Prince Charles Is Back To Work Post-Coronavirus To Open NHS Nightingale

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

One week on from announcing his diagnosis and successfully overcoming coronavirus, Prince Charles returned to work to open the new NHS Nightingale hospital in London today (April 3).

The Prince of Wales did not attend in person, conducting the ceremony via video link from his Scottish residence at Birkhall, where he has been self-isolating since testing positive for coronavirus.

This is his second video appearance of the week, having released an emotional appeal about the effects of self-isolation and the importance of reaching out to those in need via the Clarence House social channels.

Today, the Prince of Wales paid tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly to build the new medical facility, and those delivering frontline care during the pandemic. He called the new hospital "a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work".

It shows, he said "how the impossible could be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity. In this dark time, this place will be a shining light."

Natalie Grey, head of nursing at NHS Nightingale, unveiled a plaque on behalf of Prince Charles to mark the occasion. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who himself recently came out of quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus; England's chief nursing officer, Ruth May; and the head of NHS Nightingale, Prof Charles Knight.

The new hospital in east London is the first of its kind to open, and will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen, while scaling up to provide support for up to 4,000 coronavirus patients, if required. Constructed in just nine days, the conversion of the ExCeL conference centre into a field hospital has been cited as perhaps the most ambitious medical project Britain has seen since the end of the second world war, and "will dwarf all other hospitals in the UK," according to The Guardian.

Stefan Rousseau - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images

If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with appears to have shown or be showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, visit the NHS website in the UK to find out the next steps you should take, or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.