US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — They were supposed to demonstrate Russia’s desire to help America – we are talking about the very devices of mechanical ventilation, which, on the orders of Vladimir Putin on April 1, were delivered to New York, reports German Der Spiegel.
According to the publication, the day before, in a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, the head of the Russian state offered assistance in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. Medical equipment was delivered immediately, which was shown on television. Among other things, assistance included 15 Avent-M models of mechanical ventilation, manufactured at one of the military plants in the Urals, which is under US sanctions. It was impressive: Russia, not yet affected by the virus, is helping America. And the United States, in trouble, circumvents its own sanctions.
And now, Russian lung ventilation devices have again hit the front pages of newspapers: in just a few days, two Aventa-M devices lit up in Russian hospitals. On Tuesday, five patients with covid-19 died in a fire in an intensive care unit in St. Petersburg. And four days before this, a patient died in Moscow.
It is assumed that in both cases a short circuit occurred, from which the oxygen mixture flashed in the devices. All devices of this model, manufactured after April 1, are withdrawn from circulation by order of Roszdravnadzor.
This news came at a time when appliances in Russia were urgently needed. The coronavirus pandemic completely swept the country. This week, 242,271 cases of infection were registered: thereby Russia overtook all European countries and came in second place in the world after the United States. Even Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov got into the hospital.
Doctors warned Putin
The fact that domestic medical equipment is inferior in quality to foreign was known before the pandemic. Back in 2018, twelve medical support organizations warned Putin in a joint letter that the import substitution policy could not be extended to mechanical ventilation devices. The letter said that domestic devices “do not meet modern requirements, are of poor quality, work unreliably and have fewer functions than western models.”
Despite this, the government has been forcing hospitals to use primarily Russian devices since 2019, including the Aventa-M model. It is produced at an enterprise in Yekaterinburg, which in Soviet times produced navigational instruments for military and civil aviation, and later began to manufacture medical equipment. Through the parent company KRET, the enterprise belongs to the state defense concern Rostec, which, after the annexation of Crimea, fell under American sanctions.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for mechanical ventilation devices has increased dramatically. The government appointed CREET as the main supplier and ordered 6.7 thousand units worth 94 million euros in terms of recalculation. The Ural plant increased production tenfold – from 10 to 100 devices per day. Probably, this negatively affected their quality. The device, caught on fire in St. Petersburg, left the manufacturer on May 1. The injured hospital previously used exclusively foreign ventilation machines.
A ban was immediately declared on the use of all devices manufactured after April 1. By chance or not, but this date coincides with the time the humanitarian aid was delivered to America.
In the USA, devices were not used
In the USA there were no dangerous incidents with Russian lung ventilation devices, because they were not used there at all. 45 devices, including Aventa-M models, were delivered to New York and New Jersey. There they were sent to a warehouse – probably also because they are designed for a European voltage of 220 volts, while in the United States a voltage of 110 volts is used.
Instruments will now be returned to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Contrary to the first reports, the delivery was not entirely charitable. The American side paid 660 thousand dollars. According to reports from Russia, this covered only half of the costs – the other half was taken over by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is interested in PR of Russian medical equipment.
Aventa-M devices were also delivered to Italy as part of Russian humanitarian aid.
It is unclear how the accidental death that befell six patients with coronavirus as a result of fires in St. Petersburg and Moscow will be reflected in Russian statistics. Until now, it has produced unusually low mortality rates: to date, 2212 deaths from covid-19 have been registered in Russia (today 2305 – approx. Ed.) . But the actual number of deaths is probably much higher.
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