Tuesday 27 September 2022

Covid-19 contagion rate rises: 100 people would infect 103

After 11 weeks of being at low levels, this indicator rises again; value is only below 1 in Heredia and Limón

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QCOSTARICA – The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica registers high levels for the first time since mid-May, after an 11-week decline in the rate of infections.

Masks, Covid-19, delta variable Specialists point out that the delta variant does have an impact on the increase in the contagion rate, but so does the behavior of the population. Photo of downtown San Jose: Rafael Pacheco

The weekly report of the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) indicates that this indicator is at 1.03, which means that a group of 100 carriers with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would pass the infection to 103 people.

When this indicator, also called the ‘R rate’, is below 1, it means that the virus reaches fewer people. When it is at 1 it remains constant and when it exceeds the barrier of 1 it means that the transmission is increasing.

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For Ronald Evans, physician and epidemiologist coordinating the report, the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is more transmissible, does have weight in this result, but the population dynamics must be added. Fortunately, vaccination somewhat counteracts this aspect.

“The bad news is that the delta variable is circulating strongly in the country at the present time. Perhaps the pandemic curve this time will not reach values ​​as high as those we have seen during the peaks of the previous waves, if it does not arrive, it would be mainly due to the vaccination levels achieved so far,” said Evans.

“Given the very particular characteristics of the delta variable, which can cause infection among those vaccinated, the control rules that scientific evidence supports as safe and effective must continue to be followed,” he added.

Since R is a value that depends on human dynamics, it is not the same throughout the country. Each province has its own transmission characteristics.

However, this time it worries that five of the seven provinces have levels above 1.

Puntarenas tops the list, with 1.09. There, 100 people would infect 109.

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Alajuela follows, with 1.08; Guanacaste, with 1.04; and Cartago with 1.02. San José is at 1.

Finally, Heredia has 0.97 and Limón 0.95. In the Caribbean province, these 100 people would infect 95.

The contagion rate indicates the speed of transmission and not necessarily the number of cases that occur in a week.

The number of cases did drop, but the level at which it did was lower than that seen in recent months.

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The average number of daily cases (1,173) was lower than that seen seven days ago (1,210), which represents 37 fewer cases (3.1%).

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