Friday 31 March 2023

Covid-19 contagion rate continues to decline, but figures remain high

Analysts warn that hospitalizations remain at a high point and deaths increase due to the force of the wave

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31 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica, which describes the speed with which the disease is transmitted, fell for the third consecutive week, but the numbers are still high and therefore cases continued to rise during the last week, according to the analysis of the Universidad Hispanoamericana released this Friday morning.

Although the symptoms of the omicron variant are usually milder, the call is to continue to apply sanitary measures

The number stood at 1.1, after being at 1.2 a week earlier and 1.43 the week before. This means that, based on the cases reported in the last seven days, a group of 100 people with the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect 110. In the report from a week ago there were 120, and, two years ago, 143.

This indicator, also called the R rate, accounts for the transmission of the virus in a certain space of time and place, in this case, what happened in Costa Rica between January 23 and 29.

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This decrease may represent good news, but it should be taken with caution since whenever the number is greater than 1, it implies that the rate of infection is growing and there is a larger group of infected each time; the low means that the rate of increase is slower than that seen in the previous report, but the numbers continue to rise.

“All provinces had an R greater than 1, showing that the causal agent of the epidemic throughout the national territory still shows an expanding reproductive capacity, but much more limited in recent weeks,” said epidemiologist Ronald Evans, report coordinator.

There are variables that can complicate the work to have a more accurate number of the contagion rate, because with the growth in the number of cases, the diagnostic teams already face an unprecedented demand and the time to give results suffers delays, which can affect the analysis. In addition, the weakness of the symptoms in many cases means that people do not undergo the test, so underreporting may be greater.

Likewise, if the cases continue to grow, there could be a shortage of tests that impacts the number of infections reported and with it, the speed of transmission or R rate that is registered. For this reason, other analysts, such as mathematician Tomás de Camino, emphasize that observing the behavior of hospitalizations is more accurate to measure the impact of the pandemic with less risk of inaccuracy, especially in this wave. According to his assessments, hospital admissions could be approaching a peak.

Evans warns that the number of hospitalizations, due to the impact of the omicron variant, are already reaching high levels and this has an impact on deaths. On Friday, the Ministry of Health reported 860 people hospitalized, of which 128 are in an intensive care unit and 20 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 7,641 people who have lost their lives in Costa Rica associated with covid-19.

The large number of patients caused by the omicron variant is beginning to manifest itself more clearly in the number of hospitalizations and deaths. Last week a daily average of 12 people died, last week a daily average of 7 people died. This means an increase of 73.4%.

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The contagion rate is not the same throughout the country and each province has its own rhythm. However, all seven are above 1 and the numbers of infected continue to rise.

Cartago is the province with the highest: 1.17, followed by San Jose with 1.12, Puntaneras with 1.11, Alajuela with 1.09, Limon with 1.08, Heredia with 1.07 and Guanacaste with the lowest at 1.05

 

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