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New COVID train transports coronavirus patients from Thessaloniki to Athens

New COVID train transports coronavirus patients from Thessaloniki to Athens

The COVID train allows patients to quickly and safely reach the capital’s hospitals

Greek authorities, in cooperation with TRAINOSE, are getting ready to launch their latest joint project – the COVID train that will transport coronavirus patients from Thessaloniki to hospitals in Athens. Preparations for modifying the train itself are currently underway in Greece’s 2nd largest city as it gets ready to come into operation.

Rescuing Thessaloniki’s healthcare system

The epidemiological situation in Thessaloniki has been rapidly deteriorating over the last few weeks. The city and the surrounding region have among the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and their hospitals are at near-full capacity. Thus, a solution was quickly needed to help address the unfolding crisis.

The quickest and most efficient way to help Thessaloniki’s healthcare system was to create a fast, efficient and safe way to transport patients from the city’s overflowing hospitals to other places in the country – namely to Athens, where the healthcare system is as of yet not under such a heavy strain.

In comes the COVID train developed as a joint project between Greek authorities and TRAINOSE. The train itself has already arrived in Thessaloniki where it is currently undergoing modifications that will allow the transportation of passengers and patients. It consists of a total of 6 wagons – 4 of a coach type, 1 canteen and 1 sleeping wagon. Currently, 2 of the 4 coach-type wagons have been modified to accommodate COVID-19 patients – their seats have been removed in order to fit 30-40 stretches each.

The train is meant to transport patients who are in need of normal hospital care – not ones who are headed for an ICU and is meant to answer the worst-case scenarios where mass transportation of patients is needed. So far, C-130 aircrafts have been used to carry up to three individuals, but they could soon not be enough to meet demand.

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