Pics: Field Hospital Nears Completion as UK Braces for Coronavirus Surge

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: A general view of the Excel NHS Nightingale Hospital in East London on March 27, 2020 in London, England. The field hospital will initially contain 500 beds with ventilators and oxygen and will have the capacity to eventually hold up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients. (Photo …
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The first 500 of 4,000 beds will be ready at NHS Hospital Nightingale London this week, as the UK braces for a surge in cases of coronavirus.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced the establishment of NHS Nightingale London less than one week ago. With beds furnished with ventilators and oxygen, the hospital will be used to treat coronavirus patients.

Each open ward will be comprised of 2,000 beds and will be staffed by National Health Service staff and military medics. Around 100 cabin crew from airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet, who are on furlough due to the pandemic, have expressed interest in volunteering at the hospital.

Beds are set up by members of the military and private contractors inside the ExCel centre in London on March 30, 2020, which has been transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, to help with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 30: A hospital bed and respirator at the ExCel centre which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital, comprising of two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus on March 30, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS) Simon Stevens poses for a photograph during a visit to the ExCel centre in London on March 30, 2020, which has been transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, to help with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Around 750 staff of auxiliary ambulance service, St John’s Ambulance will also be supporting medical staff as well as some of its 200 first aiders. Some 20,000 recently-retired doctors, nurses, and other key medical workers have returned to the frontline.

As part of the British military’s COVID Support Force, Army logistical engineers and planners were brought in to help build the hospital wings. There are 20,000 armed forces personnel currently stood at readiness to support the NHS and other emergency services in the battle against Chinese coronavirus.

The 1,000-acre ExCeL exhibition centre in the Docklands, East London, had previously housed the 2012 Olympics and one of the world’s largest arms fairs.

London Ambulance Service vehicles are seen in the east car park at the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 28, 2020, that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital to help with the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Large oxygen tanks wait to be delivered at the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 27, 2020 that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital to help with the coronavirus outbreak.  (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Members of the military and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London on March 30, 2020, which has been transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, to help with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Besides the London Docklands site, there are reportedly plans for 10 to 13 other field hospitals, with two confirmed.

Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre will be turned into a 500-bed hospital, with scope to expand to 2,000, and Manchester’s Central Convention Complex will also have a minimum of 500 beds, with the capacity to expand to 1,000 if necessary.

There are over 22,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK with 1,415 fatalities, up 180 from Sunday. The outbreak is expected to peak in the coming weeks.

Members of the military push a trolley of equipment at the back of the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 28, 2020, that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital to help with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.  (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Members of the military and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London on March 30, 2020, which has been transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital, to help with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 29: A firefighter outside the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London on March 29, 2020, in London, England. The field hospital will initially contain 500 beds with ventilators and oxygen and will have the capacity to eventually hold up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

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