Covid-2 hospital opens at Rome's Columbus hospital on 17 March.
Rome has converted the small, private Columbus hospital into 'Covid-2', a centre for treating Coronavirus patients, the first of whom entered the new complex on 17 March, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
Following the opening of the new facility, located on the grounds of Rome's Gemelli Policinico, the Lazio Region will open two other hubs to help in the battle against Coronavirus.
The third hospital facility, Covid 3, is to open at a private nursing home in Casal Palocco in the south of the capital, while Covid-4 will open at Tor Vergata Policlinico, in the city's south-western suburbs, where an entire tower block will be emptied to accommodate the new hub.
The multi-million conversion of Covid-2 was paid for by oil giant ENI, which has set up a €30 million fund to help Italy tackle the Coronavirus emergency.
Foundations and entrepreneurs also helped to equip Covid-2: Italian businessman Luca di Montezemolo donated two respiratory machines while the Carla Fendi Foundation gave €100,000 for medical equipment.
Lazio regional health councillor Alessio D'Amato said the three new facilities, in addition to the regional hub at Rome's Spallanzani hospital, will bring the total number of beds dedicated to treating Coronavirus throughout the Lazio region to 1,500.
The Rome Covid hospitals have a combined total of 550 beds: Spallanzani - Covid-1 (257 beds); Columbus - Covid-2 (133 beds); Roma Sud - Covid-3 (80 beds); Tor Vergata Polyclinic - Covid-4 (80 beds).
The move comes as the number of Coronavirus fatalities in Italy surpasses 2,500, with 345 deaths in the last day alone.