The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus covid-19 in Costa Rica keeps rising, the Ministry of Health reported 435 cases as of April 4, a total of 19 more than the previous day.
Of the confirmed cases, 212 are women and 223 men; 404 are Costa Ricans and 31 foreigners; ages ranging from 1 to 87.
There total of 420 active cases of which 25 are currently hospitalized, 13 in intensive care, between the ages of 24 and 85.
The number of recovered cases is 13 and there 30 patients waiting for diagnostic results to clear them of the infection.
The number of deceased remains at 2.
Mario Ruiz, medical director of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) explained the concern of the Health Ministry to be able to handle the number of cases that are likely to grow exponentially in the coming weeks.
Along the same lines, Rodrigo Marín, director of the Health Surveillance, urged the population not to fall into the error of thinking that there will continue to be few people requiring ICU care.
“This is an ongoing disease, every day the cases increase, it is a disease that does not last long, to recover people we need 14 to 21 days (…) In Costa Rica, thank God, we only have 9.4% of hospitalized, but the percentage of hospitalizations will be increasing, global statistics indicate that 20% of cases need to be hospitalized,” said the director.
The concern of both men is the number of ICU cases expected and despite the opening of the CENARE, the exclusive 88-bed center for covid-19 patients, there could be a shortage of specialized ICU staff if the numbers get too out of hand.
Costa Rica is now in Semana Santa mode, a time of year traditionally for family get-togethers, trips to the beaches, and other recreational activities. This year, measures to control the contagion have been put in place, but authorities fear that not enough people will heed to the recommendations to stay at home.
“Look at the case of Panama, it is a hot spot it has a warm climate and it has many cases (infections and deaths). It is not about where we are, but about the measures we take,” said Marín.