A medical college in western Ukraine has been transformed into a temporary hospital as the coronavirus inundates the Eastern European country.
The foyer of the college in the city of Lviv holds 50 beds for Covid-19 patients, and 300 more are placed in lecture halls and auditoriums to accommodate the overflow of people seeking care at a packed emergency hospital nearby.
The head of the hospital’s therapy division, Marta Sayko, said the college space has doubled treatment capacity. She hopes a broad lockdown ordered Friday will reduce the burden on the Ukrainian health care system.
“Considering that now the number of cases is growing, more patients arrive in a grave condition with signs of respiratory failure,” Sayko said.
The government’s wide-ranging lockdown closed schools, gyms and entertainment venues and prohibits table service at restaurants through Jan. 25. Ukraine, which has a population of 42 million, has reported more than 1.1 million confirmed cases and nearly 20,000 deaths.
Many medical workers have criticised the government for ordering the lockdown only after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays rather than risk angering the public.