COVID-19 crisis: First patients admitted to Principality Stadium
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
While it's not the only stadium turned into a field hospital, it final capacity of 2,000 patients means it's the second largest healthcare facility in the UK. And it might be in operation for a year.
Construction of temporary halls began in March, converting Principality Stadium in Cardiff into a field hospital by April 13. Then on April 20 it was officially inaugurated by Prince Charles, through a video message. Finally, on Wednesday (Apr 29) the first patients were admitted to the only ward open as of today, with capacity for 25 people with mild COVID-19 cases.
However, the stadium is being prepared to hold 300 people soon and up to 2,000 eventually, depending on demand. Patients will gradually be transported here from regular hospitals. 750 beds are located on field level, with further 250. Including additional facilities around the stadium, the final capacity can be reached.
It's a scale rarely seen, making Principality Stadium the second largest healthcare facility across the UK and double the size of Cardiff's largest hospital. It's estimated that up to 1,000 medical personnel and 600 support staff would be employed at peak. There is on-site radiography, laboratories and a pharmacy.
The conversion resulted in what staff and the public decided to call the Dragon's Heart Hospital. And speaking of staff, some members were told it could operate for even a year, of course depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic develops.
This means that possibly until May of 2021 no rugby game or concert would be held at the stadium. For the Welsh Rugby Union this means that none of the five Six Nations games planned during this period would be held at Principality Stadium. The Union is considering alternatives, as long as fixtures can be held at all.