On March 7, an Air Force HH-101A helicopter flew its first biosafety containment mission in Italy. The medical team was tasked to transport a 62-year-old patient with coronavirus from Cremona to the hospital in Sondalo in Italy.
The multirole helicopters are also able to transport special insulated stretchers called Aircraft Transit Isolators. These are specifically designed for the air transport of highly infectious patients.
Italy has the highest number of confirmed virus cases outside of China and it is putting a strain on the Italian healthcare system. Since March 10, Italy has been put on lockdown.
Some hospitals in northern Italy are too full to take on more patients, which means some people with coronavirus have to be moved to a hospital that has room to accommodate them.
The Aeronautica Militare, the Italian Air Force, is one of the few services around the world that can carry out biosafety containment operations.