(QCOSTARICA) Going door to door, almost 1,500 primary care technicians working in Ebáis clinics across the country will return to the streets, in an attempt to contain the pandemic.
Wearing personal protective equipment to avoid contagion and protect others, they will resume follow-up visits, after six months of only virtual consultations.
Primary health care assistants (Ataps) will be the soldiers responsible for complying with the guideline issued by the Medical Management of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) in a bid to regain control over COVID-19 and flatten the case curve.
According to the medical manager of the Caja, Dr. Mario Ruiz, the plan is to return to the community the strategic action of identifying populations at risk, in psychological, social, physical and economic vulnerability.
From the local level, he said, the search for cases, the follow-up of contacts, field investigations and outbreak control will be strengthened.
This follow-up of contacts will be essential, since the traceability of infections has been lost since the end of June, when the country began to register levels of infection that, in recent weeks, exceed a thousand infected per day.
This makes it materially impossible to follow the chain of infections of each of these people and issue sanitary isolation orders.
Ruiz stated that the EDUS (Expediente Digital Único en Salud) application, downloaded on more than two million cell phones, will not yet be used to track people who had contact with an infected person.
He explained that the CCSS is awaiting the criteria of the Inhabitants’ Data Protection Agency (Prohab), which could be in 15 days.
According to Ruiz, the task entrusted to the 1,500 technicians of the Ebáis is, literally, the vital thing in these moments: to cut the chains of transmission of the disease by reminding people of the importance of physical distancing, of not breaking their social bubble, the correct use of mask, hand washing, and sneeze and cough protocol,
In addition, they will closely monitor the evolution and control of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension – two of the most frequent comorbidities among those who become complicated and die from COVID-19 – and will update vaccination cards, both in the population older adult as in minors.
At the same time, they will be alert to detect situations of social risk in families, such as abandonment of the elderly, poverty, abuse or addictions, problems that could complicate the social and health condition of a person if they contract the new coronavirus.