International exhibition centre London ExCeL is to be turned into a temporary hospital to help treat patients suffering from Covid-19 and ease the burden on the NHS.
The 100,000 sq mtr space in London’s Docklands is being converted in a plan spearheaded by military planners and personnel, with an initial capacity of 500 beds being made available in the space that is famous for hosting global trade shows such as World Travel Market and Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, health secretary Matt Hancock said that London ExCeL would become the NHS Nightingale hospital and comprise two wards of 2,000 people each.
It has also been reported that this could be the first of many emergency hospitals created around the UK to help with the influx of coronavirus patients.
The Guardian also reported that The NEC in Birmingham has said it ‘stands ready’ and is ‘well-equipped’ should the exhibition centre be considered as a suitable location for a temporary hospital.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “We are and have been in constant communication with the local NHS trust, police and fire service, and the services are fully aware of the capabilities of the venue. We will do our utmost to support the effort in combating the virus.”