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24 March 2020, 17:04 | Updated: 24 March 2020, 17:17
The government has announced plans to open the NHS Nightingale Hospital, which will hold 4,000 patients.
The UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock today (24 March) confirmed the government’s plans to open a temporary hospital which will hold enough wards to care for 4,000 coronavirus patients.
The hospital, named the Nightingale Hospital, will use the Excel Centre in London for two wards each holding 2,000 people.
Matt Hancock also announced over 35,000 staff are returning to the NHS, including over 18,000 student nurses coming to the front line.
As well as NHS clinicians, the Army are also being recruited to help at the temporary healthcare centre.
Staff will help those struggling to breathe and who might require a ventilator if their lungs have failed.
NHS organisers predict they will need to launch the service at the new location in a week's time when critical care beds in more central hospitals are expected to be filling quickly, mainly with coronavirus patients.
The Health Secretary also called for 250,000 volunteers to help support the NHS through the coronavirus pandemic.
He later reminded the public the Prime Minister’s ‘lockdown' specifications announced on Monday “are not requests, they are rules.”