Saturday 9 December 2023

Costa Rica’s contagion rate continues to decline, experts once again warn of a ‘false ilusion’

The indicator is at 0.99, that is, 100 people would infect 99; however, specialists ask not to trust it, as cases increased in the last week

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QCOSTARICA – The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica fell for the second consecutive week and registers the lowest values ​​of the last 11 weeks. However, specialists warn that declines like these can result in a “false illusion”, such as the one that occurred just after Semana Santa.

Experts ask us to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the risk of contagion. Photo of downtown San Jose by Rafael Pacheco

Trusting it can have counterproductive effects, they point out.

An analysis of the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) shows that in the last week the contagion or “r” rate or basic reproduction number, went from 1.32 to 0.99.

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The rate is an indicator that reflects how many healthy people, on average, a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect another.

A rate of 1.32 as seen a week ago indicates that a group of 100 people with the virus would infect 132, while a rate of 0.99, as seen today, indicates that those 100 people would transmit the infection. to 99.

A rate lower than 1 indicates that the infection is decreasing because each group of carriers would infect a smaller group.

The contagion rate from February 27, 2021, to May 8, 2021. Source: Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH)

This, in principle, is good news.

However, the false mirage warning is especially necessary with a number so close to 1.

“This great stumble that R gave is a mirage that cannot give rise to false illusions. We would be better off settling for a moderate but steady decline, which would further fuel the idea that we are flattening the curve. For now, there is no other way than to continue applying the protocols, but with the rigor required,” emphasized epidemiologist Ronald Evans, coordinator of the UH analysis.

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The expert also launched a petition to the Government.

“We know that the Government is with its back against the wall. But if the reality of hospital oversaturation persists, it will have to square with the defense of the health of Costa Ricans. It will no longer be able to stay in the middle. It will have to be decided which is more important for the country,” he stressed.

Records were broken this week

While the drop in the contagion rate is excellent news, the reality this week in Costa Rica is a lot more cases and deaths due to SARS-CoV-2, the cause of covid-19.

The last seven days (May 8 to May 14), 17,255 new cases of covid-19 were reported by the Ministry of Health, an average of 2,465.

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The average daily cases from February 27, 2021 to May 8, 2021. Source: Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH)

On Wednesday, May 12, the country broke the record of the number of cases for a single day, with 3,173, followed up the day following with 3,039.

The country has now accumulated (May 14) 282,741 cases.

The country also broke the record for the most deaths from covid on a single day. On Friday, the Ministry of Health reported 33 deaths, one higher than the 32 on Thursday. For the other days of the last seven days, there 26 deaths reported for Wednesday, 26 for Tuesday, 21 on Monday, 23 on Sunday and 21 Saturday last.

The total for the seven days is 182. That is an average of 26 deaths daily associated to only one disease.

The total number of deaths now is 3,547 since the first in March 2020.

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"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.

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