Wuhan hospital is already open: this is how China has built a 25,000 m2 hospital in 10 days

The Wuhan coronavirus is already an international public health emergency and with its origin in China, the Asian country has responded with impressive measures such as quarantining more than 20 million inhabitants. But even more impressive is the feat of building a hospital with more than 1,000 beds in ten days. This was announced on January 23 and this Sunday has already been inaugurated.

In Wuhan, a few kilometers from the seafood market market where the virus infection is suspected to have originated, the Chinese government has set up the Huoshenshan Hospital. A massive 25,000-square-meter building with 1,000 beds and 1,400 employees. The works started on January 23 and the last brick was laid on February 2, according to Chinese authorities. Lifted from scratch in less than 10 days, the hospital will begin receiving patients starting this Monday, February 3.

You can see a timelapse construction complete from base to final finishing touches, 10 days in 60 seconds:

Although the Huoshenshan Hospital is the one that has created the most international commotion, there is a second hospital on the way even more amazing in size. This is the Leishenshan Hospital, on the other bank of the Yangtze River and also at the epicenter of the coronavirus, in Wuhan. This second hospital began its work on January 23 as well and is expected to be completed on February 5. 12 days of construction but with a capacity of no more and no less than 1,600 beds.

Carrying out giant construction is not a new thing in China. 164-kilometer bridges, the Beijing Daxing Airport or the 1,200-square-kilometer solar plant are some examples.

The trick is in the precast modules

Ten intensive days of work with dozens of cranes and a huge workforce that once again shows us the capacity for operation and organization in China. But here it is not a matter of laying brick by brick, as one would expect from a normal building. China's trick is to use prefabricated modules, a construction technique that has been applied both in the Asian country and in the rest of the world for years.

The hospital has two floors and is made up of prefabricated modules that come together to compose the final construction. The excavators first leveled the ground (one of the first images to go viral) and then added concrete layers at the base. On this base some pillars are placed that maintain a certain distance between the module that is placed on top of them and the base itself, this allows avoiding the contamination of the ground and connecting pipes underneath. Finally dozens of prefabricated modules are placed on top and connected to each other.

Modules used in the Wuhan hospital. Via Construction Times.

The modules are around ten square meters and house two beds each, as explained in WSJ. They also come depressurized to avoid that the air that enters inside is contaminated.

In addition to the construction of the hospital itself, it has also had to be supplied with medical personnel and materials. The Chinese army has been involved in this with a medical team of 1,400 people.

It is not the first time that China has managed to achieve such a feat. In 2003 they built the Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing in just seven days. On that occasion it was a response to the SARS epidemic that arose in the country. The new Huoshenshan Hospital has in fact been based on that construction model.

# Wuhan's Huoshenshan Hospital nears completion pic.twitter.com/dQ735L0hxP

- CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) January 31, 2020

Alongside these two huge and brand new hospitals, Wuhan has more than a dozen small treatment centers and hospitals throughout the city. The Chinese authorities hope to be able to supply all those affected by the Wuhan coronavirus in the area. Currently there are more than 14,000 affected and 300 dead from the virus around the world.

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