After the first case of Covid-19 coronavirus was confirmed in Costa Rica on Friday, March 6, the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) issued a statement indicating that an “epidemiological clinical evaluation” will be required of all passengers arriving in Guatemala from Costa Rica.
“No passenger may enter that comes from countries with confirmed cases without having their epidemiological clinical evaluation. Extreme prevention measures will be applied, especially all flights from Costa Rica, as has been done with other airlines that come from countries with confirmed cases,” said the Ministry of Health on Friday night.
“For the confirmation of the first case of Covid-19 coronavirus in Central America, especially in Costa Rica, together with the President Dr. Alejandro Giammattei, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance has decided to raise the yellow alert to a red alert,” said the statement issued on Saturday.
The text does not indicate whether Guatemala will carry out this “epidemiological clinical evaluation” or what it consists of. Guatemala still has no suspected cases of Covid-19 coronavirus.
Costa Rica has responded, by way of the Ambassador of Costa Rica in Guatemala, Emilio Arias Rodríguez, asking the Minister of Health of that country, Hugo Roberto Monroy Castillo, for clarification on the scope of the measure.
The press office of the Costa Rica Ministry of Health said that, so far, Guatemala is the only country with such an alert for passengers coming from the country.
On Friday, the Ministry of Health confirmed the first case of the covid-19, an imported case of a woman tourist arriving from New York.
While each country has their respective protocols, in the case of Costa Rica, when a passenger, national or foreign, who reports having been in China, Italy, South Korea, Iran or Spain, countries that have active transmission of the virus enters the country, they are asked for name, contact information and where they will be staying in Costa Rica.
They are warned that in case of presenting any symptoms of the Covid-19 within 14 days of having been in those countries, to report it immediately to the authorities. They are given the phone numbers where they should call.