WUHAN          -            Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronaviraus outbreak in central China’s Hubei Province, on Monday suspended another public-facility-turned temporary hospital as the number of COVID-19 patients continued to drop in the city.

The last batch of 34 patients walked out of the temporary hospital of Jianghan at 3 p.m., waving farewell to the medics.

“Your discharge marks the closure of the temporary hospital of Jianghan,” said Hu Yu, president of the Wuhan Union Hospital that operated Jianghan over the past 34 days, when handing a hospital discharge certificate to a woman surnamed Guo.

Guo was admitted to the hospital on March 2 when she felt discomfort around her throat. “Medics here are very nice.  I felt as if I were staying in a big family rather than a hospital,” Guo said.

The closure of the temporary hospital of Jianghan, which was converted from the existing international exhibition center of Wuhan, has brought the number of closed temporary hospitals in the city to 14.

To treat patients with mild symptoms and isolate the source of infection, Wuhan converted public venues such as exhibition centers and gymnasiums into 16 temporary hospitals.

Some 12,000 patients were treated in these temporary hospitals, according to the city’s COVID-19 control headquarters.

The conversion work of the temporary hospital of Jianghan began at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3, and it was delivered to Wuhan Union Hospital and put into operation at 5 p.m. on Feb. 5.

With a total of 1,564 beds, the temporary hospital of Jianghan received its first patient at 9 p.m. on Feb. 5. Twenty-one medical teams from other provincial-level regions and six hospitals from Wuhan had worked in the hospital.

Over the past 34 days, the temporary hospital of Jianghan received a total of 1,848 patients, saw 521 patients being transferred to other hospitals and 1,327 patients discharged. It had the most available beds, admitted the most patients and saw the most discharged patients among all the temporary hospitals in Wuhan, according to sources with the Wuhan Union Hospital. The other two temporary hospitals remaining in operation are expected to close Tuesday, the headquarters said.

The temporary hospitals have almost achieved their initial goals to “accept all patients who need to be admitted to hospitals and treat all those who need to be treated” while severing sources of infection. It is an innovative and effective move that will provide guidance for future such situations, Hu said.

Wuhan reported 36 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 18 deaths on Sunday.