QCOSTARICA – The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, warns that we should not “claim victory” due to the low numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 because “at least one more wave could be in store” for us in Costa Rica.
Last Thursday, December 9, Costa Rica put an end to 519 consecutive days with a record of deaths associated with covid-19; a day later, only 89 cases were reported.
Although Salas acknowledged that this epidemiological situation is favorable, the Minister was cautious during an interview with Teletica.com.
“Of course, one celebrates that there are zero deaths, but we know that we have not come out of the pandemic. I return to the initial meaning of our conversation: we cannot have a definitive triumphalism now, and this epidemiological profile that we have at this moment does not mean that We came out of the pandemic. There is still a risk, at least one more wave could come … Hopefully it is not so strong, I would hope it would be less prolonged, with less impact, but there is still a part that continues to depend a lot on us and on the protocols,” Salas said.
The minister used as an example the situation that Europe is currently experiencing, where confinements and the reinforcement of sanitary measures have been mandatory due to the Omicron variant. At the moment, there are no official reports of this mutation in Costa Rica; However, remember, that does not mean that it cannot already be circulating in Costa Rica.
“The term pandemic means a global phenomenon, it is not a Costa Rican, Central American phenomenon … and that must be understood. See how Europe is at this moment. We are trying to understand what the Omicron variant means for the course of the pandemic, but not we are at a point where we can already claim victory, quite the opposite: we are strengthening measures, advancing with vaccination,” he added.
In the interview, the Minister was “do your projections indicate when that new wave could occur?”
“The more you make long-term and medium-term projections, the more they lose credibility. We have also learned from that: you make projections for a month from now, those are more reliable; but you project for three, four months … There are so many variables that come into play, so many factors that make these projections not very realistic. Another thing is that the parameters have to be completely adjusted, it is not the same to do a projection, at this moment, with a level of mobility and use of masks to, for example, speak in 15 days when mobility can skyrocket or, hopefully not, the use of masks goes down.
“We also know that we are going with a gradual, progressive opening, we hope it is the most responsible, but we know that this opening means greater mobility and that there will be more encounters between people, which continues to represent a significant risk,” he replied.
After 21 months of the pandemic, Daniel Salas understands the fatigue of the population and is more understanding about the family celebrations on December 24 and 31.
He knows that the human being has a social nature, but he does not hide his fear of the impact such activities could have. For this reason, he recommends that the groups be “as small as possible” (not mix more than five or six social bubbles), look for open or well-ventilated places, and that, preferably, and everyone present is vaccinated against COVID-19.
He also advises maintaining known sanitary protocols, especially the use of a mask if people, and constant washing of hands.