Belgrade's rough and ready hospital

Around 3,000 beds were moved into an exhibition centre in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Tuesday as soldiers helped to convert the hall into a makeshift hospital to treat people with mild symptoms of the coronavirus.

The site, Hall 1 of the Belgrade Fair complex (above), is the largest self-supported dome in Europe and usually hosts events such as trade fairs and exhibitions. The hall was taken over by the government as the number of coronavirus cases rose across the country, and as concerns emerged that Serbia's health system would be overwhelmed.

By 3pm on Tuesday, 303 cases had been confirmed in the country, and three people had died as a result of the virus, officials said.

Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, who inspected the site on Tuesday, said that doctors from China, where the virus was first detected, will assess whether improvements can be made.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2020, with the headline 'Belgrade's rough and ready hospital'. Print Edition | Subscribe