Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 28 May 2020

Man City opens Etihad Stadium to UK health workers to fight coronavirus

Nurses could be trained at the stadium as part of the UK's measures to tackle the virus

A general view outside the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City. Alex Livesey/Getty Images
A general view outside the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City are making facilities at the Etihad Stadium available to the NHS in the front-line battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The club has opened up the use of the stadium's executive boxes and conference rooms to help the NHS with training of doctors and nurses during the crisis if needed.

It comes as the UK death toll from coronavirus rose to more than 1,000 on Saturday.

The UK is already constructing three hospitals in London, Birmingham and Manchester to help boost critical care capacity ahead of the expected peak.

As part of contingency planning for the ongoing crisis, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff is also set to be converted into a temporary hospital providing around 2,000 additional beds.

The Manchester Evening News reported that nurse training could begin at the Etihad Stadium as early as next week.

Professional football in England will not resume until April 30 at the earliest as the UK remains in lockdown.

A number of other major UK sporting venues have also offered their premises in the fight against coronavirus, on Saturday Rangers also announced it would make its stadium available.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Saturday the coronavirus outbreak will get worse before it gets better.

The leader, who himself tested positive for Covid-19 this week, issued the warning in a leaflet being sent to all UK households explaining how their actions can help limit the spread.

"We know things will get worse before they get better," Mr Johnson wrote.

"But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal."

New health ministry figures on Saturday showed Britain's death toll jumped from 759 to 1,019 in 24 hours, with more than 17,000 people infected.

Mr Johnson is currently self-isolating in Downing Street.

His health minister, Matt Hancock, has also tested positive, and England's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, is staying at home with suspected symptoms.

Britain was put on lockdown this week as the virus spread, with everybody told to stay home wherever possible, and all non-essential shops and services shut.

Updated: March 29, 2020 07:48 AM

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