SAO PAULO, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's biggest city Sao Paulo on Wednesday opened a field hospital in its largest favela, or shantytown, Heliopolis, to treat local COVID-19 patients, officials said.
As the epicenter of Brazil's coronavirus outbreak, Sao Paulo now has four field hospitals in operation, including the first at a favela.
"Together they add up to a total of 2,440 beds specifically to treat patients with the coronavirus," Sao Paulo state Governor Joao Doria said.
Located in southeast Sao Paulo, Heliopolis' field hospital has 200 beds, including 24 equipped for intensive care, and a staff of 596 healthcare workers and administrators.
The other three mobile hospitals are located at the municipal Pacaembu Football Stadium, Anhembi Convention Center and Ibirapuera Gymnasium.
In a government gazette Wednesday, the state government estimated the existing healthcare facilities will "collapse" in three weeks amid a ballooning caseload, prompting it to open bidding for 1,500 intensive care unit beds and another 3,000 standard hospital beds to meet the expected rise in demand during the epidemic's peak.
Sao Paulo, Brazil's most industrialized and populous state, has so far reported a total of 69,589 COVID-19 cases with over 5,000 deaths. Enditem