- The British government is transforming a huge London venue into a makeshift hospital for coronavirus patients.
- ExCeL Center in east London will become the "Nightingale Hospital," Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.
- The hospital is divided into two wards and can treat 4,000 patients
- Hancock announced that nearly 12,000 retired health professionals have returned to help the NHS.
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Britain is turning a huge conference center in central London into a makeshift hospital that can treat 4,000 coronavirus patients, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.
In a press conference today, Hancock confirmed reports that Boris Johnson's government would transform the ExCeL center in East London into a temporary intensive care unit called "Nightingale Hospital".
The provisional hospital will have two wards, each of which can treat 2,000 people, said Hancock. The British military will help NHS workers run the hospital.
The ExCeL Center is normally used for congresses and exhibitions. It is located between Canary Wharf, a major financial district in London, and the capital's London City Airport.
Hancock also announced that 11,788 retired health professionals have so far returned to the NHS to help health care treat coronavirus patients.
The health minister also said the government has launched a program called "Your NHS Needs You" to recruit 250,000 volunteers to help Britain fight the virus.
These volunteers are asked to help protect the 1.5 million British who have been found to be most at risk from the corona virus.
The UK government is preparing for the number of COVID-19 virus cases to increase rapidly in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, there were 8,077 cases of the virus in the UK, with 422 deaths related to the virus.
Hancock said of the launch of the campaign: "In these extraordinary times, it is important that we all band together to protect the weakest, reduce the pressure on our NHS and care systems, and save lives.
"If you are doing well and you can do it for sure, I urge you to register today to help the most vulnerable in our communities as NHS volunteers.
"Your help has the potential to make a real difference for some of those most affected by the outbreak – from submitting essential prescriptions to asking them to review the wellbeing of self-isolators."
"I am very proud of how the whole country comes together to help each other. We must continue to listen and live to the latest medical and scientific advice and this national effort can really make a difference."