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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 0:55
AS the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, Russia is constructing 16 entirely new hospitals in a matter of weeks, following other nations in efforts to increase healthcare capacity.
3,000 Russian troops have been working non-stop to complete the hospitals.
The facilities could hold up to 1,600 patients once completed.
Above: Work began on the new hospitals on March 20.
At a total cost of USD $115 million, half the hospitals will be ready by mid-April, with the other half coming online by May 15.
As of March 26, Russia has 840 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but the government is bracing for the sharp increase in cases seen in other countries.
Above: There will be a total of 16 new hospitals for 1,600 patients.
Countries across the world are responding to the pandemic by rapidly building new hospitals or reconfiguring old buildings as make-shift medical centres in order to increase the capacity of their healthcare systems and prevent them becoming overwhelmed.
Iran and Spain have both enlisted their military to help adapt existing structures.
Iran recently converted the Tehran International Exhibitions building into a medical centre that can hold 2,000 people. While Spain has done the same to the Ifema exhibition complex in Madrid - the space can now hold up to 5,500 patients.
Above: Madrid's Ifema exhibition complex is now a make-shift hospital (image courtesy of Comunidad de Madrid via Getty Images).
In the UK, the ExCel convention centre in East London has been temporarily renamed NHS Nightingale and is being converted into a “Super Hospital” fitted with 5,000 beds - 500 of which will be equipped with ventilators and oxygen.
Its capacity could be expanded as the number of confirmed cases in the UK rises.