QCOSTARICA – The Ministry of Health and National Emergency Commission – Ministerio de Salud and the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias (CNE) – declared a “preventive” emergency in 31 of Costa Rica’s 81 cantones over the spreading Zika virus.
The decree, signed late Thursday by the health minister, Fernando Llorca gives authorities wider powers in terms of financing and personnel to curb mosquito populations that could spread the Zika virus, as well as dengue and chikungunya.
The CNE can allocate money and accept donations from public and private entities. In addition, they can use uncommitted funds remaining from other emergencies, the Health ministry explained in a press release.
Health Minister Fernando Llorca, emphasized that it is a preventive measure to “safeguard life, health and safety of persons.”
The declaration will remain in force until the executive branch deems appropriate.
This week, the country reported its first two cases of locally contracted Zika, in the province of Guanacaste.
Communication Minister Mauricio Herrera said that “the situation is under control right now,” but that the decree was issued to boost officials’ ability “to prevent an epidemic.”
The 31 cantones declared a state of ‘preventive’ emergency are:
- San José centre
- Santa Ana
- Pérez Zeledón
- Alajuela centre
- Santa Cruz
- La Cruz
- Puntarenas centre
- Montes de Oro
- Osa y Corredores
- Limón centre
Source: La Nacion