China builds hospital in 5 days as COVID-19 cases rise in Beijing
China on Saturday finished a five-day construction project on a 1,500-room hospital as clusters of COVID-19 spread in Beijing and the surrounding provinces.
The state of play: The facility is the one of six hospitals with a total of 6,500 rooms in the works in Nangong, the Xinhua News Agency said Saturday per AP reporting. They are all expected to be completed next week.
- China reportedly put roughly 28 million people on lockdown this week in the the Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
By the numbers: China has reached a 10-month high for COVID cases and on Friday reported 168 cases.
- Yes, but: The numbers remain far below the infection levels the nation saw last February, when China reached a record high of approximately 15,000 daily cases.
- The country has reported more than 97,000 cases and over 4,700 deaths as of Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins university data.
- It remains possible that China — the site of the original coronavirus outbreak — has been underreporting its cases.
What they're saying: The Chinese government has blamed the surge on food imports and travelers visiting the country.
- The new cases "are all imported from abroad. It was caused by entry personnel or contaminated cold chain imported goods," the National Health Commission said in a statement, per AP.
The big picture: The WHO agreed last May to a call from over 110 countries to lead an independent review of the global coronavirus response after China backed the move following clashes with Australia, which had earlier advocated for a sweeping inquiry.