Britain’s Prince Charles on Friday, April 3, 2020, flagged off a newly built hospital in London that equipped with thousands of extra beds for patients with the coronavirus.
The new hospital named, The Nightingale Hospital, was built in a period of nine days with the help of the military soldiers in the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands. Charles’ new inaugurated hospital is expected to initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen, which would be upgraded eventually to treat about 4,000 patients.
New Hospitals in Britain
Britain has registered the virus-infected cases over 2,921 people and more than 560 died from the COVID-19. Anticipating a rapid surge of the virus infection cases in the coming weeks, the UK government planned to set up six new temporary hospitals across the country to cope with the outbreak. Charles’ new hospital was the first of the six temporary hospitals as promised by the government.
These temporary hospitals would be the supplementary units for helping patients and would prevent Britain’s stretched National Health Service from being overcrowded by an influx of patients who are expected to increase numbers in the next few weeks.
The new hospital, which is located at the Excel Centre, covered more than 900,000 sq. feet (83,000 sq. meters) of exhibition space. Citing the urgent need of a large workforce for the new hospital, health chiefs of the country have appealed volunteers to come forward and help in running the Nightingale.
The UK government has opened up more hospitals in Manchester and Birmingham having facilities of extra 3,000 beds while more facilities are also expected to be set up in Bristol, in the southwest, and Harrogate, in the northeast. Another temporary hospital would also be built in Glasgow in Scotland, which would initially handle 300 patients.
Prince Charles’ Efforts
The prince, aged 71 years old, was tested positive for the virus this week and stayed self-isolation for a week before he recovered recently. Charles opened up the hospital after he came out of recovery and took part in the inauguration program by video link from his home in Scotland. This was the first time for the British royal family, who usually carries out such engagements in person, to speak using video links in a public event.
Charles said the hospital was an example of “how the impossible could be made possible”. He added, “It is, without a doubt, a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work… To convert one of the largest national conference centers into a field hospital … is quite frankly incredible.”
Citing the case of his virus contracted, Charles said, “I was one of the lucky ones to have COVID-19 relatively mildly.” He further expressed, “But for some, it will be a much harder journey. I am therefore so relieved that everyone can now have the reassurance that they will receive all the technical care they may need and every chance to return to a normal life.”
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