Prince Charles, while in Scotland, sends a video message to guests at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London on Friday. Reuters
Prince Charles remotely opened a vast temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients at London’s main exhibition centre on Friday, as the number of coronavirus-related deaths reported in the UK surpassed China’s official total.
While confirmed virus cases and deaths continued to rise steeply, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he remained in isolation with a fever eight days after testing positive for the new virus.
Charles, who on Monday completed a week of self-isolating as he recovered from COVID-19, said via video link that he was “enormously touched” to be asked to open the new Nightingale Hospital, which was built in just nine days at the vast ExCel conference center in east London, with corridors stretching a full kilometer (just over half a mile).
It opens with around 500 beds but when at its expected full capacity of 4,000 beds, it will be the biggest hospital facility in the UK.
Charles, 71, paid tribute to everyone, including military personnel, involved in its “spectacular and almost unbelievable” construction.
An example, if ever one was needed, of how the impossible could be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity,” he said from his home in Scotland, Birkhall.
The new National Health Service hospital will only care for people with COVID-19, and patients will only be assigned there after their local London hospital reaches its capacity. Charles described himself as one of “the lucky ones” with only mild symptoms but noted “for some it will be a much harder journey.”
He expressed his hope that the hospital “is needed for as short a time and for as few people as possible.”
The hospital is named after Florence Nightingale, who treated British and allied soldiers during the Crimean War of the 1850s and is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.
Further new hospitals are being planned across the UK, including in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester, to alleviate pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who also contracted COVID-19 and emerged from his own self-isolation on Thursday., said the peak of the epidemic in Britain is likely to be in the “coming weeks” and could be as soon as next weekend.
The number of virus-related deaths in Britain has sharply increased in the past two weeks. Government figures provided Friday showed that a total of 3,605 people who tested positive have died in British hospitals, an increase of 684 from a day earlier.
The youngest victim, 13-year-old London boy Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, was buried Friday without his family in attendance.
The ministers' video conference dragged on for over 15 hours from Tuesday into Wednesday, with Italy and Spain pleading for a solidarity fund that would be paid for by European partners jointly borrowing money on the financial markets.
Dr Chowdhury was a locum urologist who worked at Homerton Hospital in East London and died at Queen's Hospital in Romford after testing positive for coronavirus. He was survived by his wife and two children.
French gross domestic product shrank 5.8% in the quarter from the previous three months, when the euro zone's second-biggest economy contracted 0.1%, the INSEE official statistics agency said.
South Korea said on Saturday it will request North Korea to further investigate the killing of a South Korean government official who was shot by North Korean troops after being found adrift near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary while apparently trying to defect.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Americans might not know the winner of the November presidential election for months due to disputes over mail ballots, building on his criticism of a method that could be used by half of US voters this year.
Dubai Economy also urged everyone to report any non-compliance to the precautionary guidelines through the Dubai Consumer app available on the Apple and Google stores, by calling 600545555, or by visiting the Consumerrights.ae website.
The government has also introduced a Pass Track Application that all travellers will be required to install in their mobile phones. A health declaration form is also required to be filled 48 hours before arriving in the country.