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Medellin Covid-19 ICU Spare Capacity Trend Holding Steady Medellin Covid-19 ICU Spare Capacity Trend Holding Steady Source: Alcalde de Medellin

Medellin Mayor: Covid-19 Case Under-Reporting Could Mean 1 Million in Area Already Infected, 96% Recovered

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Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero on October 17 issued a startling analysis indicating that the Medellin metro area likely has already surpassed 1 million Covid-19 cases with 96% of those likely recovered.

According to the Mayor’s analysis (see: https://medellin.gov.co/irj/portal/medellin?NavigationTarget=navurl://96fe4145738006ecf074a9e8fc82bccc), “in some countries it has been shown that for every person infected [as indicated by a positive Covid-19 test] there are 10 more infected than never were tested. If so, [then] Medellín would already have around 800,000 infected and the Medellin metropolitan area more than 1 million, with most already cured.

“With the [Colombian] National Institute of Health, we will carry out a ‘seroprevalence’ study in Medellín to determine what percentage of the population has already been infected and did not realize it. This will help us refine our ability to manage the infection and the ICU [intensive care unit occupation] curve [see chart, above].

“Regarding the number of cases, we remain in a plateau state without geometric growth and with 96.3% of people who have already overcome the contagion. Self-care has meant that only 10% of cases are among people older than 70 years [the most vulnerable population]. With them we must take the greatest care.

“The ICU occupancy rate has grown driven not by Covid but by delayed surgeries and other diseases. Among Covid cases, we have 249 stable cases, 63 with other respiratory Infections and 358 others in ICU now because of delayed surgeries and other diseases, which is increasing.

The [Antioquia] government has the autonomy to restrict delayed surgeries by raising the hospital [ICU occupancy rate] alert level to ‘red.’ However, this would not require quarantine implications for the city or its metropolitan area due to the reasons that I will explain.

“Medellín has 1,000 ICU beds, not counting the ones we [could] have available from ‘InspiraMed’ [project], which would add more than 300. Of these 1,000, 220 will be activated whenever the Covid [ICU case rate] requires it. To support the current conjuncture of overdue surgeries we will activate 26 this week.

“Many ask, ‘why not activate all of the [spare ICU beds] immediately?’ The first reason is budgetary. Hospitals burdened with debt cannot activate an ICU bed to keep it empty [in stand-by status]. An ICU requires a group of professionals available 24/7.

“Therefore, the activation of the [ICU] beds has been agreed in a phased scheme with the hospital managers and health personnel to take care of the [hospital] finances, avoid the arrival of foreign doctors and guarantee care with the highest standards of quality.

“Medellín has managed to manage the contagion curve thanks to the use of technology, giving us time to manufacture ventilators and comply with the ‘ICU 1,000’ plan.

“The number of ICU patients due to Covid in our health system has remained stable [see chart above, gray line] and below what we expected for this date. This has made it unnecessary to activate new ICU beds that have costs for hospitals.

“However, it is essential to recognize that this is an unprecedented and unpredictable crisis. There are questions still to be resolved: Will new [Covid-19] strains come? Will there be a vaccine? The only way is to keep investigating,” according to the Mayor.

Read 448 times Last modified on Last modified on October 18 2020

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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