Graphics: Does Wuhan have enough hospital beds for coronavirus patients?
Updated 22:49, 18-Feb-2020
By Hu Yiwei

Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), is making every effort to open more hospitals.

The capital city of central China's Hubei Province is relentlessly converting gyms, sports and exhibition centers into makeshift hospitals and allocating hotels and schools as temporary medical sites.

It has already built two brand-new hospitals in an extremely short time.

Why new hospitals?

The answer is clear: the existing hospitals are short of beds.

Despite the number of designated hospitals for virus-infected patients in Wuhan has surged to over 40, providing more than 19,000 hospital beds by Monday – the figure is still far from enough to attend to every patient.

As of Monday, the epidemic ground zero reported a total of 42,752 confirmed cases, with over 37,000 patients in need to be hospitalized.

Only by building new hospitals can Wuhan fill this gap.

What's been built?

The most famous among the new hospitals must be the Huoshenshan (Fire God Mountain) Hospital and the Leishenshan (Thunder God Mountain) Hospital, both built in less than 10 days, construction speed that has wowed the world.

Replicating Beijing's 2003 SARS treatment model, the two hospitals are dedicated to treating patients infected with the coronavirus together with the existing designated hospitals.

They can provide a combined capacity of 2,600 beds – 1,609 of them have been already used for treatment as of Monday.


Wuhan has also decided to convert over 20 venues, including gymnasiums, exhibition centers and sports centers into makeshift hospitals, which can offer over 20,000 beds.

One such near-completion facility in the city's Jiang'an District will be the largest of its kind with 3,000 hospital beds.

By the end of last week, nine of these temporary medical sites have opened with nearly 7,000 beds, treating a total of over 5,600 patients.

Read more:

Two coronavirus patients' stories in a Wuhan makeshift hospital

The city's hospital admission capacity will continue to rise rapidly with more beds and makeshift hospitals put into use.

To further make sure no patient is left unattended, Wuhan is also using private hospitals, hotels, schools and local communities as designated sites for quarantine, observation and treatment of patients.

How their functions vary?

Before the new hospitals were put into use, many patients in Wuhan had to stand in queues for hours to seek treatment at the designated hospitals.

Now these once-overburdened hospitals can focus on patients in severe and critical conditions.

Those with mild symptoms are taken good care of at the makeshift hospitals, and schools-turned quarantine facilities. Suspected cases are required to be isolated, usually in government-assigned hotels or local communities. 

There were at least 64,000 beds available at these quarantine sites, with over 25,000 already in use, according to data obtained from the local government by CGTN.

These facilities have played, and will continue to play a key role in containing the epidemic in Wuhan.

More hospitals require more medical resources. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of medical staff and resources from all over the country have rushed to Hubei to help.

Data from local government shows that 27,387 medics have been dispatched to Wuhan, as of Monday.

A total of 4,219 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals in Wuhan, according to the National Health Commission's daily report released on Monday. 

(Graphics: Jia Jieqiong; CGTN's Huo Qiru also contributed to the story.)