France has converted its high-speed TGV trains into ambulances to transport critically ill coronavirus patients across the country

bchang@businessinsider.com (Brittany Chang)
Nurses attend to four patients on the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

  • 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.

Nurses attend to four patients on the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Source: NPR

The six-person medical team includes junior and intensive care doctors, three nurses, and an anesthetist, according to Business Traveller.

An anesthetist on the TGV train on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Business Traveller

The converted rail cars also have ventilators and oxygen supplies.

Nurses attend to four patients on the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

TGV's dining car has also been converted into a medical center that includes stretchers that have replaced the seats.

Nurses attend to four patients on the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

There's a total of 50 medical staffers on the TGV trains.

A hospital emergency unit head speaking to an anesthetist and coordinator for the COVID-19 trains on the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The TGV double-deckers can normally carry over 500 passengers, according to RailTech.com.

A physician by the doorway of the TGV on March 29.

Alexandre Marchi/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Source: 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.

Medical staff carries a COVID-19 patient on a stretcher at a train station to the TGV on March 29.

Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

However, it's not the only "medicalized" TGV that is now in service.

Medical staff carries a COVID-19 patient on a stretcher at a train station to the TGV on March 29.

Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Medical personnel in an ambulance by the TGV on March 26.

Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Reuters

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.

Medical personnel in an ambulance after transferring a COVID-19 patient to the TGV on March 29.

Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

Source: YouTube

“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.”

Ambulances by the TGV on March 26.

Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images

It will also potentially bring patients to and from other parts of Europe as well.

Medical staff carries a COVID-19 patient to the TGV on March 29.

Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP via Getty Images

France's army Airbus plane and helicopters have also transported COVID-19 patients to hospitals in other countries as well.

Medical staff carries a COVID-19 patient to the TGV on March 29.

Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP via Getty Images

However, it's more spacious and easier to work on the train than a helicopter, according to NPR.

Medical staff carries a COVID-19 patient to the TGV on March 29.

Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

Source: NPR

The trains can hit 200 mph, according to BBC.

Medical staff after transferring patients to the TGV on March 29.

Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

Source: 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.

A medical staffer on the TGV on March 29.

Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

Source: French Moments, 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.

A medical staffer prepares to bring a COVID-19 patient to the TGV on March 29.

Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

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