TWO more makeshift coronavirus hospitals will be set up in the UK as the death toll continues to rise.
The temporary hospitals are due to be built in Birmingham and Manchester to help the NHS cope with the swell in patients across the UK.
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NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens made the announcement at No10's daily briefing as the death toll jumped 181 in 24 hours to 759 – the biggest leap yet.
He said: "Today because this is a problem of course not just confined to London but across the whole country, I have given the go-ahead to the building of two further of these NHS Nightingale hospitals beginning at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre and the Manchester Central Convention Centre, with further such hospitals to follow."
The CEO also revealed 30,000 beds had been freed up in Brit hospitals to deal with demand, with a further 50 hospitals on stand-by with frontline workers to treat coronavirus victims.
It comes after it emerged Birmingham Airport could be turned into a temporary coronavirus mortuary for 12,000 bodies.
Police chiefs say the huge mortuary could be expanded to cope with the rising death toll in Britain.
The West Midlands itself is considered a coronavirus hot-spot with 112 deaths recorded so far.
The airport is next to Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC), which has already been discussed as a possible location for a temporary field hospital.
It is understood that any airport facility could initially have space for 2,500 bodies, increasing to up to 12,000, if needed.
Senior Birmingham Coroner Louise Hunt said: "We understand that it is a very difficult time for everyone and we will do all that we can to make sure bereaved families understand what is happening to their loved ones and to release them for funeral as soon as we can."
It is now anticipated that the new site could ultimately accommodate all deaths across the West Midlands.
This means it could handle deaths not related to coronavirus as regional mortuaries may close due to staffing the new facility.
A Birmingham Airport spokeswoman said: "We have been in discussions with the authorities and we will of course co-operate to find a suitable location and help where we can to support the fight back against this pandemic."
London's ExCel centre is currently being turned into a huge hospital with space for 4,000 beds and two morgues.
NHS Nightingale is due to start receiving patients next week with doctors asked to sleep on the site for six weeks.
The NHS will will be transferring nurses from across the country to London to deal with the capital's "tsunami" of coronavirus patients in the coming days.
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It comes after Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock both confirmed they had tested positive for coronavirus today.
The high-profile names come after Prince Charles, 71, also tested positive for the bug.
The Queen remains in good health at Windsor.
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