The spike of 52 new cases on Wednesday and 37 on Thursday of Covid-19 in Costa Rica is linked to agricultural and “packaging” activities, according to Health Minister Daniel Salas.
“It wasn’t so much because of family contact. Of course, there has been, remember that this is why we use the term social bubble. But it (the sharp increase) has been closely related to more agricultural and packaging activities,” said Salas.
The minister was emphatic that these new cases are not related to the truckers. Last week, an outbreak of 18 new cases in Guanacaste was linked to one trucker.
“There are practically no cases (of truckers) anymore. A few cases are still being reported that have arisen as a result of this trucker. But at that time there was a containment to prevent more cases from being generated,” explained the minister.
Costa Rica on June 3 registered the largest increase in cases in a single day (24 hour period) since the pandemic began on March 6. On Thursday, the increases continued with 37 new cases.
Due to this increase in cases, the government placed several border districts under orange alert, where the measures were tightened and the vehicle restriction was increased. A total of 13 communities are now under this “localized” restriction, without affecting the restrictions in place in the rest of the country.
According to Salas, applying stricter measures to the entire country in response to the localized increases would hinder the re-opening of the economy and the much-needed return of international tourists to the country.
“That will depend a lot on how new cases are posing a threat in parts of the country, where there may be an increase in cases without an epidemiological link,” said Salas.
“At the moment we consider those specific sites to be the sites that are posing an increased risk of higher transmission. Local transmission exists but we have not reached community transmission,” he added.