The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, updated the confirmed cases of the coronavirus covid-19 situation in Costa Rica, totalling 69, an increase in 19 in cases in the last 24 hours.
The age range of the infected is from 8 to 87 years old. There are 30 women and 39 men, of whom 63 are Costa Rican and six are foreigners. Of all of them, seven are in hospital.
The affected are located in 25 cantons in five provinces. Puntarenas and Limón are the only two provinces with any confirmed cases.
By age, 64 are adults (7 seniors) and 5 minors are included. 855 people have been ruled, that is tested negative.
Minister Salas explained there have five contagion conglomerates are identified: one in Alajuiela, responsible for 25 transmissions; another in Escazú, with nine infections attributed; another focus on Pérez Zeledón with three cases; six in Desamparados. There are six more, where the epidemiological link of which is unknown.
“We have to be very serious in tackling this, today the World Health Organization says that we have to quarantine, we have to maintain the measures we are taking. We have not lived through the scenario of having many cases, but this is increasing, this is going to increase significantly in the following weeks,” emphasized Health Minister Salas.
In an impassionate please, Salas urged the population to take the situation seriously, “this is not a vacation, there are people moving about without care”, reiterating that people should stay home.
The minister added “we don’t have yet deaths, but we will … we don’t have a lot of cases, but they will increase” trying, during the press conference, to impart the seriousness of the situation and though the situation is well within the capacity of the Health system, “it could go beyond our capacity”.
Casa Presidencial (Government House) has been holding mid-day press conferences to update on the coronavirus covid-19 cases and announce economic measures aimed at keeping commerce moving, in particular assistance to small and medium sized businesses (pymes the acronym in Spanish).
To that end, on Wednesday, President Carlos Alvarado signed a decree to direct state banks – Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and Banco Nacional (BN) – to reduce interest rates on loans to pymes, based on their particular cases, and postponement of repayment of capital and interest on loans.
Alvarado urged the Banco Popular, a semi-state bank and private banks to follow the lead of the state banks.
The President also reminded the public that Costa Rica is well stocked, there is no need to hoard, to over buy in fear of food and staples running out.