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High-speed ‘hospital’: Train transports France’s coronavirus patients

A Fench high-speed TGV train has been equipped to transport coronavirus patients.
A Fench high-speed TGV train has been equipped to transport coronavirus patients. © AFP / FRANCE 24

One of France’s high-speed TGV trains, normally used to taking travellers and tourists around the country, has been equipped to transport coronavirus patients from the country’s heavily effected east to hospitals in the west.

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Each carriage has a medical team including an intensive care doctor, an anaesthetist and three nurses.

In total, around 50 people, including carers and support staff, are on board during the transportation.

"The eastern region is at the peak of its wave, which we will probably all experience in our regions in the coming weeks," explains Lionel Lamhaut, the doctor in charge of transporting patients.

"The idea is to work with the shift of the regions to take patients from the regions that are in full epidemic peak, to transport them towards currently calmer regions, and afterwards these rotations can take place across the whole country or even Europe."

For several weeks, hospitals in eastern France have been saturated by a massive influx of patients.

A French army Airbus plane has already evacuated several patients to other hospitals in the country.

Others have been flown by helicopter to neighbouring countries, notably Germany.

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