Swift progress is being made as the military works to convert London’s Excel Centre into a temporary coronavirus hospital, pictures taken by Boris Johnson’s official photographer reveal.

It was announced on Tuesday that with two wards – it is hoped 500 of those beds will be available this week.

On Saturday afternoon, government officials said the hospital will be ready to take up to 500 patients from next week. It will then be able to ramp up its services to full capacity in the coming weeks.

Photographs, taken by Downing Street photographer Andrew Parsons, showed the facility was well on its way to becoming the new ‘NHS Nightingale Hospital’.

The convention centre in east London’s Docklands, which hosts events such as London Bridal Fashion Week and MCM Comic Con, has already been gutted out and inside is beginning to take shape, while the outside now has NHS branding.

He also also given the “go ahead” to the building of two further NHS Nightingale hospitals in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Manchester’s Central Convention Centre.

He said new hospitals were being converted because this problem is “not just confined to London” and he said there would be “further such hospitals to follow”.

NHS England’s national medical director Stephen Powis said the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London was an “extraordinary feat”.

“From a standing start a day or two ago a hospital will be built that will be able to take its first patients at the start of next week,” he said.