Correction: The nighttime vehicle restrictions are from 9 pm to 5 am. This article previously said that the “daytime” restrictions were from 9 pm to 5 am.
QCOSTARICA – The Government announced this Saturday afternoon, April 24, a tightening of the sanitary vehicle restriction, to limit the movement of people and mitigate a sharp rebound in covid-19 infections that already almost beyond hospital capacity for intensive care.
Starting next Tuesday, April 27, the nighttime sanitary vehicle restrictions will apply from 9:00 pm (and not 11:00 pm) to 5:00 am, including weekends.
The measure will apply until May 16.
The sharp increase in daily covid-19 infections and patients requiring hospitalizations have hit new records this week since the first case way back in March 2020.
The Ministry of Health reported this Saturday, April 24, 1,830 new infections (up to the time of press conference at 2:30 pm), breaking the record of 1,776 set on Thursday. Friday, there were 1,656 new infections is now the third-highest on record.
“If one of your dad, mom, uncle, or brother comes to need a respirator, it won’t be available. Or in the case of a serious traffic accident, there is no guarantee that the injured will be able to receive medical attention,” Salas emphasized.
For his part, the Medical Manager of the Caja, Dr, Mario Ruiz, said 662 covid-19 patients are in hospital this Saturday, of which 303 are in intensive care.
Today’s numbers a historical record setting.
If this scenario continues, hospital services will be beyond capacity in two weeks and it is foreseen an increase in deaths due to the impossibility of treating all the patients.
Authorities have, on several occasions, made calls to the population to avoid group activities between families and groups of friends; as well as in clandestine gatherings (parties) given the multiplication of infections in those events.
In a press conference, President Carlos Alvarado ruled out closures of other types but the adjustment in vehicular traffic will force a modification of businesses hours n general; in particular, restaurants and bars, most affected.
“For a year we have struggled to avoid the saturation of intensive care beds but in the next few days, it seems that that moment will come. This alert is very important but it is not like any other, it resembles that of a natural disaster because if saturation occurs, there will be people who will not receive care,” warned the president.
Alvarado insisted that this is not the time for parties or clandestine activities and that it is an occasion to limit outings to what is strictly essential, and vehemently requested the general population to take care of themselves.
“The virus is not in the hospitals to defeat it, it is in the conscience of each person to do the right thing. That is why we ask you to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Let us all take care of ourselves, let us take care of Costa Rica and may God take care of Costa Rica,” said Alvarado.