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Scotland's largest exhibition centre to be turned into field hospital, Sturgeon announces

SCOTLAND’s largest exhibition centre will be turned into a field hospital to help the NHS respond to the coronavirus crisis, Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

Ms Sturgeon also announced that breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening programmes will be paused while the crisis continues.

The First Minister revealed that the Scottish Events Campus would be transformed as the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country rose to 47 — an increase of six on Sunday’s figure — with 108 people now in intensive care.

Ms Sturgeon said that the temporary hospital might not be needed once the NHS has worked to increase its capacity but that it makes sense to act now.

It could be up and running within two weeks, initially providing 300 extra beds but with this potentially increasing to 1,000.

The First Minister said: “Our NHS is on an emergency footing and all health boards have been undertaking extensive work across Scotland to maximise the capacity available to manage expected rise in demand due to Covid-19.

“I hope that this facility will not be needed as, alongside the public’s contributed efforts to stay at home and the steps we are already taking to increase the number of NHS beds, we should have the beds we need.”

Jill Young, former chief executive of the Golden Jubilee Hospital at Clydebank, has been appointed head of the temporary hospital.

The SNP leader also revealed that 10,000 people had responded to the Scotland Cares volunteering campaign, which was launched earlier today, within the first four hours.

This includes about 5,000 former medical and care workers, alongside medical students who have put themselves forward to work for either the health or care services.

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