Announced today (24 March) as part he Government’s daily briefing by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the new NHS Nightingale Hospital will consist of two wards and be able to hold up to 4,000 patients.
“With the help of the military, and with NHS clinicians, we will make sure that we have the capacity that we need so that everyone can get support,” he said.
The Guardian reported earlier this week that NHS England London region planners have been forced to prepare to use the ExCeL as an auxiliary or overflow hospital because of the sheer number of people the virus will soon be leaving seriously ill.
One official told The Guardian: “Because it’s doubling everywhere every few days, and because London is two weeks ahead of the rest of the country in the severity of the impact of the disease, the ExCeL is part of the plan because that doubling means we aren’t going to have the beds.”
The country’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak has intensified significantly in recent days, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night ordering a nationwide lockdown to help stop the spread of the virus.