Shanghai office towers become makeshift hospitals in city-first initiative
Shanghai is turning office buildings into makeshift hospitals to meet a surge in demand to treat COVID-19 patients.
Hailed as the city's first project of its kind, the tower at 555 Rihui Road E. in Huangpu District started to receive patients on Wednesday.
China's leading real estate broker Pacific Rehouse bought the building for nearly 14 billion yuan (US$2.20 billion) at auction on April 4.
It was meant to become the company's headquarters due to its prime location, only 330 meters from Huangpu River, but was converted to a makeshift hospital after the company answered the government's call to join hands to battle a resurgence of the pandemic.
Renovation started on April 7, and it only took 96 hours to be completed.
The makeshift hospital occupies over 17 floors, accommodating more than 3,000 people. Each floor, about 2,500 square meters, has seven rooms containing about 25 beds. The nurse station, free WiFi, bathroom and other basic facilities are in place.
According to the company, the building will allow patients to enjoy the beautiful waterfront view, which may help to relieve their tension.
Also, a newly-completed office building on 1111 Yuanshen Road in the Pudong New Area has also been put into use as a makeshift hospital. The 15-floor structure offers 3,650 beds.
Shanghai reported 2,573 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, 25,146 local asymptomatic infections and one imported asymptomatic patient on Wednesday, the Shanghai Health Commission said on Thursday morning.
So far, the city has reported over 200,000 locally transmitted infections during the recent resurgence of coronavirus which started in March.