and prompted unprecedented lockdowns of cities during the country’s most important holiday.
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, transportation was shut down in at least 13 cities home to more than 36 million people. The cities are Wuhan, where the illness has been concentrated, and 12 of its neighbours in central China’s Hubei province.
According to the associated press, the facility will be a prefabricated structure on a 25,000- square-meter lot, slated for completion on February 3.
The SARS hospital was built from scratch in 2003 in just six days to treat an outbreak of a similar respiratory virus that had spread from China to more than a dozen countries and killed about 800 people.
The hospital featured individual isolation units that looked like rows of tiny cabins.