Architecture in the Age of Coronaviruses
Source 25-03-2020Leave a Comment

What do we need to know about Coronaviruses? They are not new. First identified in the 1960s, they are common in both humans and animals, and while some of them are not dangerous, others are extremely serious. In 2003, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak was responsible for a death toll of 774, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 was accountable for 282 dead, and the most recent one — the Coronavirus (technically known as the 2019-nCoV) which started in Wuhan— is alarming in view of its rapidly rising number of suspected cases and death. Coronaviruses are classified as ‘zoonotic diseases’, meaning they can spread to people from animals. Just like in the case of SARS, and the Coronavirus outbreak, bats were the original carriers. The bats then transmitted the virus to other animals, which then transmitted it to humans.


Since the reported outbreak on the 9th of January by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Wuhan meat market, where the coronavirus originated, was closed and invaded by people in hazmat suits. Two weeks later the city of Wuhan was placed on lockdown, and rapidly after, the zone expanded to 15 cities (including Shanghai’s Disneyland). 


From construction and architectural standpoint, China does not disappoint with incredible resources invested to support its health needs. In fact, construction on the Huoshenshan Hospital was completed between January 23 and February 2, creating 1000 beds and admitting patients the very next morning. Built from scratch, Huoshenshan or the “Mount Fire God” Hospital used modular construction methods. Moreover, the Leishenshan Hospital, opened on February 8, was also promptly made from prefabricated modules in an abandoned parking lot.


Recently it’s been reported, that Wuhan, the epicenter of COVID-19, is closing its 16 temporary hospitals as the dangers of the pandemic are dissipating, the infection rate is decreasing and the spread of the virus has been constrained. Located in the Hubei province in ChinaWuhan has been battling with the virus as of the start of 2020 and has been for the past two-month in full lockdown.

 

Since then, tens of millions of people have returned to office desks and factory floors across the country. The famous Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing has also partly opened on Tuesday, March 24, after being closed for almost two months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Visitors must book tickets on the official website or through WeChat in advance and register with their personal information to get a health code, while their temperatures will be taken upon entry. A one-way circular tour route has been designed to prevent the gathering of crowds. The cableway, the China Great Wall Museum, the ancient Great Wall and some other sections remain closed.



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