(QCOSTARICA) Friday’s press conference began with a strong plea by President Carlos Alvarado on the hospital crisis the country is facing, pleading for all to abide by the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, and to bring that message to family members, to co-workers, even, he asked children to convince their parents.
“We have signs that we are reaching a point where there is a lot of pressure on hospitals and medical services, which not only affects people who arrive infected with COVID-19, but eventually, if all beds in intensive care units become saturated, any other person who arrives for any other need, be it a traffic accident, heart attack or any other problem, may not have space to be attended, and this is critica,” he warned.
The commander in chief reminded that among the essential measures are to maintain a distance of 1.8 meters, respect social bubbles, do not touch your face with dirty hands, use a mask, wash your hands and do not go out of the house if you have respiratory symptoms.
However, one of the more impacting report to date is that by Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) medical manager, Dr. Mario Ruiz, detailed the need to install refrigerated containers for the corpses at four hospitals of the Caja, in response to the increase in deaths associated with COVID-19.
The refrigerated containers with a capacity for 25 bodies each will be installed at the Calderón Guardia, San Carlos, San Rafael de Alajuela, and possibly San Vicente de Paúl, in Heredia, hospitals.
“I never imagined that as a medical manager I was going to have to make the decision of where we are going to distribute refrigerated containers to be able to house corpses,” said Ruiz.
It is, he said, a “very painful” decision that had to be taken because around twenty deaths daily are occurring. For this Friday, 16 were reported, but just a day before there were 24. On Wednesday it was 21.
The death toll associated with COVID-19 is now 583.
“When so many people begin to die at the same time, all funeral processes also take time and bodies can accumulate. In fact, in the course of this week, at the Calderón Guardia Hospital, we had a saturation of bodies and at some point, we even thought about transferring them to the CEACO. Thank God we didn’t have to do it because the families came to pick up their loved ones very quickly, but we had to contemplate it,” shared the medical manager.
The San Juan de Dios Hospital had had one of these containers, for 18 bodies, for some time, as well as the Specialized Center for the Attention of Patients with Covid-19 (CEACO).
Dr. Ruiz explained that as part of the handling of corpses, a protocol was established that includes a period of cleaning the body so that loved ones can say goodbye to their family member, although only one person can for 15 minutes. In addition, it includes the use of two special bags, a transparent bag, which is the one that is placed first for the family member to view and say goodbye, and another bag of a dark color that is the one for the delivery of the body.
Another of the measures announced by Ruiz was the purchase of more body bags, a provision that also responds to the number of deceased patients. At this time, 20% of those infected who enter hospitals, die.
“We are going to expand it initially by 500 more bags, but the contract will be left on demand, according to the number of patients who die. As I said, it is a very tough situation, very complicated, but We have to face this because it is part of the life that we are living at the moment,” said the official.
As part of the handling of corpses, a protocol was established that includes a period of cleaning the body so that loved ones can say goodbye to their family member, although only one person can enter for 15 minutes. In addition, it includes the use of two special bags, a transparent bag, which is the one that is placed first for the family member to see and say goodbye, and another bag of a dark color that is the one that is going to be delivered.
In addition, the CCSS medical manager reported that they have instructed regional medical centers to assume a dual condition, that is, that they will also handle patients with COVID-19, a change of strategy that COVID patients would only be treated in national hospitals in the Greater Metropolitan Areas (GAM) of San Jose.
Dr. Daniel Salas, Minister of Health, report for Friday, September 11, there were 1,420 new cases of COVID-19, of which 253 are by epidemiological link and 1,167 by test, for a total of 53,969 confirmed cases, with an age range of zero to 100 years.
There are 25,506 women and 28,463 men, of whom 42,694 are Costa Rican and 11,275 are foreigners.
A total of 20,710 have recovered; 534 are hospitalized, 221 of them in intensive care with an age range of 24 to 96 years.
The 16 deaths reported Firday were nine men, and seven women, with an age range of 31 to 94 years.
Of total 583 deaths, 221 are women and 362 men, with an age range of 19 to 100 years.