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Left to right:  Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero; Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz; Colombia President Ivan Duque; Antioquia Governor Luis Fernando Suarez, and Coronavirus Integrated-Response Manager Luis Guillermo Plata at 'InnspiraMED' Ventilator Event Left to right: Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero; Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz; Colombia President Ivan Duque; Antioquia Governor Luis Fernando Suarez, and Coronavirus Integrated-Response Manager Luis Guillermo Plata at 'InnspiraMED' Ventilator Event Source: Gobernacion de Antioquia

Low-Cost ‘InnspiraMED’ Ventilators to Debut in Patient Trials as Covid-19 Cases Mount

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The Medellin-based “InnspiraMED” consortium producing relatively low-cost ventilators for critical Covid-19 victims got a big boost July 11 when Colombia President Ivan Duque came to Medellin to see for himself these in-development technologies.

According to “InnspiraMed” project coordinator Ruta N, “President Duque received information on the equipment delivery process -- taking place in the coming days -- according to the distribution schedule developed by the InnspiraMED initiative, with the support of the national government.

“The delivery of the first InnspiraMED ventilators began some days ago in different clinics and hospitals in the country, so that the institutions that have received them can use the equipment -- if required -- under the [legal cover] of ‘compassionate use,’” according to Ruta N.

The “compassionate use” exception follows “guidelines of the External Circular 031 of May 27, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, which indicates that this type of equipment can be used in particular conditions within the [Covid-19] emergency in the country as long as the patient or their responsible relative gives authorization,” according to Ruta N, Medellin’s high-technology incubator organization.

InnspiraMED is an “interdisciplinary and collaborative exercise” coordinated by Ruta N and funded by Medellin-born, bottled-beverages manufacturing giant Postobón.

The collaboration includes University of Antioquia, Sampedro Medical Industries and EIA University, featuring “engineers, intensive-care specialists and pulmonologists,” as well as manufacturing specialist Haceb (appliance maker) and motorcycle assembler Auteco Mobility, Ruta N added.

President Duque’s July 11 visit to Medellín not only included educational presentations on the InnspiraMED ventilators, but also included delivery of the first 50 of 187 fully commercial, Invima-certified ventilators that the national government procured from international suppliers for Medellin and Antioquia.

Crucial Situation for Banana, Coffee Harvests

During the visit, Antioquia Governor Luis Fernando Suárez urged the President to provide special support “to address the critical situation of the Urabá banana region and the upcoming coffee harvest in the Southwest” of the department.

The Governor added that his government -- together with the mayors of the banana-growing municipalities of Chigorodó, Carepa, Apartadó and Turbo -- filed a letter with the Ministry of the Interior asking for a special quarantine.

“We do not want to get to the stage where we have to stop, for example, the banana industry, due to the effects of the pandemic,” Governor Suárez said.

In addition, “we are going to have between 40,000 and 50,000 people who are going to arrive [in Antioquia] in the next 15 or 20 days” to work in the semi-annual coffee harvest. “If at the time of the coffee harvest Antioquia faces a collapse [in capacity] in ICUs, we do not want to look at that scenario,” he added.

“That is why it is very important at this time that [the national government] help us with the necessary ventilators to install in the next few days in Antioquia. We have the goal of having, in August,  909 ICU beds, to avoid having people die waiting for an ICU bed,” he said.

As of July 11, Colombia’s Health Ministry had recorded a cumulative national  total of 145,362 Covid-19 cases since monitoring began five months ago. Over that period, Colombia has recorded 5,119 deaths and 61,186 recoveries.

Bogota leads with 47,524 cases, followed by Atlantico (32,635); Cali/Valle del Cauca (14,207); Bolivar (11,913); Antioquia (8,744); Nariño (4,457); Cundinamarca (4,052); Sucre (2,419); Amazonas (2,411); Magdalena (2,785); Choco (2,177); Meta (1,548); Tolima (1,435); and Santander (1,261), according to the Ministry.

Read 273 times Last modified on Last modified on July 13 2020

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About Medellin Herald

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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