France uses its high-speed trains to transport patients with severe cases of coronavirus to areas less overwhelmed by the pandemic


In its efforts to combat the coronavirus, the French government has assembled a complex healthcare structure to alleviate hospital burdens in the regions most overwhelmed by the pandemic and reduce the chances of their collapse: transferring intensive care patients on trains to other locations of the country where its impact is least. The administration of President Emmanuel Macron assured that the strategy is “a first in Europe”.

Two cases took place this Wednesday, when high-speed trains carried a total of 36 patients from Paris to the Brittany region in the west of the country. One, with 24 patients, went to the cities of Saint Brieuc and Brest. The other took the remaining 12 to Rennes.

As described The country, the difficulty of the operation lies in the transfer and installation of the necessary equipment to guarantee its care on the way. Each of the procedures lasted several hours and the focus was on ensuring the operation of the medical equipment.

Nine medical teams traveled with those affected. Each of them is made up of a doctor, an intern, an anesthetist and three supplementary nurses.

According to the latest report provided by the country’s health authorities, 509 people died in the last 24 hours as a result of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 4,032. The total number of positive cases recorded on Tuesday afternoon (local time) is 56,989, an increase of almost 5,000 people from the previous day. And more than 6,000 are receiving intensive care.

In fact, in his daily report, Jerome Salomon indicated that the number of critically ill patients exceeds what was France’s capacity before beginning to take measures to expand its hospital infrastructure to cope with the pandemic, which was around 5,000 persons.

The areas most affected by the pandemic in the country are those of the Greater East and the Paris region, where, despite the aforementioned efforts, the number of intensive care units available is decreasing.

This is not the first operation of nature: last week 20 patients from Strasbourg were transferred to other locations. And they are not limited to France either. Patients have been taken to Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, although in medical planes and helicopters, not trains. These patients come from the Great East region, which borders those three countries and also Belgium.