Prince Charles opened the NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCeL Centre in London via video chat Friday.
Charles’ virtual appearance marks the first time a member of the Royal Family has opened a building remotely.
The new hospital will initially provide 500 beds, which will rise up to 4,000 beds if needed amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Charles said in his speech, “I was one of the lucky ones to have COVID-19 relatively mildly. But for some it will be a much harder journey. I am therefore so relieved that everyone can now have the reassurance that they will receive all the necessary technical care they may need and every chance to return to a normal life.
“This hospital offers us an intensely practical message of hope for those who need it most at this time of national suffering. Let us also pray, ladies and gentlemen, that it will be required for as short a time, and for as few people, as possible.”
The Prince of Wales added the hospital was “spectacular and an almost unbelievable feat of construction.”
He added it was proof of “how the impossible can be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity.”
Charles also thanked everybody involved “who have made this possible.”
It was revealed Friday that the COVID-19 death toll in the U.K. had hit 3,605.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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