First hospital beds in Principality Stadium to be ready by this weekend

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff will be ready to use as an emergency field hospital by the weekend, health officials have said.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are planning to use the stadium as extra capacity for the expected surge in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks.

The health board's chief executive Len Richards told ITV News the first 330 beds will be ready for use by this weekend.

He said the health board is currently at 70% capacity as the number of coronavirus cases continue to accelerate in Wales. A proportion of people who contract the virus require hospital treatment, and some of those end up in intensive care.

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Len Richards, CEO of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Credit: ITV News

The CEO of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Len Richards, said, "We are nearly opening up capacity in the Principality Stadium...

"The thing that makes me feel prepared is the can-do attitude shown over the last few months by our staff. We're doing things in days that would normally have taken years to happen.

We've got some fantastic clinicians across Cardiff and Vale and they're doing their best and that's what gives me confidence. It makes me feel quite humble that they are providing the solutions for me, my job is to help them put those solutions in place."

Health officials across the UK say they do not know exactly when the peak of cases will come here. It is thought to depend on a number of factors including the degree to which the public abide by social distancing laws.

There are concerns among police and health officials that good weather during the bank holiday Easter weekend could lead to more people flouting the rules.

People are permitted to leave the home only for one daily exercise alone or with others in your household, for medical needs, caring for vulnerable people, or for key workers who cannot work from home.