(QCOSTARICA) Armando Mayorga, columnist for La Nacion, writes that the “hammer blows hit the nail on the head in the early months of the pandemic, but by now the hammering lost strength” and the closures of restaurants, bars, sodas, discos, shops, cinemas and gyms, has done nothing to stop new cases and deaths daily from COVID-19.
Mayorga points out the strategy applied by the government of Carlos Alvarado and led by the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas, was successful from March to June, were in those four months, there were only 3,500 infected and 16 deaths reported. But in July the numbers took off with 14,000 new confirmed cases and 134 deaths.
And, in these first 19 days of August, the number of new cases is 12,000 and 167 deaths.
“Undoubtedly, the government must reformulate the plan because the #quédeseencasa (stay at home) hit a wall. Furthermore, in these five and a half months it has not been able to verify whether the strict closure of commerce has been effective or how much the vehicle restriction contributes. They are all hypotheses,” writes Mayorga.
The columnist points out that is obvious that the economic paralysis of almost half a year is enough “because citizens do not believe in its effectiveness. There is no more to give because thousands of homes suffer unemployment and a shortage of money; because the bono proteger (government aid) fell short.”
Mayorga suggests it is time to go back to the beginning, the strategy that was to slow the rate of infection and flatten the curve.
“To start over, then, it is necessary to convince the citizen that what is essential is their personal care, comply with the basic measures: do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes, wash your hands frequently, use gel, keep a distance of 1.8 meters, avoid crowds and wear masks in closed places, buses or taxis, and even in meetings with family and friends. But, in addition, there is the technology,” says Mayorga.
The technology he refers to is the EDUS (Expediente Digital Único en Salud) – a single digital system all the information of the health record of the patients – that could be effective in the reduction of infections would be achieved if people who had contact with infected are detected.
“What is objectionable is that for private and political interests, the government and the CCSS waste the tool. Unforgivable,” says the columnist.
Mayorga closed his column with, the “country’s economy is not for more experiments … it is time for government strategists to get advice, make an about-face, and focus on the people, on specific restrictions, intelligent, with measurement of results and use of technology.”
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