The Coronavirus has certainly packed a punch since it arrived in China, but with the full might of the Chinese authorities now ranged against, the tide could be about to turn.
Complete containment of the contagion is the objective and quarantining entire city populations is considered the most effective means of achieving this.
So, that’s exactly what’s happening in Wuhan, Central China, where this beastly outbreak first reared its head, meaning the city and surrounding region’s entire transport system has been shut down, and an almost total restriction on travel out of the metropolis is being enforced. Moreover, Wuhan’s 11 million inhabitants are being encouraged to stay indoors, while the wearing of face masks is now compulsory if citizens must venture out.
Tough times call for tough measures, but few are complaining, for it is hoped these measures will serve to arrest the spread of this wretched germ.
For the unlucky ones who have already contracted the virus, however, urgent isolated medical attention is needed. This means it is imperative a suitable medical hospital is constructed without delay, both appropriately equipped and with enough space to accommodate the inevitable short-term increase in confirmed cases before the containment strategy kicks in.
The Chinese do, in fact, have form when it comes to successfully dealing with deadly microscopic foes, for back in 2003 they built a fully functioning mobile hospital in Beijing in just seven days, where they housed and treated those who had fallen foul of the deadly SARS epidemic.
In Wuhan, it’s going to be six days.
Or, to put it another way, a 1000 bed facility modelled on Beijing’s solution, will rise from the ground in less than 150 hours and be fully operational by February 3rd, once the requisite medical equipment has been integrated.
Construction Equipment to Hand
And, the reason the Chinese authorities are able to deliver on this scarcely believable deadline is because they have ready access to legions of construction equipment already on the ground.
At all other times, these machines would be toiling around the clock to craft the expressways, high speed rail links, power stations and other mega projects that are serving to make Wuhan one of China’s fastest growing cities. Yet, at this time of great national concern, construction companies have instead placed as many machines as are required at the Government’s disposal, so ensuring the medical facility can be built at breakneck speed.
Set to cover an area of 25,000 m² and arranged across 20 distinct blocks, an army of earthmoving and material handling construction equipment is working in harmony to deliver this miracle of medicine. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers are being paid well over the odds by the authorities to incentivise then, to get the two-storey temporary hospital up and running in record time.
Vanquish the Virus
Yet, their commitment to the cause is about more than money, for with their own families at risk, they want this virus vanquished, and are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure it happens. This includes celebrating Chinese New Year on site, so as never to leave their posts until the job’s complete.
Elsewhere, in the region, the solidarity and selflessness that mark the Chinese character are similarly in evidence, for the public are responding with great generosity to the urgent appeal to donate supplies of medical gowns, goggles and face masks, as well as medicines and disinfection equipment.
Centralising treatment in one super-facility, rather than the 61 currently in operation, will undoubtedly allow for more effective control of the dastardly virus. Governments in the Asia Pacific region are confident this virus will be contained because having defeated the SARS virus 17 years ago the Chinese authorities know what they are doing.