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Up to 10 more UK sites could become makeshift hospitals

Officials are looking to convert up to 10 more sites across the country into makeshift coronavirus hospitals similar to the ExCel exhibition centre in London, Sky News understands.

Military planners are already examining five locations in support of the Department of Health and Social Care, a Whitehall source said.

Image: The London ExCel centre will have two wards, each with the capacity for 2,000 beds

They would not confirm any of the areas, but said they would likely include major cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

A second source with knowledge of government planning for the COVID-19 pandemic said the aim was to convert between eight to 10 sites into hospital facilities.

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However the source said they would not be as large as the ExCel conversion, which will see the creation of two wards, each with the capacity for 2,000 beds.

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Matt Hancock, the health secretary, revealed on Tuesday that the exhibition hall in east London would open next week as the renamed NHS Nightingale Hospital.

The facility will initially have capacity for about 500 patients, and will be staffed by NHS and military medics.

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