Patients get ready to sleep at Wuhan Sports Center, which was transformed into a makeshift hospital to treat novel coronavirus patients, in Wuhan, Hubei province, on March 2. (Photo: China Daily)
BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The large-scale construction of makeshift hospitals had played an "irreplaceable" role in the battle against COVID-19 in Wuhan, the hardest hit Chinese city by coronavirus, a health official said.
Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission, made the remarks while talking about what had been done to increase the number of most-needed beds in Wuhan's anti-virus battle in a recent interview with Xinhua.
One in four COVID-19 patients in Wuhan was treated in makeshift hospitals, Ma said, speaking highly of the strengths of makeshift hospitals -- quick readiness, large capacity, low cost and high concentration.
Wuhan was facing a surging number of COVID-19 cases and a short supply of medical resources, with increasing the number of beds being the most urgent task, when a central guiding group overseeing the novel coronavirus efforts in Hubei Province arrived in Wuhan on Jan. 27, he recalled.
A four-prong strategy had since been taken by authorities to make up for the shortages of beds to ensure all COVID-19 patients are admitted in Wuhan, Ma said.
-- A total of 16 makeshift hospitals were built by converting public venues.
-- Two new hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, were built.
-- Existing hospitals were renovated.
-- More than 530 hotels, training centers and sanitariums were converted into quarantine sites.
The number of severe COVID-19 cases in Hubei dropped to zero on April 24, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases in Wuhan went down to zero on April 26, marking an important achievement against COVID-19 in Hubei and Wuhan, the main battlefield of China's war against coronavirus, the official said.