Guangzhou renovates key fairground into makeshift hospital amid latest peak

The construction of the makeshift hospital in the exhibition hall of the China Import and Export Fair in Pazhou district, south China’s Guangdong province. Source: Southcn

Local authorities in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, announced on Sunday that they are renovating part of the exhibition hall of the world famous China Import and Export Fair into a hospital makeshift amid the latest peak of COVID-19.

Wu Linbo, deputy secretary-general of the Guangzhou city government, confirmed at a press conference on Sunday that, in accordance with national epidemic prevention and control requirements that require each province to prepare two to three makeshift hospitals, Guangzhou is working on the construction of the makeshift hospital. in the China Import and Export Fair Exhibition Hall in Pazhou District. A total of 23 cases have been reported in Guangzhou since Friday.

Wu’s remarks came after a video circulating on social media on Saturday showed builders constructing makeshift hospitals inside the exhibition hall, with white cubicles being quickly erected. The video was later verified by Caixin Magazine.

An employee of a hotel next to the site told the Global Times on Sunday that a makeshift hospital was indeed under construction, as workers could be seen carrying building materials inside the lobby.

“The construction of the makeshift hospital has no significant impact on the operation of our hotel, and other businesses around it are also operating normally,” the employee said.

More than 1,500 workers have been working on the site around the clock since Saturday, renovating five pavilions in the center which are used for the makeshift hospital. A pavilion has basically been formed, and it is expected to be completed and put into use within a week, local authorities said at Sunday’s news conference.

The makeshift hospital in Pazhou District will directly use different pavilions to set up three zones: polluted zone, semi-polluted zone and clean zone, with a total of 3,450 beds designed, according to Caixin.

“Cabins can be prefabricated on a large scale, and the materials can be reassembled during admission. A large-scale makeshift hospital can be completed in a month, and the construction period can be reduced to a week in the event of an emergency. “, said Caixin. reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

“The construction of makeshift hospitals should not be directly related to the severity of the local epidemic,” an epidemic prevention expert told Caixin.

Under the current epidemic situation, makeshift hospitals are still a better way to implement centralized quarantine for mild cases, and each province in China should have at least 2 to 3 makeshift hospitals, said Jiao Yahui, director of the office. NHC Medical Directors at a press conference. March 22 conference.

Jiao noted that 33 makeshift hospitals have been built or are under construction in 19 cities in 12 provinces, of which 20 have been built and 13 are under construction, with a total of 35,000 beds. These makeshift hospitals are mainly concentrated in the provinces of Jilin, Shandong, Yunnan, Hebei, Fujian and Liaoning.

There is precedent for building makeshift hospitals using large showrooms in China. Cities like Wuhan have used makeshift hospitals since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020. The China International Import Expo pavilion in Hongqiao, Shanghai has been converted into a makeshift hospital, with a total capacity of 50 000 beds.

Guangzhou is also the first city in China to establish centralized quarantine facilities for incoming passengers. The city built an “international health station” covering an area of ​​250,000 square meters in June 2021, and it was officially put into operation on November 5 the same year. The site was located away from the urban area and 5,000 self-contained rooms were set up to accommodate quarantined incoming passengers.

The most important function of the pavilion of the China Import and Export Fair – also called Canton Fair – was to host the fairs twice a year, in April and October. But this year’s 131st China Import and Export Fair will be held online from April 15 for 10 days. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the 127th, 128th and 129th Canton Fairs have been held online, with only the 130th Canton Fair restoring offline exhibition halls on a small scale.

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