China turns makeshift coronavirus hospitals to packed stadiums amid NHS Nightingale ALERT | World | News


In contrast, the UK’s own temporary Nightingale hospitals have been warned to brace for an influx of patients as hospitalisations rise. Last week, China’s state-owned Global Times reported 7,500 sports fans packed together to watch a basketball match in the Wuhan Sports Centre which had previously been a temporary coronavirus hospital.

Chinese social media was soon filled with images comparing photos of the match and photos of the same venue earlier in the year when it contained rows of patients in hospital beds.

The state newspaper added the temporary hospital had treated 1,056 patients between its opening on February 12 and its closure March 8.

One user on Chinese social media network Weibo said the sports match was “really moving”.

Wuhan Sports Centre basketball match

Players line up at the 2020 Yao Foundation Charity basketball match, Wuhan (Image: Stringer / Getty)

Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic is thought to have started, still has four temporary coronavirus hospitals leftover from its previous total of 14. The rest have reportedly been restored to their original condition.

China’s Health Emergency Office claims there were just 20 new confirmed cases yesterday across 31 of the country’s provinces.

In the UK, the most recent government figures show 17,234 cases were reported yesterday, bringing the national total to 634,920.

READ: Australia-China row erupts: Canberra branded ‘too extreme’ on Beijing amid trade war fury

Wuhan basketball match

The Wuhan stadium crowd, seen behind US basketball player MarShon Brooks who was playing (Image: VCG / Getty)

Seven NHS Nightingale hospitals were constructed across the country in case regional hospitals could not cope with excessive numbers of patients.

Some of the centres were never used because existing hospitals were able to cope with case numbers, such as the Nightingale hospital in Washington, Sunderland.

The London branch, based in the ExCel conference arena, did take in some patients, although they have all since left.

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UK coronavirus patient

Coronavirus hospitalisations in the UK have been rising in recent days (Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty)

However, some sites are now being warned to be ready to take in patients once again as daily hospitalisation numbers continue to rise.

In England, 655 patients were admitted to hospital yesterday according to the government’s latest figures, bringing the total to 4,367.

A week ago, on Tuesday 6, 524 daily hospitalisations were recorded in England.

NHS Nightingale London

Staff at the NHS Nightingale hospital in London (Image: Stefan Rousseau / WPA Pool / Getty)

World coronavirus statistics

World coronavirus statistics (Image: EXPRESS)

Government data also shows the UK appeared to reach its peak of hospitalisations around mid-April this year, when nearly 20,000 people were in hospital with COVID-19.

According to the BBC, three NHS Nightingale hospitals – Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate – are being told to prepare to take in patients and are in a state of standby.

It is also thought the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham has been told it should be ready to take patients in if given just two days’ notice.

Ambulances lined up

NHS Nightingale hospitals in the UK are being told to prepare for admissions (Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty)

The Birmingham centre is on par with London’s ExCel arena as the UK’s biggest Nightingale site, with a maximum of 4,000 beds available.

The next-largest is the Cardiff Principality Stadium with 2,000 beds, followed by Glasgow and Briston with 1,000 each.

Reports of normality in China come as a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hits Europe, with Italy expected to ban private parties and France considering new lockdowns, The Guardian reports.

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