China is building a second hospital in Wuhan dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients
The 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan, China, which was built in just 10 days as part of the nation's effort to tackle a new coronavirus, has received its first patients.
The first patients arrived at the Huoshenshan Hospital around 10am on Monday, state media said, reports ABC news.
However, the reports disclosed no information about the patients' identities or conditions.
According to Reuters, the Huoshenshan hospital is designed to have 1,000 beds for patients with confirmed infections to ease a shortage of beds elsewhere in the city as the virus spreads.
Construction of Huoshenshan was copied from a hospital built in Beijing in 2003 that was dedicated to the fight against SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. More than 7,500 workers took part in the fast-build project, which commenced on Jan 25 and finished this weekend.
China is building a second hospital in Wuhan dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients, with 1,600 beds. Leishenshan Hospital is scheduled to be completed on Feb 5.
The epidemic has killed 361 people and infected more than 17,000 in China and at least 171 overseas. There are more than 11,000 cases in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, state television said on Monday.
Wuhan remains in virtual lockdown with travel severely restricted, and China is facing mounting international isolation as well due to restrictions on flights to and from the country.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but said global trade and travel restrictions are not needed.
The virus is thought to have emerged late last year in a Wuhan market illegally trading wildlife. It can cause pneumonia and spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes.
It has created alarm because it is spreading quickly and there are still important unknowns surrounding it, such as its death rate and whether it is able to spread before any symptoms show.
The number of deaths in China from the new virus has now passed the total Chinese toll from the 2002-03 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus which emerged from China and killed more than 800 people around the world.
Even so, Chinese data on the numbers of infections and deaths suggests the new coronavirus is less deadly than the SARS outbreak, although such numbers can evolve rapidly.