Military personnel outside SEC Centre in Glasgow
Scotland

Coronavirus: Army Supports Glasgow SEC Centre's Conversion Into Temporary Hospital

The location could eventually host more than 1,000 beds for patients.

Military personnel outside SEC Centre in Glasgow

The British Army is helping convert Glasgow's SEC Centre into a temporary NHS hospital as part of the UK's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the venue could be operational within a fortnight and will initially have 300 beds.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman MSP said Scotland would attempt to "maximise the capacity to treat patients beyond the existing NHS facilities".

Speaking on the SEC as a locaation choice, she said, "it's been assessed as the best place to do this given it's accessibility, proximity to other hospitals in Scotland, its security and it's existing infrastructure and transport links."

Though the initial number of beds is thought  to be 300, Ms Freeman said there would be "potential to raise it beyond 1000".

WATCH: Jeane Freeman 'grateful' to the Army for the role in launching the temporary hospital.

Although the venue will be staffed NHS staff, the Army has been involved in planning and supporting the project in order to "get the facility up and running".

The Army will continue to assist in logistical planning and the overall response from the Scottish government to the crisis.

"We are grateful to them for all the help so far and will continue to give us," Ms Freeman added.

So far, 47 people in Scotland diagnosed with COVID-19 have died, Ms Sturgeon also announced, with over 1,500 testing positive for the virus. 

In London, military personnel are continuing work on the transformation of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, based at the ExCel Centre - expected to open on Saturday and house 4,000 beds.

Cover image: Military personnel outside the SEC Centre in Glasgow (Picture: PA).