Italian train transformed into a mobile COVID-19 intensive care unit
Daniel Harries


A train with Intensive Care Units set up in three carriages was launched at Rome's Termini station. 

Unveiled by Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) Italiane, Italy's public railways company, the train will be used to treat and evacuate COVID-19 patients in hard to reach parts of the country.  

The train's ICU carriages are capable of transporting severely ill COVID-19 patients, while the other eight coaches can transport up to 21 patients in need of either oxygen masks or ventilators.



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"You have to know that similar vehicles that allow you to evacuate these people in these conditions do not exist elsewhere," said nurse coordinator Gino Tosi. 

The launch comes after Italy on Monday passed the grim milestone of 100,000 official coronavirus deaths, amid warnings the spread of new variants is fuelling a fresh wave of infections.

When the pandemic started, "we could have never imagined that after a year ... the official death toll would have neared the terrible threshold of 100,000," said Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who took office last month.

Like many European Union countries, Italy's vaccine distribution has been relatively slow with 5.59 million doses administered as of Monday. The new government expects to have 50 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by the end of June, allowing for the vaccination of around 30 million people. 

Health services hope that innovative ideas like the ICU train carriages will help alleviate stretched services until then.

Video editor: David Bamford

Source(s): AFP

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