(QCOSTARICA) You could see on Friday he lacked the fervor of recent weeks. He looked tired. You could see his exhaustion. Shortly after the press conference ended Health Minister, Daniel Salas, was forced to explain the lack of energy with which he gave the latest report.
He did it through a 38-second WhatsApp audio shared to the media.
In his message, Salas acknowledged suffering from fatigue caused by “long working hours”, but clarified that he maintains the commitment to face the coronavirus pandemic.
“Perhaps they have seen me less energetic in the last press conferences and, with total sincerity, I tell you that it has been long days, very hard work.
“Since January, the entire Ministry has been focused on addressing the pandemic, protecting the population and, well, I just wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate my commitment that is permanent and my absolute will to continue working for the well-being of all of Costa Rica.
“So let’s go ahead and take good care of ourselves,” said Salas.
The message came after announcing that the country will start of phase two of the re-opening – easing of measures – set out in the chronogram a few weeks back.
On Monday, June 1, there will be a slight increase in the country’s economic activity.
Perhaps motivating his need to explain his less than lackluster press conference was the departure of three ministers in less than 24 hours prior to the presser.
With the message, Salas silenced any rumor about a possible change in his roled in the Health portfolio, where he has led the baton of the strategy to combat the covid-19 pandemic, a disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Among its repeated manifestations is the defense of measures to avoid spikes in infections that can lead to the collapse of the health system and more deaths, despite the cost to the economy that other sectors are demanding.
On Friday, Salas announced that Costa Rica reached 1,022 confirmed cases of the disease.
The Minister was emphatic that the country has not yet entered into community transmission yet, and on the contrary, there is a low hospitalization (only 12 patients, of which 2 are in ICU) and ten deaths as of Friday.
Although it was not until March 6 when the first case of covid-19 in the country was confirmed, Salas maintained that the Ministry of Health had been preparing since January for the health emergency.
Dr. Daniel Salas has held the position since November 29, 2018.