China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency has now reported that 237 patients are in critical condition and healthcare workers in the Chinese city of Wuhan have reported that hospitals are running low on supplies as they treat an increasing number of patients. One hospital staff member in the Wuhan region divulged to local press that the current medical supplies would only sustain them for three or four days.
In response to the epidemic, Wuhan is constructing two hospitals dedicated to treating patients with the virus. The first hospital, the 1,000-bed Huoshenshen Hospital, is now in the final stages of construction and expected to be ready for use on 3 February.
On Saturday 25 January, work began on the second hospital, which is being erected in the city’s Jianxia District. The second hospital is to be bigger than the first, with a 1,300-bed capacity and its construction is expected to be completed within two to three weeks.
The two hospitals are being modelled on Beijing’s Xiaotangshan Hospital, which was built in the city’s northern suburbs within the space of a week and was constructed to treat the SARS outbreak that occurred back in 2003.
In addition to these measures, the Wuhan government has announced that it is sending in 1,200 more health workers and 135 People’s Liberation Army medical personnel to assist the overstretched medical staff.