- France has "medicalized" several of its high-speed TGV trains to transport coronavirus patients from harder-hit cities to less affected places in the country.
- On March 26, the first service of France's "medicalized" TGV transported 20 critically ill COVID-19 patients from France's coronavirus epicenter — the Grand Est region in the east — to the Loire region in the west where there are more hospital beds, according to NPR.
- Each TGV rail car can accommodate four patients and a six-person medical team.
- The six-person medical team includes junior and intensive care doctors, three nurses, and an anesthetist, according to Business Traveller.
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France has converted its TGV high-speed trains into a moving hospital to transport coronavirus patients from regions strongly impacted by coronavirus to less affected places in the country.
On March 26, the first service of France's "medicalized" TGV train — a high-speed train that connects major French cities to each other and other European cities — transported 20 critically ill COVID-19 patients from France's Grand Est region in the northeast to the Lore region in the west where there are more hospital beds, according to NPR.
Grand Est is considered the epicenter of France's COVID-19 outbreak, The New York Times reported. There are almost 6,000 coronavirus cases in Grand Est, as opposed to about 400 in the Lore region, Wired reported.
In total, there have been 44,550 COVID-19 cases and 3,024 deaths in France as of March 30, The Hill reported.
Keep scrolling to see the "TGV medicalisé" as it transports its critically ill passengers:
Each TGV rail car can accommodate four patients and a six-person medical team, NPR reported.
The six-person medical team includes junior and intensive care doctors, three nurses, and an anesthetist, according to Business Traveller.
Source: Business Traveller
The converted rail cars also have ventilators and oxygen supplies.
TGV's dining car has also been converted into a medical center that includes stretchers that have replaced the seats.
There's a total of 50 medical staffers on the TGV trains.
The TGV double-deckers can normally carry over 500 passengers, according to RailTech.com.
The "TGV medicalisé" will continue to transport COVID-19 patients from the Grand Est region in northeastern France to the less coronavirus-impacted western parts of France.
However, it's not the only "medicalized" TGV that is now in service.
On March 29, two converted TGV trains transported 36 patients from Grand Est to the western coast in what is now considered the country's largest coronavirus patient evacuation mission, Reuters reported.
The origin locations and destinations of the train and its passengers will shift according to the trend of coronavirus outbreaks throughout the country, according to France 24 English.
“Every region will experience [its coronavirus peaks] the coming weeks, but at different times,” the doctor in charge of the TGV hospital project Lionel Lamhaut told France 2 television. “The idea is to take advantage of the lag times between regions and to transfer patients from the hard-hit to lesser-hit areas.”
It will also potentially bring patients to and from other parts of Europe as well.
France's army Airbus plane and helicopters have also transported COVID-19 patients to hospitals in other countries as well.
However, it's more spacious and easier to work on the train than a helicopter, according to NPR.
The trains can hit 200 mph, according to BBC.
It can also make a 500-mile trip from Strasbourg — one of the largest cities in Grand Est bordering Germany — to Angers — almost 200 miles southwest of Paris — in five hours, according to NPR.
The trains will also soon be transferring 38 critically ill coronavirus patients from Paris to Brittany in northwestern France, The New York Times reported.
Source: The New York Times
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