Dozens of new intensive care beds are being fast-tracked at Christchurch Hospital's new Hagley building, so they are available to treat Covid-19 patients.
The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury District Health Board to enable access to the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), ED Radiology and associated spaces within the next two weeks.
Health Minister David Clark said ICU is a priority area in the Covid-19 health response and 36 intensive care beds at the hospital have been fast-tracked for Covid-19 patients.
"We all need to continue to do our bit to break the chain of transmission and slow the spread of Covid-19.
"As we expect the number of cases to continue to increase this week, it is vital our health services can respond effectively," he said.
The new $500 million hospital has 28 adult ICU spaces and eight child ICU spaces.
The completion of ED Radiology and associated areas is also being prioritised as part of the district health board's emergency response planning for Covid-19.
"With over 300 workers on-site, including 120 workers brought in from other projects, good progress has been made," Clark said.
- If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre
Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:
- See all RNZ Covid-19 news
- Government clarifies essential services during lockdown
- Covid-19 alert system: What you need to know
- Covid-19 symptoms: What they are and how they make you feel
- Touching your Face: Why do we do it and how to stop
- Scientific hand-washing advice to avoid infection
- The Coronavirus Podcast