China Shuts All 16 Temporary COVID-19 Hospitals in Wuhan!

Wuhan has closed all of its 16 public facility-turned-temporary hospitals as the number of COVID-19 patients continues to drop in the city.

Wuhan reported 17 new confirmed cases on Monday, dropping below 20 for the first time; a significant contrast to a month ago when 1,921 cases had been reported in a single day on Feb. 9.

The hospitals were converted from public venues such as exhibition centers and gymnasiums in early February in an effort to treat patients with mild symptoms and isolate the source of infections amid strained medical resources.

Before the closure of the last two hospitals on Tuesday, the makeshift hospitals in Wuhan had admitted a total of more than 12,000 patients.


Photo credit: Xinhua

Over 8,000 medical workers from 94 medical teams across the country have worked in those facilities.

At the Wuchang Hongshan Stadium, the last batch of 49 patients was discharged from the temporary hospital at around 3:30 PM on Tuesday.

The stadium was among the first three public venues to be converted into makeshift hospitals when the authorities first announced the plan on Feb. 3. Wuhan reported 1,242 new confirmed cases that day.

The temporary hospital started to accept patients on Feb. 5. Over its 35 days of operation, more than 860 staff from 14 medical teams of nine provinces and municipalities treated patients there.

As of Tuesday, the hospital had treated a total of 1,124 patients and discharged over 880.

As the recovery rate improves, the strain on local medical resources is eased. Wuhans temporary hospitals had around 5,600 spare beds by Feb. 28, according to Ma Xiaowei, the Head of the National Health Commission.

On March 3, Hubei province announced that it would gradually shut down temporary hospitals in the region and cut its number of hospitals designated for the disease amid signs of improvement.

The Jianghan temporary hospital, which received the most patients and discharged the highest number of recovered patients among all local temporary hospitals, was closed on Monday.

The World Health Organization said in a report late last month that the country's "bold approach" had "changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic.

"In the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile, and aggressive disease containment effort in history," the report said.

Mi Feng, a spokesperson with the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a press conference on Tuesday that the epidemic situation continues to improve, noting that no new confirmed cases were reported in other cities in Hubei in the last five days.

As of Monday, China had sent 346 medical teams with 42,600 medical staff from across the country to Hubei.

"We will never forget the joy and excitement that patients have shown when they were discharged from the hospital," said Zhao Song, a medical worker at the Jianghan hospital.

Photo credit: Xinhua

Zhao said there is still more to do after the closure of the hospital, and he looks forward to the day when the virus subsides and everyone can finally take their masks off for good.

Source: xinhua

Editor: Crystal H