(QCOSTARICA) Though the number of cases keep rising at an alarming rate this week, with 74 new cases confirmed on Friday, for a total of 1,612 since the first case in March, the number of hospitalized and requiring intensive care, remains low.
On Friday, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, provided the latest epidemiological report at the noon press conference, he reported of the 869 active (infected) patients only 20 are hospitalized, of whom 3 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
That number has remained constant this past week (dropping one on June 9 with the death an ICU patient for 70 days) a week that saw the addition of 384 cases (Friday, June 5 to Friday, June 12).
As I commented on Friday Hospitalized is the concern, it is normal for the number of infected people to grow as sanitary measures are relaxed, as long as almost all patients can recover at home and do not need to be hospitalized.
As explained by Dr. Rodrigo Marin, head of Health Surveillance, in an interview with Channel 6 News, on Thursday, June 11, the majority of the new cases this past week are in the young and they can quickly recover from at home, without hospitalization.
In Friday’s report, of the accumulated cases 1,202 infected are Costa Rican and 410 foreigners; 868 are men and 744 women, ranging in age from 0 to 86 years.
Regrettably, there have been 12 deaths: 9 men and 3 women.
A total of 731 have recovered; the active cases are 869 and as mentioned above, only 20 are in hospital, the rest are recuperating at home and under a quarantine order.
Change in disease surveillance guidelines
The Minister of Health reported that, as has been done consistently since the start of the pandemic, the National Guidelines for Surveillance of the Disease COVID-19 were updated again, on this occasion, based on the Clinical Management Guide of COVID-19 of the World Health Organization (WHO), the tests are suppressed to classify as recovered a case in those of ambulatory management.
The new instruction is:
- Asymptomatic patients: empowered to discharge 10 days after having obtained the positive result of the COVID-19 test.
- Mild symptomatic patients: empowered to discharge 13 days after having obtained the positive result of the COVID-19 test, where the last three days must be free of all respiratory symptoms and fever.
The decision is based on the WHO analysis indicating 9-day viral clearance for mild patients.
In the case of hospitalized patients, for the moment, testing continues to lead to discharge.
The Minister emphasized the scientific support for the change in the guideline.
He also emphasized the change is not due to lack of testing availability of evidence, not even a matter of discussion, since the CCSS currently has 29,000 tests, in addition to the 9,000 available in INCIENSA.