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London's ExCel Centre to become coronavirus hospital

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 25, 2020 - Duration: 01:39s

London's ExCel Centre to become coronavirus hospital

Britain will open a temporary hospital next week at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London that could eventually house thousands of beds for coronavirus patients.

This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

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London's ExCel Centre to become coronavirus hospital

Britain will open a new temporary hospital next week at the ExCel exhibition centre in London, as the country announced its biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths.

The government on Tuesday said that the hospital will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen... But it could increase to several thousands beds if required.

Health Minister, Matt Hancock: (SOUNDBITE) (English) UK HEALTH MINISTER, MATT HANCOCK, SAYING: ''The NHS Nightingale Hospital will comprise (of) two wards each of two thousand people with the help of the military and with NHS clinicians we will make sure we have the capacity that we need so everyone can get the support they need.’' Britain has had more than 8,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 420 deaths, with the biggest number of cases in London.

Hospitals in the capital are under particular pressure, and calls for more test kits have intensified.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UK HEALTH MINISTER, MATT HANCOCK, SAYING: ''I understand why NHS staff in particular and others across public service are so keen to get the testing ramp up that we need to see and we are undertaking.

Of course, it really matters for getting people back to work.

So we've now bought 3.5 million antibody tests that will allow people to see whether they have had the virus and are immune to it…" On the first day of a national lockdown, Tuesday, the government called for 250,000 volunteers to help the National Health Service and vulnerable people hit by the coronavirus crisis.

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