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China shuts 16 hospitals in major Coronavirus infected city

By News Desk

Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in central China’s Hubei Province, has closed all of its 16 public facility-turned temporary hospitals as the number of COVID-19 patients continues to drop in the city.

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.

By the closure of last two hospitals yesterday, the temporary hospitals in Wuhan have received a total of more than 12,000 patients, according to local authorities.

Wuhan’s last reported 17 new confirmed cases, dropping below 20 for the first time and a significant contrast with statistics recorded a month ago, when 1,921 cases were reported.

“The erection of temporary hospitals is an innovative and effective move that has achieved its initial goal of treating more patients and containing the source of infection,” said Hu Yu, head of Wuhan Union Hospital, which manages one of the temporary hospitals.

At the Wuchang Hongshan Stadium, the last batch of 49 patients was discharged from a temporary hospital at around 3:30 p.m. yesterday.

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

“In our first week here, we were under great pressure as it is something that we had never done before,” said Xu Junmei, deputy head of the Wuchang temporary hospital.

The hospital faced logistics issues, distrust from patients and the lack of operation experience at the beginning, but in mere days, the situation improved, said Wan Jun, head of the hospital.

“As the first batch of patients was discharged six days later, both the patients and health workers got a confidence boost,” Xu said.

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

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