QCOSTARICA – A year into the pandemic, the government is throttling back on the press conferences to update the evolution of the pandemic.
From the first days after March 6, 2020, of the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in the country, every day (including Sundays), we had a report on the number of new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and recommendations from various head of government agencies.
Months later, the press conference was only offered on weekdays and reports were able to ask questions to the panel that usually included the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas; the Executive Presidents of the Caja and CNE, Roman Macaya and Alexander Solis, respectively; and on a frequent basis the Ministers of Labor, Economy and Tourism, Giannina Dinarte and Victoria Hernandez, and Gustavo Segura, respectively.
Less frequent were the appearances of President Carlos Alvarado. His appearance typically meant some important changes to the sanitary measures, such as the closings of the borders, the tough vehicular restrictions of Semana Santa, and so on.
Six months into the pandemic, the press conferences, and guest appearances diminished. Many of the Health reports were by video, in contrast, to live, questions by reporters, either live or emailed, were almost none.
The daily press conferences by the end of the year became two times a week: Tuesdays and Fridays and by February, on many occasions was only a prerecorded video message by a high-ranking Health official.
Tuning to the press conferences live on television became less and less, the two main television stations practically cutting the feed even before the last words were spoken.
So, as we all got tired of this pandemic, so have the officials, their frequency of informing the population led to the press conference to be held less frequently.
With that, over the weekend Casa Presidencial announced that starting this week, the live press conferences will be weekly: on Tuesdays, at the usual time (around 1 pm).
In the event of any situation that warrants it, additional live press conferences will be called.
Data will continue to be released on Tuesdays, with disaggregated information corresponding to Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; and on Fridays, with the information related to Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, in both cases, the data specified for each day will be available to the press and the public, both in infograms and in consumable excel bases, on the Ministry of Health website.