Prince Charles opens new coronavirus hospital by video link





London (dpa) - Prince Charles opened a new hospital designed to have up to 4,000 beds by video link on Friday, praising its rapid construction as an example of how people "can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity."



The National Health Service (NHS) Nightingale hospital, housed in a former exhibition centre in London, has an initial 500 beds to cope with an expected rise in the number of patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms requiring intensive care.
"It is without doubt a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work in every sense, from its speed of construction - in just nine days - to its size and the skills of those who have created it," said Charles, 71, who was infected with coronavirus but suffered only mild symptoms.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is also infected with the virus and still self-isolating, thanked those involved in building the hospital.
"This immense effort means we will have an extra 4,000 beds to care for #coronavirus patients," Johnson tweeted.
Speaking at the hospital, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the "extraordinary project" was launched "when it was clear, a few weeks ago, that we were going to need to expand NHS critical care capacity."
Many health experts have criticized the government's slow response to the crisis, the low level of testing for the virus, and the poor provision of intensive care beds, ventilators and protective equipment.
They have warned that Britain could face one of the world's highest death rates from Covid-19 in the next few weeks.

 


Friday, April 3rd 2020
(dpa)
           


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