A huge emergency hospital to care for coronavirus patients is currently being installed by the army at Manchester Central (formerly known as GMEX), I Love MCR understands.

According to a source based at Manchester Central, the convention complex will likely be used as a recovery facility to house and care for hundreds of coronavirus patients in order to ease the burden on local hospitals.

The temporary facility – which will be known as Sir William Coates – is being set up today with the help of the military.

Its construction is being overseen by military experts experienced in setting up field hospitals, which are typically deployed to conflicts or disaster zones and tend to operate as units of 50, 100 or 200 beds.

Manchester Central is being turned into an emergency hospital to care for coronavirus patients I Love Manchester

London’s the ExCel centre in Docklands has already been converted into an emergency hospital facility this week with the help of the armed forces.

Known as NHS Nightingale, it was officially set up on Tuesday and comprises two wards of 2,000 each. Whilst Manchester Central does not have quite the same capacity, it will still be able to hold hundreds of patients if called upon.

Further facilities are expected to be set up across the country, including at Birmingham’s NEC, Downing Street has indicated.

Welsh rugby ground Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli is today being converted into a temporary hospital ward alongside two other sites in Camarthenshire to provide more beds to care for patients during the pandemic.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Catherine Calderwood also claimed that sites in Scotland were being considered, whilst officials in Northern Ireland have already moved to set up temporary respiratory hospitals across the country.

As of 9am on Friday 27th March, Greater Manchester has 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus – up from 395 on Thursday morning. However, the true number of cases is believed to be much higher as testing facilities are extremely limited.

At least 27 people in the region have died so far after contracting the Covid-19 virus.

The borough by borough cases as of this morning are as follows:

Manchester – 55
Bolton – 25
Bury – 27
Oldham – 48
Rochdale – 38
Stockport – 48
Tameside – 40
Trafford – 46
Wigan – 16
Salford – 52

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