First look inside new temporary coronavirus ExCeL London hospital

Henrietta Strickland
March 26, 2020

Officials are looking to convert around 10 more sites across the country into makeshift coronavirus hospitals similar to the ExCel exhibition centre in London, Sky News understands. Birmingham is in the West Midlands, the worst-hit contagion area outside of London.

A second source with knowledge of government planning for the COVID-19 pandemic said the aim was to convert between eight to 10 sites into hospital facilities.

Information provided by a fourth source revealed that military planners could be asked to look for 10 "Excel-type" hospital sites across the country.

NHS Nightingale is being built with the help of military assistance at ExCeL London and will be comprised of two wards, with 2,000 beds in each. It's commonly used for large exhibitions and conferences, and has hosted a G20 summit and events for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Called the Nightingale Hospital, the facility will be staffed by National Health Service (NHS) medics, alongside the military.

Its construction, and that of any other future field hospitals, is being done with the support of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

It will also include a morgue.

Parts of the new hospital are expected to be open as early as next week. "Now making up cables for it - I didn't take this virus very seriously until I saw this this morning", Woodside said, evidently shocked at just how big the new hospital is. "Until I came in and saw the size of the hall".

As he panned the camera around the building, Woodside said: "If you're not taking it seriously, like I wasn't, I think we really need to start because they're preparing for an absolute high death toll here".

A team of planners from the military visited the centre over the weekend to see how they could make use of the space.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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