QCOSTARICA – For three consecutive days, the numbers of new cases has been below 1,000 daily, on Tuesday, December 1, the Ministry of Health reporting 534 new cases of covid-19 in Costa Rica.
A similar number was reported for Monday, 539 new cases and 851 for Sunday.
The total number of cases in the country since the first on March 6, is 140, 172, of which 120,231 are Costa Ricans and 19,851 foreigners. Of the total, 71,964 are men and 68,208 are women, ranging in age from newborm to 101 years.
87,721 (62.6%) have recovered.
On Tuesday, five deaths associated with Covid-19 were reported. The total now is 1,731 (1,078 men and 653 women), ranging in age from 9 to 101 years. The average age is 70.3 years, reinforcing that the novel coronarivus is more lethal to older people.
Of major concern to health authorities is the number of hospitalizations. On Tuesday, 571 people were in hospital, an increase from 524 the day earlier. On Tuesday, 224 people were being cared for in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
While those numbers are not the highest – that was on September 16 with 634 people in hospital, 253 of them in ICU – it is worrisome as we approach the holiday season in the middle of a second wave of the pandemic.
Both the minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas and the executive president of the CCSS (Caja), Dr. Roman Macaya, stressed the finite resources in medical services in the country and the concern that if we, the people, do not act responsibly we could see a denial of services, not only for covid-18 patients, but all who require a hospital bed.
Joining Salas and Macaya at Tuesday’s press conference was Alexande Solis, head of the National Emergencies Commission (CNE), in sending a message to the population about the need to act responsibly in order to live a safe Christmas.
The three made a call to live the festivities with precautions, without putting aside that the pandemic continues and that individual responsibility may mean an increase or stability in the number of cases.
Stressed was the importance of using the mask correctly, washing hands constantly and keeping distance between people, and recommending:
- Avoid closed and crowded places. Prefer ventilated places and outdoors.
- Stay home if you have respiratory symptoms.
- If you are going to interact with someone who is not in your bubble (family with which you live) that is for a short time, keeping your distance, using a mask and in a place with natural ventilation.
- Do not share meal times with people who do not belong to your bubble: not using a mask increases the risk.
- The necessity to protect especially the elderly, diabetic or hypertense, since they can suffer complications id they fall ill with COVID-19 and even die.
“As I have said on other occasions, this is a resistance race, we have overcome a nine-month pandemic, in which, for the most part, we have persisted as a population in self-care and it is urgent that we do not give up spaces in that goal. COVID-19 is already the leading cause of death due to a single event, if we compare it with statistics from previous years, it is not the time to lower our guard, December is a decisive month,” Minister Salas emphasized.
On the horizon, it appears that we are in good shape to see the covid-19 vaccine reach us in the coming months, with vaccinations starting in the first quarter of 2021. According to the government, the vaccine will not be mandatory.
In Britain, the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine – the same purchased by Costa Rica – has already received authorization, with the first vaccinations starting as early as next week; authorization is expected in the European Union on December 29.
In the U.S., authorization could come in the next two weeks.