Closure of all Wuhan's makeshift hospitals indicates another stage in victory against COVID-19

By Fan Wei and Xu Keyue Published: 2020/3/11 0:42:13 Last Updated: 2020/3/11 10:42:13

Workers discard waste and conduct disinfection at the Fangcang makeshift hospital converted from the Wuhan Sports Center, in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, on Sunday. The hospital that opened on February 12 and admitted a total of 1,056 COVID-19 patients have discharged 875 patients and transferred 181 as of Sunday, clearing up patients and achieving infections of no medics in the meantime. Photo: cnsphoto

The last Fang Cang makeshift hospital in the epicenter Wuhan, in Central China's Hubei Province, purposely built and designed for COVID-19 treatment, closed on Tuesday afternoon, indicating that all 16 makeshift hospitals built in the city have closed amid surging recoveries, which an expert said reflected a major stage in the victory against the virus. 

All 16 makeshift hospitals built in Wuhan have treated 12,000 patients by closing time. 

The Fang Cang hospital in Wuchang district, which opened on February 5, is Wuhan's first such hospital. 

The hospital has admitted 1,124 patients (including 833 discharged and 291 transferred), the People's Daily reported on Tuesday. 868 medical staff from 14 medical teams nationwide participated in treatment efforts, report said.

The hospital had recorded no deaths, no infections of hospital staff, and no instances of re-hospitalization, report said.

A closing ceremony was held at the hospital on Tuesday. The Global Times reporter present at the Wuchang Fang Cang hospital learned from a doctor regarding the four criteria for discharging patients, which include normal body temperature for three consecutive days, no respiratory symptoms, CT scans showing obvious decrease of lung inflammation, and two negative nucleic acid tests.

The doctor noted that discharged patients would be sent to designated points for a 14-day quarantine and a follow-up observation.

At the closing ceremony, the last group of patients from the hospital stood together excitedly and sang the song My Motherland to celebrate their recovery.

The makeshift hospitals were immediately constructed after the outbreak began to receive and treat patients displaying mild symptoms of novel coronavirus pneumonia, which has played an important and irreplaceable role in epidemic prevention and treatment, and has also created a new model for dealing with public health emergencies, responding to major disasters and epidemic situations, and rapidly organizing and pooling medical resources, Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the Pathogen Biology Department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The closure shows the epicenter Wuhan is no longer short of hospital beds and a large number of patients exhibiting lighter symptoms have been cured, Yang said.

It also signals that such "epidemic prevention and control in the city is a major stage in the victory against the virus", Yang noted.

The first Fang Cang hospital in Qiaokou district, Wuhan, closed on March 1 and had admitted 330 patients from February 11, amongst whom 32 were critical or severe, and 232 were cured or discharged, media reported.

According to data published by China's National Health Commission, a further 19 infections of COVID-19 were confirmed on Monday, 36 on Sunday and 41 on Saturday, which shows a falling trend in the city.

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