First patients arrive at Wuhan coronavirus hospital built in just 10 days

The first patients have arrived at a hospital in China built in just 10 days to deal with the new coronavirus.

Huoshenshan Hospital has 1,000 beds and was constructed from scratch in under two weeks to help fight the spread of the virus.

Chinese officials said on Monday the latest death toll from the coronavirus is 361, with 17,205 cases.

An additional 2,829 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

Huoshenshan Hospital will treat patients at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. (AFP/Getty)
The hospital was constructed in just 10 days. (AFP/Getty)

Huoshenshan Hospital and a second facility with 1,500 beds that is due to open this week were built in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak was first detected in December, by construction crews working around the clock.

Most of the city's 11m people are barred from leaving the area.

The Wuhan treatment centres mark the second time Chinese leaders have responded to a new disease by building specialised hospitals almost overnight.

When severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, spread in 2003, a facility in Beijing for patients with that viral disease was constructed in a week.

Huoshenshan Hospital’s first patients arrived on Monday, according to state media.

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The ruling Communist Party's military wing, the People's Liberation Army, sent 1,400 doctors, nurses and other personnel to staff the Wuhan hospital, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The government has said that some have experience fighting Sars and other outbreaks.

Diggers started work on the hospital in late January. (Getty)
Dozens of diggers at the start of the building work. (Getty)

Authorities have cut most road, rail and air access to Wuhan and surrounding cities, isolating some 50m people.

The Huoshenshan Hospital was built by a 7,000-member crew of carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other specialists, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Photos in state media showed workers in winter clothing, safety helmets and the surgical-style masks worn by millions of Chinese in an attempt to avoid contracting the virus.

About half of the two-storey, 60,000-square-metre building is made up of isolation wards, according to the government newspaper Yangtze Daily. It has 30 intensive care units.

The hospital is said to have been built by a 7,000-member crew of carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other specialists. (Getty)
The Wuhan hospital has 1,000 beds. (Getty)

Doctors can talk with outside experts over a video system that links them to Beijing's PLA General Hospital, according to Yangtze Daily.

It said the system was installed in less than 12 hours by a 20-member "commando team" from Wuhan Telecom Ltd.

The building has specialised ventilation systems and double-sided cabinets that connect patient rooms to hallways and allow hospital staff to deliver supplies without entering the rooms.

The hospital received a donation of "medical robots" from a Chinese company for use in delivering medicines and carrying test samples, according to the Shanghai newspaper The Paper.