Britain's Prince Charles opens massive new field new hospital to fight coronavirus
- 04 April 2020
Britain’s Prince Charles opened a new hospital in London on Friday, erected to provide thousands of extra beds for patients with the coronavirus and built in just nine days in a huge conference centre, APA reports citing Reuters.
The Nightingale Hospital, which will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen, will eventually be able to treat about 4,000 patients. It has been created in the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.
Built with help from the military, it is the first of six new temporary hospitals to be set up across the country to cope with the outbreak. So far, 2,921 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Britain have died.
Heir-to-the-throne Charles opened the hospital by video link from his home in Scotland in a first for the British royal family, who usually carry out such engagements in person.
He said the hospital was an example of “how the impossible could be made possible”.
“It is without doubt a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work,” he said. “To convert one of the largest national conference centres into a field hospital ... is quite frankly incredible.”
The prince, 71, himself only came out of seven days of self-isolation this week after testing positive for the virus.
“I was one of the lucky ones to have COVID-19 relatively mildly,” he said. “But for some it will be a much harder journey. I am therefore so relieved that everyone can now have the reassurance that they will receive all the technical care they may need and every chance to return to a normal life.”