Four new field hospitals have been built in the UAE's Northern Emirates to increase patient capacity amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Field hospitals have been set up in Sharjah Expo Centre, Sheikh Khalifa Hall in Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Centre and Fujairah Exhibition Centre.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the facilities were built quickly to raise hospital capacity to more than 5,000 beds total.
"We have set up four new field hospitals, raising our capacity to more than 5,000 beds. Together we build, achieve, and race against time. We are optimistic and working non-stop," the ministry said in an Instagram post.
Field hospitals have also been established in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ajman. Dubai World Trade Centre was turned into a 3,000-bed field hospital two weeks ago with another being built in Dubai Parks and Resorts. Due to open over the coming days, the field hospital will have room for 1,200 patients and be staffed by 200 medics.
A look inside a massive field hospital in Abu Dhabi
In Abu Dhabi, two field hospitals have been built. The 31,000 square metre field hospital in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre has a capacity for 1,000 Covid-19 patients and is run by a team of 150 healthcare workers. A second centre in Mohamed bin Zayed City, opposite the industrial area of Mussaffah where tens of thousands of workers are being screened for free, will be completed in the first week of May. That hospital will be able to admit 1,200 coronavirus patients and be staffed by 200 medics.
And in Ajman, a field hospital, set up next to Saudi German Hospital, is able to treat 50 patients but is expanding its capacity to 300 beds. It is run by 50 medical staff.
This month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE Cabinet had formed a task force that will assess which government buildings can be repurposed to support the country's health sector fight the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
He said all government efforts and capabilities were being directed at overcoming this “exceptional time in our country's history”.