Tuesday 25 January 2022

Covid-19 contagion rate continues to decline and gives ‘Christmas truce’

A report from the Universidad Hispanoamericana places the indicator at 0.79, that is, a group of 100 infected would infect 79

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QCOSTARICA – The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica has for the past 11 weeks continued at low levels and the most recent report, “Una pandemia en perspectiva” (A pandemic in perspective) from the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH), released this Friday morning, reports a slight drop: the indicator went from 0.81 to 0.79.

Health authorities continue to recommend the use of masks to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.

This indicator, also called the “R rate” or “basic reproduction number”, shows the speed of transmission of the disease and how many people a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, would infect.

What does a low level mean?

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Below 1 it implies that each group of people with the virus would transmit it to a smaller one. If it is set to 1, that same group would infect the same number of people. If it is above 1, it would give rise to a larger group of infected.

A 0.79, as seen this Friday, indicates that a group of 100 people infected would transmit the disease to 79. However, this number is very volatile, in the last weeks, it has fluctuated between rising and falling, although it has always remained below one.

This is the trend in the contagion rate since last August. Graphic: Universidad Hispanoamericana

“It seems that we will have a Christmas without hostilities. A Christmas truce that we hope will last for some time. (…) Knowing that the best characteristic of this pandemic is uncertainty, there is no alternative but to continue monitoring its evolution in the national territory every day and every week,” said Ronald Evans, doctor and epidemiologist and coordinator of the report.

This is the behavior of new cases since last August. Graphic: Universidad Hispanoamericana

Number of new cases continues to decline

The contagion rate indicates the speed of transmission and not necessarily the number of patients in a week, which currently, there is also a significant drop in cases.

The daily average number of infections for the current week fell from 75 to 51, that is, 24 fewer confirmed infections per day than last week, which is equivalent to a reduction of 32%.

If it is observed in rates per million inhabitants, it went from 14.5 to 9.9, a number that is considered very low risk.

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When analyzing by province, the province that lowered its rate the most was Alajuela (61.1%), followed by Heredia (57.3%). Cartago and Guanacaste increased their respective rates for having just one more case than the previous week.

The highest rate is in Puntarenas with 19.8 cases per million inhabitants. It is followed by Limón with 15.1 and Cartago, with 12.9. Further down are Guanacaste, with 10 and San José, with 8.4. The lowest levels are in Alajuela, with 5.8 and Heredia, with 5.6.

Evans asked the population to keep their guard up during Christmas and New Year’s activities, especially in the face of the threat of the omicron variant, which, although it has not been officially reported, so far, in Costa Rica, it could do so at any time.

What has been seen in other countries indicates that it is more contagious than the previous variants.

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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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