Rico’s COVID Digest – If you been looking for Sunday’s Health report, there isn’t one. Yes, sir, none. For the first time since the pandemic hit Costa Rica on March 6.
Earlier in the week, Casa Presidencial announced there would be no report on Sunday, to give staff a break. But it is not Casa Presidencial that creates and announces the latest numbers, it is the purview of the Ministry of Health.
Up to August 14, Health Minister Dr. Daniel Salas, or one of his staff, was up and center with a daily report, which was televised live on local television and social networks. And to the media, like the Q, a detailed email.
Dr. Salas provided us with the results of the last 24 hours, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but without fail.
On August 14, Minister Salas took some personal time to attend to a family emergency, as we learned shortly after, the illness of his father, who had suffered cardiac problems. He was to have returned to the pulpit on August 24.
That weekend, on Sunday the 22nd, for the first time ever, there was no live report, Casa Presidencial took a day off. But, we at the media got an email detailing the number of new cases, the hospitalized, the deaths, etc. It was a first.
On Monday, August 24, we learned that Dr. Salas would be taking a couple of more days, followed up the day later that the Minister would return on September 7, being in self-isolation for contact a positive person, his father who tested positive, infected in “intra-hospital”.
On a couple of occasions, Minister Salas provided us on a couple of occasions a live link during the noon pressers. It can’t be easy for him, we can only imagine what he is going through, having to be separated from his family – his wife, kids, and his sick father.
In my opinion, Dr. Pedro González, the Vice-Minister of Health who is acting Minister during Dr, Salas’ absence, has not proven to be very effective publicly. He was quickly replaced from giving the daily health report by Dr. Priscilla Herrera, General Director of Health.
But, yesterday’s “when the cat is away …”, takes the cake with not only there not being a live report, but no report at all.
Not even an update on the Ministery of Health website.
Getting the daily numbers, listening to the reports, both for health and all other matters related to the coronavirus, ie the vehicle restrictions, the travel guidelines, recommendations, boring lectures, live on television or social networks and listening and reading to the commentary, the emails, news reports and so on, allowed us to make some sense of the crazy times were are currently living.
I am sure we will get the numbers today, but my feeling that even our health authorities have given up, that, well, mask up, because, we are on our own.