China Is Building a 1,000-Bed Hospital in 6 Days to Combat the Coronavirus

A combination of man power and prefabricated building is behind the rapid development of Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital.

Nathaniel Bahadursingh Nathaniel Bahadursingh

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The Chinese city of Wuhan is swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital in six days in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which reportedly originated in the city of 11 million. The city also plans to build a second hospital dedicated to containing and treating at-risk patients with 1,300 beds over a two-week period. 

Dozens of bulldozers have begun clearing land in Wuhan’s Caidian District for the first hospital. Named Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital, the facility is set for completion on February 3rd. According to The Architect’s Newspaper, more than 100 workers have converged on the site and local authorities are leading the construction effort. 

Dozens of bulldozers break ground for the new hospital; Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xiao Yijiu

With almost 3,000 coronavirus infections in China and 82 deaths, according to BBC, hospitals in Wuhan have been flooded with concerned residents and pharmacies are running low on medicine. Construction of these new medical facilities is one of the many measures the Chinese government is taking to address the spread of the virus and treatment of patients.

The hospital is being built using prefabricated structures, which explains the possibility of its quick construction. According to The Architect’s Newspaper, the prefabricated modules, one to two stories high, will be separated by outdoor space and connected by central corridors. The completed Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital will cover 269,000 square feet. CITIC Pacific Properties worked together with local officials and China’s Ministry of Health worked to design the hospital.

A blueprint of Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital; image via South China Morning Post

According to Dezeen, the design is reportedly based on the Xiaotangshan Hospital that was built within a week in Beijing to help tackle the SARS outbreak in 2003. At the time, this broke the world record for the fastest construction of a hospital. Approximately 4,000 people worked throughout the day and night to build the hospital, according to BBC

China has a penchant for building fast. A combination of its political system and an enthusiasm towards prefabricated building processes has seen the speedy construction of numerous monumental projects. While the quality and reliability of this hospital remains to be seen, the technical complexity required to construct a medical facility like this makes it one of the most impressive demonstrations yet in the art of speed building.

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