Communist China Sets Ambitious Plan to Complete Two Hospitals in Ten Days
To divert public attention from the deadly coronavirus, Chinese officials planned to complete an engineering marvel, completing a 1,000-bed hospital in a span of two days.
In Wuhan, there is an ongoing rat race to build two 1,000-bed hospitals which aim to accommodate the growing number of patients infected by the new strain of coronavirus. Local residents who have been stranded in their own homes watched the live stream of the construction, as the Chinese government tried to do what was once impossible—to finish a health facility in a matter of ten days.
China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the live stream had garnered 18 million views. The media outlet stated: “Stuck at home due to the disease, many people have been following the news related to the virus through the internet. The construction of the two hospitals also has attracted tens of millions of “volunteer supervisors,” as netizens call themselves. Viewers are exchanging their stories and feelings in the difficult time, in addition to talking about the construction projects.”
The construction started Friday last week and is scheduled to be completed next week. The Houshenshan Hospital, which occupies a 269,000 sq.ft. lot is scheduled to be operational on February 3 and can accommodate 1,000 beds. While the Leishenshan hospital which spans 323,000 sq. ft. will open two days later and have a 1,300-bed capacity.
While some tried to question the safety of these new infrastructures, global architect Scott Rawlings said in an interview with Quartz media that the hospital is structurally sound, despite being built from prefabricated materials. Since there was no time for consultations, the blueprints for these new hospitals were lifted from Xiaotangshan Hospital. A 1,000-bed facility which has been assembled in 2003, during the height of the SARS outbreak.
In addition, there have been concerns over how the Chinese government might have been downplaying the real numbers of patients and deaths from the virus to show that the country has the capacity to manage and contain an outbreak.
Chinese leader, Xi Jinping denied these allegations and tried to assure the public that the country remains to be transparent in sharing the real situation. “The epidemic is a demon and we cannot let this demon hide. The Chinese government has always adopted an open, transparent and responsible attitude to timely release of information on the epidemic, domestically and to other countries.” the leader said.
The latest reports show that the virus had killed at least 170 people and infected 7,711. It had also spread from neighboring countries and most have issued a travel ban, except the Philippine government who refuse to take precautionary steps, in fear of cutting off foreign relations with China.
The U.S. repatriation process had begun and a plane carrying 210 American passengers from Wuhan had just arrived at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside where the passengers will be quarantined.
Under close watch by the CDC and the U.S. government, health officials assured the public that the situation had been contained. According to a statement from the CDC, there is no available cure for the virus. “There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own.”
President Donald Trump had also reminded the public to be cautious and extended his support to leader Xi Jinping.