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Facing intense surges in the need for hospital ICU beds, European nations are on a building and hiring spree, throwing together makeshift hospitals and shipping coronavirus patients out of overwhelmed cities via high-speed trains and military jets. The key question is whether they will be able to find enough healthy medical staff to make it all work.

Even as the virus slowed its growth in overwhelmed Italy and in China, where it first emerged, hospitals in Spain and France reached their breaking points and the U.S. and Britain braced for incoming waves of desperately ill people.

“It feels like we are in a third world country. We don’t have enough masks, enough protective equipment, and by the end of the week we might be in need of more medication too,” said Paris emergency worker Christophe Prudhomme.

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In a remarkable turnaround, rich economies where virus cases have exploded are welcoming help from the less wealthy. Russia sent medical equipment and masks to the U.S. on Wednesday. Cuba sent doctors to France. Turkey sent a planeload of masks, hazmat suits, goggles and disinfectants to Italy and Spain.

2:10Coronavirus around the world: March 30, 2020

Coronavirus around the world: March 30, 2020

London is just days from unveiling a 4,000-bed temporary hospital built in a massive convention center to take non-critical patients so British hospitals can free up space and keep ahead of expected virus demand.

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