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Birmingham NEC and stadiums being considered as massive temporary hospital locations
Birmingham conference centre, the NEC (pictured above), could soon follow in the footsteps of London’s ExCel Centre in being turned into an emergency field hospital to cope with casualties of the current COVID-19 outbreak
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi, says: ‘As a cornerstone of the local community, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and well-being of everyone in our area. As such, we stand ready and willing to help our emergency services – especially at a time like this. The NEC is well equipped to be used as a support base if such need arises, so please be assured that, if we are requested to do so, we can action this with immediate effect.’
A host of Premier League clubs outside London – and potentially even Wembley – could also be turned into hospitals if necessary. The government has yet to formally approach governing bodies over the proposals, but sources within football recognise that several inner-city stadiums could be ideally positioned to help.
Top-class county cricket clubs are in talks as to how their cricket pitches could be used as field hospitals while the sport is in lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.
Tim Bostock, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club, said he had offered the club’s facilities, which he estimated would fit up to 700 hospital beds.
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