The UK announced the conversion of London’s ExCel convention centre into a 4,000-bed temporary hospital to aid in combatting the spread of Covid-19 and increase London’s capabilities in treating the sick. The conversion of the ExCel centre into a hospital, coupled with the UK’s issued lockdown orders, is expected to help ease the ongoing burden on the NHS.
On Tuesday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the conversion of the ExCel convention centre in London into a temporary hospital in order to help combat the spread of Covid-19. The temporary hospital is being named the Nightingale Hospital and will span two wings and house 4,000 hospital beds. The facility is planned to open next week with the assistance of NHS clinicians and the military.
Covid-19 is currently spreading rapidly in the UK with 8,163 confirmed cases and 423 deaths. The cases appear to be picking up rapidly, with 2,422 new cases and 141 deaths since Monday. In response to the emergency, the UK initiated lockdown procedures on Monday evening that are expected to last anywhere from three weeks to several months. Individuals are ordered not to leave their homes unless seeking food or necessities, limited exercise, seeking medicine or medical attention, or performing essential work. additionally, there is a ban on public gatherings greater than two individuals and on events like weddings and religious ceremonies. Funerals are excepted. The Prime Minister also made clear that fines will be imposed against individuals who do not obey the lockdown.
The drastic measures have become necessary to prevent the UK from sliding into a situation similar to what other EU nations, such as Italy, are facing. With the recent uptick in new daily cases and new daily deaths, some citizens have drawn criticism for failing to adhere to social distancing recommendations. While the UK faces lockdown protocols with imposed fines in order to prevent the spread of the virus, social media photos have recently surfaced that show heavily packed commuter trains. Further emphasis on the necessity of lockdown may be required in some areas in the UK.
GlobalData expects the lockdown to help curb the heavy overburden on the UK’s health system. In the meantime, non-essential health services will be heavily impacted and delayed while Covid-19 remains the top priority.