QCOSTARICA – For the fourth consecutive week, Costa Rica registers an increase in the number of covid-19 infections, in what would be the fifth pandemic wave.
According to the Ministry of Health, infections went from 7,558 new cases in epidemiological week 18 ending on May 7, to 10,213 in epidemiological week 19 which ended last Saturday 14. The increase is 35.12%.
This increase is much greater if the last epidemiological week (number 15 which ended on April 16) of the downward curve is taken as a basis when 2,359 new infections were reported. Since then, cases have grown 333%.
The first week in which the downward trend that began to be seen since the end of January was reversed was the one that closed on April 23 (epidemiological week 16), when it went from 2,359 cases to 4,233. Since then, it has not stopped growing.
For this Tuesday, May 17, the Ministry of Health reported 2,034 more infections. On Tuesday, May 10, it was 1,697. Health currently only issues reports on Tuesdays and lags behind in providing details of the daily cases.
The good news is that despite the sharp increase in infections, the same did not happen with hospitalizations, whose total number grew by three, according to the data cut published on Tuesday, May 17.
A week ago, on Tuesday, May 10, there were 304 hospitalized patients; this Tuesday there are 307.
A very important fact, the number of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) fell, from 48 on May 19 to 38 on May 17. However, we do not know if the reduction was due to recoveries or deaths.
Deaths continue to rise slightly. The daily average of deaths related to covid-19 is now 4. In the last seven days, 28 people have died, and since the start of the pandemic, 8,472 people have died.
The daily average went from 2.2 deaths from this cause in the week ending April 30, to 3.2 daily deaths on May 7, and now to 4 seven days later.
Although the number of new cases is an important variable, we must pay attention to the behavior of hospitalizations (especially in ICU) and deaths, because this is where the true impact of the pandemic is measured. The beginning of this fifth wave also reflects increases in these two variables of epidemiological importance.