At 12:40 pm, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado announced that the country will maintain a state of yellow alert, and issued an emergency decree that empowers the government to take action in a possible state of urgency and need due to the coronavirus COVID-19.
Alvarado explained, “This allows for more agile budgetary and administrative measures and continuity of services.”
In addition, the Government adopts the following measures:
- Suspend classes, both public and private schools and INA training centers, from March 17 to April 4, inclusive. Given that Semana Santa (April 5 to 12) the educations centers would be normally closed, schools will re-open on April 13.
- The school calendar yes is extended to December 23.
- Cash transfers from the social programs Avancemos and Crecemos, financial aid from the INA, as well as food services (lunchrooms) for students will be maintained.
- The care networks will remain open to ensure that the mothers who are heads of household can continue working and prevent they leave their children in the care of seniors. Attendance is at the discretion of those in charge.
- From 11:59 pm Wednesday, March 18 to 11:59 pm Sunday, April 12, 2020, only Costa Ricans and residents may enter the country. The restriction applies to all entries by sea, air, and land.
- In addition, Costa Ricans and residents who enter will have to carry out mandatory preventive isolation for 14 days.
Authorities are also recommending that people work at home – teletrabajo in Spanish – if at all possible remain at home and that those with risk factors take the necessary actions not to expose themselves to contact with other people.
Along the same lines, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, reiterated nationals need to cancel their trips outside the country, especially if they had a trip scheduled for Easter.
“The actions implemented require the commitment of all, let’s each do our part, let’s not leave the country and, as much as possible, let’s stay at home,” said the health minister.
As of today, March 16, Costa Rica has 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with an age range of 10 to 87 years.
The patients are 20 women and 21 men, of which 35 are Costa Ricans and 6 foreigners.
Confirmed cases have been registered in 17 cantons of five provinces: San José, Heredia, Guanacaste, Alajuela and Cartago.
By age, they are 32 adults, five seniors and four minors.
At this time, 615 people have been ruled out as been infected with the covid-19.