London Exhibition Centre Will Be Converted Into 4,000 Bed Coronavirus Hospital

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 24: A military lorry is seen as members of the 101 Logistic Brigade of the British Army deliver a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas' hospital on March 24, 2020 in London, England. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people …
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The British Army will assist the UK state healthcare provider in establishing a temporary hospital in London, the government has announced, as it continues to ramp up its response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus press conference — now performed to an empty room, with journalists appearing remotely to ask questions of the government by television-link — health secretary Matt Hancock christened the new hospital in the manner of a warship, calling it the NHS Nightingale.

The new field hospital of 4,000 beds in two wards is to be constructed by army logisticians and National Health Service (NHS) clinicians at the ExCel Centre in the East London docklands, which is perhaps best known for hosting one of the world’s largest arms fairs biannually but has also hosted the G20 summit, trade shows, and sporting events during the 2012 Olympics.

Addressing the nation Tuesday afternoon, Mr Hancock said:

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the most radical steps yet to slow the spread of this virus. And these steps are not requests. They are rules.

You should stay at home, except to shop for food, for medical reasons, for exercise, or for work including caring and volunteering in the coronavirus national effort… I can announce today that we will next week open a new hospital, a temporary — the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre in London.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital will comprise two wards, each of 2,000 people. With the help of the military and NHS clinicians, we will make sure we will have the capacity we need so everyone can get the support they need. But no matter how big we grow the NHS, unless we slow the spread of this virus, as we’ve seen those numbers will continue to rise.

The British Army has already been deployed to aid the NHS in logistical tasks and has been delivering supplies to hospitals in military trucks in recent days. The development means a more significant role for the army in fighting the outbreak of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, and comes days after the government stood up 20,000 men to high alert.

The move follows similar deployments of the armed forces in other European countries like Germany, Spain, and Italy, where beds for thousands have been provided by military engineers and logisticians.

As Breitbart reported, in the United States the Army Corps of Engineers has been deployed to help states surge the number of hospital beds, using FEMA money to convert school halls and conference centres into temporary hospitals.

The United Kingdom was put under effective house arrest Monday evening. While the government had appealed to the public to heed advice given the previous week, it asessed that not enough people were, and upgraded the instructions to orders. The police now have the power to fine people for being outside of their homes without good reason, and can break up gatherings of more than two people in public.

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