THE most modern “flying hospital” in the world is rescuing passengers who have coronavirus.
The Airbus A310 MRT MedEvac is being used to airlift out patients in intensive care in Bergamo in Italy, as the country experiences the highest death toll caused by the virus in the world.
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Germany have sent the plane to Italy to retrieve and care for the patients as a “sign of solidarity”.
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on social media: “Any help across borders is now important.
“That is why we are helping with our flying intensive care unit of the Air Force to transport seriously ill people from Italy to Germany for treatment. Europe sticks together.”
The plane has 44 hospital beds which includes 16 intensive care stations, each “fully equipped with the latest medical technology from computers and diagnostic systems to long-term respiratory machines and automatic injections”.
Up to 25 members of crew including medical staff are available on the plane, who can perform everything available in a standard hospital apart from operate.
On board, there are also patient monitors, bronchoscopes, ultrasound systems, patient warming systems and defibrillators.
While it can carry up to 42 patients, the plane can also be converted to carry 30 tons of cargo or 214 standard passengers seats.
It is one of the most advanced in the world and can be mobilised in just three hours.
Colonel Horst Abromeit, commander of the medical fleet said: “We’re ready whenever we get the call. But I hope that doesn’t happen.”
Six patients have already been retrieved from Bergamo, before returning to Cologne where the sick will be taken to different hospitals.
More flights are being planned in the next few days, as Italy’s death toll exceeds 11,000.
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Military planes are currently on standby to rescue Brits left stranded abroad by the coronavirus outbreak.
Thousands of tourists are thought to be stuck overseas as airlines cancel flights and countries close their borders.
Lockdown restrictions globally have left up to one million travellers around the world no time to book flights and return home.