Paris – France is planning to use Europe’s first “medicalised” high-speed train to transfer Covid-19 patients, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.
The specially adapted TGV train will transfer patients from overworked hospitals in the Alsace region to other parts of the country on Wednesday, Veran told the National Assembly.
Hospitals are under strain in both regions due to severe outbreaks.
Defence Minister Florence Parly tweeted that a military field hospital newly set up in the Alsatian city of Mulhouse had received its first patient on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, there was growing concern about the situation in old people’s homes, where deaths are not recorded in those statistics.
In Vosges department, near Alsace, local authorities have said that an old people’s home with a total of 164 places has recorded 20 deaths “with a possible link with Covid-19.”
The mayor of Saint Dizier in eastern France told broadcaster BFMTV that there had been 15 deaths at one home in her town.
Veran said the government had told regional health authorities to collect information about the situation in old people’s homes.
“We cannot have all that information in real time but we want to be completely transparent,” he insisted.