The first patients have been admitted to temporary hospital NHS Nightingale.

A spokesperson said: ‘Our first patients have now been admitted to the NHS Nightingale London, as planned. There is also treatment capacity available in other hospitals across London to complement the care being provided at the London Nightingale.’

The hospital was built inside the ExCel convention centre in a matter of weeks to help with the growing number of coronavirus patients in the UK. As of today, there are 55,242 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK. 6,227 people have died from the virus.

This evening professor of cardiology Richard Schilling shared a photo of the first patients arriving at NHS Nightingale for treatment in an ambulance. He wrote that the staff were working with ‘the professionalism of a hospital in existence for two decades not two weeks’, adding that he was ‘very proud to be part of it’.

Earlier today he tweeted a picture of staff smiling inside the hospital, writing: ‘Here is the first team coming on duty.’

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The 4,000-bed hospital aims to strengthen London’s capacity for fighting coronavirus. The capital is the country’s worst affected area, with the largest amount of deaths recorded.

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The ExCel centre usually hosts sporting events and major exhibitions, but its main arena, which spans 1km, will soon incorporate two morgues in the grim anticipation of the death roll rising in the coming weeks.

Professor Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England, previously described the opening of the NHS Nightingale as ‘an extraordinary feat’.

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