Wuhan Rushing to Build New Coronavirus Hospital in Record Six Days

A similar hospital was built in Beijing back in 2003 during the SARS virus in just seven days.
Loukia Papadopoulos

The Chinese city of Wuhan has been struggling to build a new hospital to treat coronavirus patients. Now, the city aims to build a hospital in just six days that, according to state media, will contain about 1,000 beds.


The new structure is being built to "address the insufficiency of existing medical resources," the Associated Press noted. It has been reported that people seeking treatment have had to wait for hours in line.

"It's basically a quarantined hospital where they send people with infectious diseases so it has the safety and protective gear in place," Joan Kaufman, lecturer in global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, told the BBC.

Video has already surfaced of diggers at the hospital site. A similar hospital was set up in Beijing back in 2003 during the SARS virus and was successfully built in seven days. The Xiaotangshan Hospital was hailed at the time as a "miracle in the history of medicine" by the country's media.

About 4,000 people worked day and night to build the hospital that included an X-ray room, a CT room, an intensive-care unit, and a laboratory. The building allegedly broke the world record for the fastest construction of a hospital.

The new Wuhan hospital is set to be made of prefabricated buildings, just like the Beijing hospital. "China has a record of getting things done fast even for monumental projects like this," Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told BBC.

"This authoritarian country relies on this top-down mobilization approach. They can overcome bureaucratic nature and financial constraints and are able to mobilize all of the resources."

Engineers from across the country will be brought in to complete the project on time.

"The engineering work is what China is good at. They have records of building skyscrapers at speed. This is very hard for westerners to imagine. It can be done," Huang added.

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