China's ambitious plan to combat deadly coronavirus

Two new hospitals will be built in the Chinese city that is the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus to accomodate the growing number of patients.

The Chinese government on Friday promised to build the first hospital within 10 days and a second hospital was announced on Saturday, according to The New York Times. Building will be completed within 15 days.

The second hospital will have 1300 beds and the facility will be called Leishenshan Hospital.

This development comes as a fifth person was diagnosed with the coronavirus in Australia.

The facilities are being built to “address the insufficiency of existing medical resources”.

Construction continues at a field hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Wuhan Leishenshan hospital will be completed on February 5, with a capacity of 1300 beds. Source: Getty

Many of the workers on the building site – both volunteers and workers who were urged by their employers to help – wore protective masks while they worked.

“I’m glad to be of help for the people of Wuhan,” one worker, Yuan Banfu, told The New York Times.

“My family is worried, but I told them I’m here anyway and we have to help.”

In 2003, the SARS hospital was built from scratch in just six days to help treat an outbreak of a respiratory virus in China, which spread to other countries and killed 800 people.

Hospitals in Wuhan were grappling with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies.

Videos circulating online showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for checks.

Some users on Weibo said their family members had sought diagnoses but were turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.

Worker put flags at a field hospital. Wuhan Leishenshan hospital will be completed on February 5, with a capacity of 1300 beds. Source: Stringe/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, in the province of Hubei, has killed 81 people in China so far and infected more than 2750 globally, most of them in China.

The virus has caused alarm because it is still too early to know how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. Also because it is new, humans have not been able to build immunity to it.

No fatalities have been reported outside of China, and the World Health Organisation has said the outbreak is an emergency for China and is not yet a global health problem.

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