Transfers of patients with Covid-19 are now under way, using TMB buses driven by volunteers. Six transfers were conducted in the first two days, each with a different driver, carrying a total of 105 people discharged from hospital. The service takes people from the hospitals where they were treated to confinement facilities away from their own homes, such as medical centres, hotels and other buildings being converted for this purpose.
The Fundació TMB’s volunteer programme handled the search for volunteers, with offers far in excess of needs: over 200 people made themselves available to offer the service, in solidarity with Covid-19 patients.
The buses used for the transfers are midi models (9-10 metres long), based in the depot in Horta. The vehicles have been conditioned for transporting patients, with a physical separation between areas for passengers and drivers.
A strict protocol applies, meaning the vehicles are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly every day. Staff also wear protective suits and are supported by health workers to prevent any risk of infection. Once the transfer is completed, the staff go through a cleaning and decontamination process at the depot.
The patient transfer service with buses is the result of collaboration between the Fundació TMB, the Barcelona Health Consortium, the Barcelona Fire Service and the SEM, with coordination by the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB).