Madrid’s IFEMA tradefair and Iran's IIEC have joined a growing list of international exhibition and convention centres around the world being pressed into emergency use as temporary hospital facilities for Covid-19 patients.
IFEMA’s conference centre is being fitted out with 5,500 beds and has received its first patients, with up to 1,300 expected by 27 March. Pavilions 7 and 9 are being prepared for medical use, reported Medical Director Antonio Zapatero. The facility will be the biggest of its kind in Europe.
With coronavirus rapidly spreading in Iran and it being impossible to organise tradefairs or major events, the country’s Iran International Exhibitions Company (IIEC) has opened its venue in the capital Tehran for use as a hospital, allocating some of its halls for housing up to 3,000 beds.
EW has seen a letter from IEEC Managing Director Bahman Hosseinzadeh in which he says: “We hope that our global efforts and co-operation in managing this devastating infectious disease will lead to victory over it and restoring the normal operation of the exhibition industry as soon as possible.”