BBC News

BBC News 3 Apr 2020

Coronavirus: UK hospital built in two weeks opens its doors


The first of the government's emergency field hospitals to treat coronavirus patients has opened in east London's ExCel centre.

The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital is able to hold as many as 4,000 patients and will be staffed by NHS medics with help from the military.

Prince Charles paid tribute to staff as he opened the hospital via video link.

Similar hospitals are planned across the UK, including in Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Harrogate and Bristol.

The ExCel exhibition space - usually used for large events such as Crufts and Comic Con - was transformed into a hospital in just nine days.

It is the first of several Nightingale Hospitals planned in England, with the latest announcement that two will be built at the University of the West of England in Bristol and the Harrogate Convention Centre.

Others are due to open at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and Manchester's Central Complex.

Pupils and educational experts are calling on the government to do more to ensure all students have access to laptops and digital face-to-face contact with teachers during lockdown.

Aaron Billingsley, 15, from Sutton Coldfield, said: "We are having to teach ourselves multiple subjects, around 10 altogether, without any face-to-face interaction or Zoom video calling."

A study of teachers shows that under lockdown hundreds of thousands of children from disadvantaged families are experiencing less than an hour of home schooling a day, while wealthier children are more likely to study for several hours a day.

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A further 758 patients diagnosed with coronavirus have died in England, 19 hospital patients have died in Wales, 74 further deaths in Scotland, and 3 patients are reported to have died with Covid-19 in Northern Ireland .

It brings the total number of confirmed hospital deaths in England to 5,655 - up from 4,897 at the same time on Monday.
There were 596 reported hospital deaths in the UK over the last day.

We often see a lag on the weekend - but that is the lowest figure for nearly two weeks.

If we look at how our figures compare to other countries - we are still largely following the same trajectory as Italy and France.

The focus has been on what Britain was doing much earlier in the outbreak - well before lockdown - at a time when it seemed the virus was mainly a Chinese problem.


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