Friday 3 February 2023

COVID-19 transmission rate loses momentum; peak should be in two or three weeks

Contagion rate dropped to 1.2; cases continue to rise but at a slower rate

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QCOSTARICA – The rate of contagion of covid-19 in Costa Rica, which describes the speed with which the disease is transmitted, fell in the last week and the peak of this wave could be within two or three weeks, according to the analysis of the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) released this Friday morning.

The presence of the omicron variant, dominant in our country, would make this wave more intense, but shorter, as it is much more transmissible, but with milder symptoms.

The contagion or “R” rate now stands at 1.2, after being 1.43 a week earlier and almost 3 several weeks ago.

What 1.2 means is that a group of 100 people with the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect 120.

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This indicator for the transmission of the virus in a certain space of time and place, in this case, what happened in Costa Rica between January 16 and 22. This decrease may represent good news, but it should be taken with care, because whenever the number is greater than 1, it implies that the rate of infection continues to grow and there is a larger group of infected each time.

The drop means that the growth rate is slower than that seen in the previous report, but the upward number of new daily infections continue.

However, since it is a drop that has occurred since the previous week and that the decline is becoming more abrupt, this could indicate that the ceiling of this pandemic wave is closer and, indeed, as several specialists have pointed out, this would be of shorter duration than the previous ones (just like what happened in other countries).

“The force of ascent is losing momentum. If this trend continues, in two or three weeks it is possible that the curve will start to go down. We would expect the descent to be rapid, just as the rise has been rapid,” said doctor and epidemiologist Ronald Evans, coordinator of the report.

This speed of the wave would be due to the omicron variant, dominant in the country. However, it should be noted that the delta variant (less contagious, but with more aggressive symptoms) is still present.

Alajuela is the province with the highest transmission speed, 1.27, followed by San José, with 1.25, Cartago, 1.2, Heredia, 1.19, Guanacaste, 1.11,  Limón 1.07 and lowest, Puntarenas with 1.05.

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