Moscow ice arena transforms into hospital

Moscow has turned a local ice rink into a giant temporary hospital to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients.

Russia's coronavirus crisis deepened on Monday (November 16) as the country reported a record 22,778 new daily cases, more than 6,000 of which were in the capital.

The Krylatskoe Ice Palace, known for hosting international speed skating competitions, is now on the frontline after its repurposing last month.

Andrei Shkoda is the head doctor at the hospital.

"It's a permanent hospital, because it has everything a modern clinic needs for treating and diagnosing patients. It has a fully-equipped, fully-staffed admission department. It has all the diagnostic equipment, even a CT scanner. With the help of the Moscow government we made everything digital, it's a paperless hospital."

The 400-meter speed skating track is now occupied by more than 1,300 hospital beds equipped with oxygen tanks, with more than 100 doctors and nurses tending to patients.

Despite a recent surge in cases, Russian authorities have resisted imposing lockdown restrictions across the country as they did earlier this year.

Instead they’ve been stressing the importance of hygiene, social distancing, and imposing targeted measures in certain regions.

Russia is now approaching 2 million infections since the start of the pandemic and has the fifth largest number of cases in the world behind the United States, India, Brazil and France.