TEHRAN (Iran News) – China has finished the construction of an emergency hospital in just eight days in Wuhan, the city at the center of the new Coronavirus outbreak as the epidemic continues to claim more lives and infect more people across the country and beyond its borders.
Work had begun on the construction of the 1000-bed emergency Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province, on January 23, and was completed on Sunday, according to Chinese media.
The hospital is set to receive patients confirmed with the Coronavirus infection from Monday.
The new hospital is one of the two dedicated facilities being constructed to help tackle the viral outbreak, which has infected more than 17,000 people across China — with more than 11,000 cases reported in Hubei Province alone.
The construction of the second hospital in Wuhan is due to be finished on Wednesday.
The never-before-seen virus was first reported in December in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, with a population of 11 million people.
According to latest figures from China’s National Health Commission, the infection has killed more than 360 people as of Monday across China.
Authorities sent more than 8,000 medical workers to Hubei to combat the outbreak.
Chinese media said 1,400 army medical staff members were also arriving in Wuhan to start work in the new hospital.
Wuhan has been under lockdown for almost two weeks to stop people from leaving the areas and transmitting the virus.
Hospitals in the province are reportedly understaffed and overburdened. They are also dealing with a shortage of medical supplies.
Viral pneumonia has crossed the Chinese borders and infected more than 170 people in more than 24 countries, with one fatality reported in the Philippines on Sunday.
The outbreak, which sparked fears of a possible pandemic, has prompted many countries to impose unprecedented travel bans on people traveling to and from China.
The World Health Organization has also declared the crisis a global health emergency.
Iran to suspend direct flights to, from China
Dozens of states and international airlines have suspended flights to and from China.
Iran said on Sunday it will suspend all direct flights to and from China.
At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, the government announced certain contingency measures were needed to protect the population against a possible outbreak of the virus.
Health officials said a flight with medical equipment and a medical team on board will be sent to Wuhan to bring back Iranian students and citizens.
According to the officials, passengers of all incoming flights from China will be quarantined upon arriving in Iran.
“All passengers including those arriving from China are being screened, and those suspected being infected are isolated by the Ministry of Health personnel,” said Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami.
There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iran so far.
US sending more flights for evacuation
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the administration plans “a handful more flights” to evacuate Americans from Hubei.
“We might be bringing citizens home from other countries as well,” he said. “In addition, we might bring in some medical supplies.”
The US administration dramatically escalated its response to the virus spread on Friday by announcing quarantines and major travel restrictions.
Australia evacuates citizens
Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said 243 citizens and permanent residents left Wuhan on an Australian aircraft that has medical-grade air filters on Monday.
Payne said that “89 of the Australians on the flight are under 16 and five are under two.”
The flight will go to an air force base in Western Australia, from where the government will fly the passengers on military flights to Christmas Island.
The evacuees will be quarantined in a detention center in the Indian Ocean off Australia’s northwest coast.
Australia has formerly used the center to detain asylum seekers.
- source : PressTV, Iran News