Chinese authorities have said they will build a second hospital dedicated to coronavirus patients, less than a day after construction started on the first.

Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak of the new killer virus, will have a new 1,300 bed hospital in less than half a month, according to state media.

The first dedicated hospital, with enough space for 1,000 patients, is due to be finished by February 3.

Aerial shots showed dozens of diggers carving out the foundation for the enormous project, which will be built on a 25,000 square-metre garden site on the outskirts of the city that had previously been earmarked for a holiday complex.

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The hospitals can be built at speed due to the use of pre-fab units, according to state media.

During the 2003 SARS outbreak, 7,000 workers built the Xiaotangshan hospital hospital in the suburbs of Beijing in just a week.

The state-owned Changjiang Daily said it treated a seventh of all the country’s SARS patients within two months.

Authorities have said Xiaotangshan is being used as the template for the new facility in Wuhan.

A Wuhan hospital doctor died this morning after a nine-day battle with the virus, according to state-run media.

Liang Wudong, 62, was retired but was drafted in to help with the epidemic.

A second doctor, Jiang Jijun, has reportedly died from a heart attack due to exhaustion from treating patients.

Chinese authorities confirmed today that over 40 people have died from the virus. More than 1300 cases have been confirmed worldwide.