(QCOSTARICA) The new coronavirus entered its third month in Costa Rica with a bang, with two of the highest single-day increases in confirmed cases: Sunday (55) and Wednesday (52).
The other days all above 35: Monday (28), Tuesday (21), Thursday (37), Friday (34), and Saturday (35), for a total of 262 new cases in the first week of the month.
The acceleration of the disease is reflected in the figures for the last month: 553 infected were detected in 30 days.
In the first week of May there were 53 new confirmed cases, the second 61, the third 77, and the last week of May 126.
And in only the first week of June, 262, for an average of 52.4 daily. If this trend continues, we will close June with a possible 1,572. That is more than a total of 1,318 for the first three months of the pandemic (March 6 to June 6).
This trend, especially in communities in the border area with Nicaragua, forced the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) to extend the orange alert to the La Fortuna district, in San Carlos; and to all the cantons of Pococí, in Limón, and those of Upala, in Alajuela.
San Carlos is the canton where there are the most active cases (people who are sick) so far: 70. In fact, it overtook San José, the largest city in the country, which was in first place with 66 patients.
The active cases are followed by San Ramón (52), Heredia (43), Pococí (37), Cañas (25), Alajuela (20), Abangares (19), Goicoechea (19), Aserrí (17), Puntarenas (17), Liberia ( 15) and Upala (14).
Alexánder Solís, president of the CNE, admitted that “an increased risk of transmission has been detected in some specific cantons and districts.”
The measures of the orange alert, whose objective is to stop the community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, include a special vehicular restriction of 5 pm to 5:00 am, every day, and the closing of commercial establishments at the same time, from Monday to Friday, and totally on weekends.
The list of regions on orange alert (high risk of contagion of the virus) is in place in the following areas:
- The entire canton of Pococí, in Limón.
- The Peñas Blancas district, in San Ramón.
- The Bebedero and Cañas districts, in Cañas, Guanacaste.
- The Abangares Boards.
- Los Chiles, in the canton of Los Chiles.
- La Fortuna, in San Carlos.
- The entire canton of Upala.
The rest of the country remains on yellow alert (low risk), therefore the mitigation measures that have been in force since March are maintained, which include the recommendation of staying at home, that is not leave the house unless necessary, hand washing and social distancing in public spaces.
Although wearing a mask is not mandatory, a good decision is wear one, in particular when going shopping and in places where there a groups of people. And leave your sunglasses at home or in the car when going to the supermarket.
No community transmission
One of the major concerns of Health authorities is entering the phase of community transmission.
The director of Health Surveillance, at the Ministry of Health, Rodrigo Marín, on Sunday denied that there is community transmission in the country, but acknowledged that there is a significant increase in cases in the north.
Marín assured that the country is still in phase three, where contagion can be traced and can still be followed up.
“We are stratifying the measures, analyzing risks, monitoring contacts and increasing sampling in areas. We continue with strict surveillance throughout the country, not only for those who reach health services: there are 18 sentinel sites and 33 priority communities.
“We have monitored the risk of the entire country and we can have it stratified for the moment,” said Marín, who clarified that “there is nothing written in stone.”