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Prince Charles opened a new 4,000-bed temporary hospital in a conference centre in east London on Friday, the first of several being built in Britain to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The new state-run National Health Service (NHS) Hospital is named after the trailblazing 19th-century nurse Florence Nightingale and has been built in just nine days.
Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son and heir officially launched the facility via videolink from Scotland, where he has been in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
He paid tribute to everyone involved, calling it "quite frankly incredible" to have transformed the giant ExCeL centre into a critical care facility in such a short space of time.
"I was one of the lucky ones to have COVID-19 relatively mildly," he said. "But for some, it will be a much harder journey.
The Prince of Wales today opened the new NHS @NightingaleLDN hospital via video link.
The Head of Nursing @NightingaleLDN unveiled a plaque on behalf of HRH to officially mark the opening of the hospital which will provide support for thousands more patients with coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/N1ABmxehx6
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 3, 2020
"I am therefore so relieved that everyone can now have the reassurance that they will receive all the necessary technical care they may need, and every chance to return to a normal life."
With Nightingale often named "The Lady with the Lamp" and seen as one of the founders of modern nursing, he said the name was appropriate.
"In this dark time, this place will be a shining light," the prince said, but added that he hoped it would not be required for long.
NHS Nightingale London will initially take 500 people in the coming days, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has also tested positive for COVID-19.
It will take intensive care patients with COVID-19 from other London hospitals, which have seen the most number of cases across Britain.
The size of 10 district general hospitals, the new facility has more than 80 wards, each containing 42 beds, and when fully operational will require more than 16,000 staff to run.
Hancock praised the NHS, a taxpayer funded service free at the poiRead More – Source