Wednesday 12 May 2021

Costa Rica could face hospital collapse within a month

By May 23, according to a study, 1,800 people would require a hospital bed, 850 of them in intensive care; CCSS has 955 beds, 348 in ICU.

QCOSTARICA – If Costa Rica keeps the current pace of covid-19 infections over the next month, the country could face a hospital collapse.

This Saturday, Costa Rica reached the highest number of people with covid-19 in intensive care in the history of the pandemic: 303. Photo: Presidencia

This is indicated by an analysis by the Centro Centroamericano de Población de la Universidad de Costa Rica (CCP-UCR) – Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica.

- Advertisement -

“The outlook is bleak, we are entering exponential growth. We have already exceeded 600 hospital beds and within a month we may well be in demand that is triple that: 1,800 beds,” summarized Luis Rosero Bixby, demographer and public health worker and coordinator of the analysis.

At this time, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS)  – Costa Rican Social Security Fund – has 955 beds allocated to the care of covid-19, of them 348 ICU.

To this should be added the beds in private health medical centers, which on Friday, April 23, housed 15 patients with covid-19, one of them in the ICU.

This Saturday, April 24, the country reached a record number of people in ICU in what we have seen since the start of the pandemic, 303.

- Advertisement -

Rosero’s conclusion is based on the contagion rate of covid-19 in the country.

This indicator is also known as the basic reproduction number or R rate, and indicates, on average, how many people a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect.

According to this report, for this Friday the contagion rate or basic number of reproduction of covid-19 in the country was 1.22.

This means that each carrier would transmit the virus to 1.22 people, or viewed another way, 100 carriers would infect 122.

This number is considered “very high”.

Ideally, the rate R should be less than 1, which means that each group of 100 gives rise to a smaller one.

- Advertisement -

“An R well above one, as in recent weeks, means a very accelerated exponential increase: doubling in the number of cases diagnosed in less than three weeks. Costa Rica is clearly in the midst of a new epidemic wave that is of greater magnitude than last year,” the report emphasizes.

The report does clarify that, as the incubation period of the virus is close to six days, what was seen this Friday corresponds to infections that occurred, approximately, on April 17, so the impact of the weekend sanitary vehicle restriction cannot yet be measured.

These are the projections of new cases of covid-19 according to three possible scenarios. Chart: CCP

The analysis made three possible scenarios: a pessimistic one, in which R reaches 1.3, a neutral one, in which it remains close to 1.21, and an optimistic one in which it drops to 1.

In an interview with La Nación, Rosero said that even in the most optimistic scenario, where the number of daily cases would exceed 4,000, more than half of them would require intensive care.

“Even in the optimistic scenario, where we would reach an epidemic peak of 1,800 daily cases (as was the case Saturday), there would be 1,200 hospitalized, 500 of them in ICU. Hospitalizations come with such inertia that they will continue to rise and will exceed 1,000 in the first week of May. There are 1,000 beds that we don’t have, ”he stressed.

“This peak of the optimistic scenario is higher than the already mentioned peak of last year of 1,200 daily,” the document emphasizes.

The third scenario, neutral, is where the number of daily cases would be close to 3,300. 1,800 beds in total would be required, 800 of them in ICUs. “These figures are more than double the installed capacity in the country, which would be exceeded by May 1,” the report cites.

For Rosero, if the behavior of the wave seen in other countries is taken into account, this third scenario is the most likely.

“I would say that this is going to happen in Costa Rica, both because of the actions of the people and because of the decisions that the government will have to make when things get uglier, as it is very likely that it will happen soon,” said Rosero.

These are the projections of hospitalizations, both in the classroom and in the ICU, for covid-19 if all conditions are maintained. Chart: CCP.


For Rosero, the rise in cases is inevitable, for there are people who do not believe in the severity of the situation and feel that “nothing is going to happen to them.”

Rosero added that there is apathy at the social, individual, and institutional level and free movement of people cannot be prohibited, “in other countries, they can’t even leave the house on foot.”

Another inevitability is that this country does not have the number of resources for social assistance to people.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Health expands group 3 vaccination for people from 16 to 58 years

QCOSTARICA - Adolescents of 16 and 17 years old with some...

Caja to move ‘non-covid’ patients to private hospitals

QCOSTARICA - Caja patients with diseases other than covid-19 will be...


Three thousand hospitalized by the end of May, UCR projects

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,280 people in hospital with covid-19, of which 466 of them in an ICU, aged...

3,173 new cases of covid-19 in the last 24 hours; 26 deaths

QCOSTARICA - The country registered a new record of covid-19 infections this Wednesday, reaching 3,173 confirmed cases in a period of 24 hours. The figure...

66% of ICU patients are under 60 years of age

QCOSTARICA - Sunday night, 432 of the 1,188 covid patients in hospital are in Intensive Care Units (ICU), after suffering complications from covid-19. In the...

The Economist Sees Ortega Clinging to Power

TODAY NICARAGUA (Confidencial) Six months before the general elections in Nicaragua, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) predicts that the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario...

48 patients with covid-19 from other provinces wait for beds in San Jose hospitals

QCOSTARICA - 48 patients with covid-19, the majority in severe and moderate condition, this Thursday morning were waiting for a bed in a hospital...

New batch of 124,000 doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine arrived Tuesday

QCOSTARICA - A new batch with 124,020 doses of the covid-19 vaccine landed Tuesday night, as part of the weekly deliveries from Pfizer. With this...

Today’s Covid-19 News: New infections continue over 2K daily, despite drop in R rate

QCOSTARICA - The Covid-19 infection rate in Costa Rica dropped, but not enough to reduce the rate of infection. While the indicator stands at 1.32,...

New restrictions outrage hospital staff while business applauds “balance”

QCOSTARICA - The measures announced by the Government to reduce COVID-19 infections and hospital saturation unleashed a wave of reproaches, from one sector, and...

“Ciudad Gobierno” would give a new face to capital with a gigantic complex of buildings

QCOSTARICA - With a mega-complex of more than 153,000 square meters (1.65 million square feet), comprised of 16 ministries would be located in eight...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.