RICO’s COVID DIGEST – While for many bringing back the vehicle restriction measures on the weekends was a surprise, not here, I expected that and even for the weekdays (outside San Jose) which may still come.
The reasoning for this is the spike in the number of new cases daily, numbers this week had seen for many, many months and the increase in hospitalizations and patients requiring scarce ICU beds.
If you will recall, by late February, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) began scaling back hospital beds for Covid-19 patients, and resuming a more normal hospital situation, restarting elective surgeries and other services that had been delayed since the middle of last year.
In three days, Tuesday (April 13), Wednesday (April 14), and Thursday (April 15), the Ministry of Health reported 3,157 new cases confirmed – 957 on Tuesday, 1,069 on Wednesday and 1,121 on Thursday.
Similar numbers are expected for today, Friday, April 16 and possibly for the coming days.
We hadn’t seen these kinds of numbers since January 14, peaking at 1,086 new cases for one day. The norm in February, March and Semana Santa was around 400 daily.
But it’s not just new cases. On Thursday the Ministry of Health reported 507 people in hospital, of which 236 are in intensive care.
Deaths associated with covid, after months of low single digits daily, were in the double digits this week: 10 on Wednesday and 11 on Thursday. We left behind double digits at the beginning of February.
The vehicle restrictions that start this weekend, April 17 and in place until further notice, allow only the circulation of vehicles with even number ending plates (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) on Saturdays and odd number ending plates (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) on Sundays.
The measure applies from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and is countrywide.
The nighttime countrywide restrictions continue from 11:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
There are exemptions.
The weekday restrictions apply to the downtown area of San Jose.
Click here for all the official information on the restrictions and exemptions.
All the sanitary measures are in place are temporary and for the benefit of all.
Please wear a mask, keep your social distance, wash your hands or use gel frequently and stay home if you can.
With the vaccination program, that is going at a very, very slow pace, but that is for another time, and maintaining protocols, we can beat this. But only if we all work together towards that goal.