Photos: Field hospitals built around the globe as coronavirus pandemic spreads

Stadiums, parks and convention centers are being transformed into hospitals.

April 4, 2020, 5:10 AM

Places where large crowds gathered for sports and entertainment events are now being transformed into field hospitals as the world combats the spread of coronavirus.

The world watched as China built huge hospitals for the sick in January during the height of the novel coronavirus outbreak there.

Now, these makeshift care centers are going up in many locations, from stadiums in Seattle and Rio de Janeiro to convention centers in New York and Madrid and fair grounds in Florida.

Tents have been popping up in soccer fields, parking lots and in Central Park to create extra space for patients. Turf is being covered by temporary floors, members of the military and volunteer armies are being called up to help construct them.

As cases grow, existing hospitals around the world have quickly been overwhelmed, forcing governments to react by quickly adding capacity by erecting field hospitals.

See how it has evolved:

Philadelphia

PHOTO: A worker moves items at a federal medical station as it is set up as a field hospital at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, March 30, 2020.
A worker moves items at a federal medical station as it is set up as a field hospital at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, March 30, 2020.
Matt Rourke/AP

Detroit

PHOTO: Members of the Michigan National Guard assemble beds at the TCF Center which is being converted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into a field hospital in Detroit, April 1, 2020.
Members of the Michigan National Guard assemble beds at the TCF Center which is being converted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into a field hospital in Detroit, April 1, 2020.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Belgrade, Serbia

PHOTO: Serbian military sets up the beds inside Hall 1 of the Belgrade Fair to accommodate people with mild symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Belgrade, Serbia, March 24, 2020.
Serbian military sets up the beds inside Hall 1 of the Belgrade Fair to accommodate people who with mild symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Belgrade, Serbia, March 24, 2020.
Marko Djurica/Reuters
PHOTO: Britain's Prince Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, sends a video message to the guests at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, from his home in Birkhall, Scotland, April 3, 2020.
Britain's Prince Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, sends a video message to the guests at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, from his home in Birkhall, Scotland, April 3, 2020.
Clarencehouse via Reuters

London

PHOTO: The main entrance ahead of the official opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCel center, April 3, 2020 in London, England.
The main entrance ahead of the official opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCel center, April 3, 2020 in London, England. The field hospital will initially contain 500 beds with ventilators and oxygen and will have the capacity to eventually hold up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

On Friday, in his first public appearance since being diagnosed with COVID-19, Prince Charles made a video message for the opening of the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCel Centre in London, which will have 4,000 beds.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

PHOTO: Workers set up a temporary field hospital to treat patients who have COVID-19 inside Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 30, 2020.
Workers set up a temporary field hospital to treat patients who have COVID-19 inside Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 30, 2020.
Andre Penner/AP

Seattle

PHOTO: Army soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McCord and Fort Carson build a field hospital at the Century Link Event Center in Seattle, March 31, 2020.
Army soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McCord and Fort Carson build a field hospital at the Century Link Event Center in Seattle, March 31, 2020. The field hospital will have 250 beds, 24 of them for ICU patients, and will be used for overflow patients who do not have the coronavirus to help local hospitals that are overflowing.
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times via Redux

Gothenburg, Sweden

PHOTO: Military personnel prepare a field hospital at the Ostra Sjukhuset hospital area in Gothenburg, Sweden, March 24, 2020.
Military personnel prepare a field hospital at the Ostra Sjukhuset hospital area in Gothenburg, Sweden, March 24, 2020. The field hospital with 20 intensive care units, will meet an expected increase in people infected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
IBL/Rex/Shutterstock

New York

PHOTO: A temporary hospital being built by the Samaritan's Purse at Central Park in New York City, March 30, 2020 in New York, United States.
A temporary hospital being built by the Samaritan's Purse at Central Park in New York City, March 30, 2020 in New York, United States.
Misha Friedman/Getty Images
PHOTO: A temporary hospital is set up at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, March 27, 2020.
A temporary hospital is set up at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, March 27, 2020.
Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Crema, Italy

PHOTO: A field hospital is set up in front of the Crema hospital, where 52 medical doctors and nurses from Cuba will be working to help out during the coronavirus outbreak in Crema, Italy, March 25, 2020.
A field hospital is set up in front of the Crema hospital, where 52 medical doctors and nurses from Cuba will be working to help out during the coronavirus outbreak in Crema, Italy, March 25, 2020.
Matteo Corner/EPA via Shutterstock

Moscow

PHOTO: Workers erect a building which will be a new hospital, on the outskirts of Moscow, April 2, 2020.
Workers erect a building which will be a new hospital, on the outskirts of Moscow, April 2, 2020.
Denis Voronin/Moscow News Agency via AP

Lahore, Pakistan

PHOTO: A view of a field hospital comprising of 1000 beds setup by the Punjab government for coronavirus patients and suspects, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 26, 2020.
A view of a field hospital comprising of 1000 beds setup by the Punjab government for coronavirus patients and suspects, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 26, 2020.
Rahat Dar/EPA via Shutterstock

Miami, Florida

PHOTO: A makeshift field hospital is seen at Miami-Dade County fairground in Miami, Fla., March 26, 2020. The 250-bed field hospital is being set up at Miami-Dade county fairground as the county prepares for a surge of coronavirus cases.
A makeshift field hospital is seen at Miami-Dade County fairground in Miami, Fla., March 26, 2020. The 250-bed field hospital is being set up at Miami-Dade county fairground as the county prepares for a surge of coronavirus cases.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Dallas, Texas

PHOTO: Beds are readied as Texas Army National Guardsmen set up a field hospital in response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, March 31, 2020, in Dallas, Texas.
Beds are readied as Texas Army National Guardsmen set up a field hospital in response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, March 31, 2020, in Dallas, Texas.
Smiley N. Pool/Pool photo via Getty Images

Caldas Da Rainha, Portugal

PHOTO: A field hospital set up in the high performance badminton centre, in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, March 23, 2020.
A field hospital set up in the high performance badminton centre, in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, March 23, 2020.
Carlos Barroso/EPA via Shutterstock

Madrid, Spain

PHOTO: Patients fill a temporary field hospital set at Ifema convention and exhibition in Madrid, Spain, April 2, 2020.
Patients fill a temporary field hospital set at Ifema convention and exhibition in Madrid, Spain, April 2, 2020.
Manu Fernandez/AP

Outside of wartime, field hospitals are used primary for natural disasters. As the pandemic transforms daily life, it is also transforming some public spaces in a way we have not seen before.

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