LivingHow can China build a hospital in 10 days?

How can China build a hospital in 10 days?

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese media confirmed that there were 44 cases of people affected by a coronavirus , a type of virus that has a characteristic ring of proteins that surrounds it like a corona, in Wuhan. It was precisely this city that gave its name to the coronavirus and where the main focus is located, so the Chinese authorities have decided to turn it into a quarantine zone, along with other large cities in which cases have greatly prospered. With almost 5,000 affected in the Hubei region, the Chinese authorities are undertaking an incredible task: to build a fully operational hospital with capacity for 1,000 people in just 10 days.

It seems impossible, right? We are not only talking about erecting a building with these capacities in such a short time but, being a hospital, hygiene, sterilization, isolation or even energy characteristics must be taken into account so that it works properly and can be properly cared for. patients. But China not only has the means to do so, it also has the experience of having done it on other occasions .

The CGTN television channel broadcasts in real time the progress in the construction of the hospital through its YouTube channel.


Prefabricated structures and little bureaucracy

The new Wuhan hospital will be called Huoshenshan Hospital , it will have an area of 25,000 square meters and an estimated capacity of between 700 and 1,000 beds that can be used by those affected, if all goes according to plan, from February 2. To understand how China intends to have an operational hospital in just over a week, two basic reasons must be sought: the use of prefabricated materials and the vertical structure of Chinese society.

The first is increasingly common in general architecture and even more so if it is a case of extreme urgency such as the one at hand. Prefabricated construction or modular construction is based, according to the Neoblock company, on the use of “a system for creating and assembling standardized habitable modules that allow the creation of unique design spaces .” Instead of building each structure, wall and room in the work area itself, models designed with specific characteristics and previously built are used, only requiring their placement and assembly in the place where the building in question will be erected. For the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, the ground is being prepared by heavy machinery such as excavators and bulldozers to then assemble the structure and modular rooms, maximizing speed and minimizing costs and material waste.

It must be understood that the construction of Wuhan will not be a normal hospital like those that could be found in other circumstances. It is not designed for a long useful life, but rather as a solution very focused on utilitarian criteria that aims to respond to an extraordinary situation such as this one.

The other great factor to take into account, as we have already advanced, is the vertical structure of Chinese society . The Asian giant presents a model in which the upper echelons of the government have great power and freedom of decision, being able to bypass bureaucratic procedures and alter the standard conditions as they deem necessary. What does this mean? Well, the Wuhan authorities, with the backing of the Chinese government, can mobilize the resources such as manpower or specialized personnel that they need in a very short time. A clear example of this is that workers on the construction site of the new Wuhan hospital, according to the South China Morning Post , are offered three times the usual salary for that position . It is also striking to know that Wuhan will be able to take the necessary medicines and medical supplies from other hospitals, as well as order them directly from manufacturers.

The Chinese authorities’ strategy to control and treat the coronavirus in its most important focus involves the construction of a second hospital (Leishenshan Hospital) with a capacity of 1,600 beds , even greater than that of Huoshenshan Hospital, and which is expected to begin. to operate on February 5.

Previous experience

The crisis caused by the Wuhan coronavirus has not been the first that China has had to deal with. In 2003, the city of Beijing had to build Xiaotangshan Hospital within seven days to be able to treat cases of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus. About 4,000 people worked day and night to meet the deadlines established for a center that had a CT scan room, an X-ray room, intensive care and a laboratory.

The procedures and actions taken by the authorities with the Wuhan coronavirus are based on those followed during the 2003 crisis.

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