COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka authorities are converting garment factories and other buildings for facilities to treat COVID-19 patients amid fears existing hospitals may run out of capacity.
Military troops are completing the transformation of a garment factory in Seeduwa, on the outskirt of the capital Colombo, to create the island’s biggest COVID-19 hospital, with a capacity of 1,200 beds.
Another garment factory in Yakkala, about 40 kilometers from Colombo, is being converted to a treatment center with a 2,000-bed capacity.
Armed forces are acquiring buildings in all parts of the country and converting them to hospitals to increase capacity, said army commander Gen. Shavendra Silva, head of the country's COVID-19 operations center.
Sri Lanka is experiencing a sharp surge in infections, reporting 2,000 new cases for the first time on Monday. It has seen over 800 deaths in the pandemic.