Tuesday 25 January 2022

Ómicron increases the rate of contagion of covid-19 in the last week

The contagion rate went from 2.09 to 2.12 in the past week

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QCOSTARICA – The rate of contagion of covid-19 increased in the last seven days, with a reproduction rate, or R rate, that went from 2.09 to 2.12, confirmed Ronald Evans, the doctor and epidemiologist who directs the team at the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) that takes the pulse of this indicator.

Avenida Central in downtown San Jose on December 22. The agglomeration of people will trigger new cases as part of the fourth pandemic wave that the country is experiencing. Photo: Rafael Pacheco Granados.

This means that a group of 100 people with the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect 212 people. Ómicron, the new variant, is responsible for pushing up infections, as one of its most relevant characteristics is its great capacity to infect people.

The details of which are the sites with the most infections in the national territory is expected to be released on Thursday.

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Today, Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported 2,542 new cases of covid-19 in Costa Rica, a figure some ten times the average daily rate prior to the Christmas holidays. On Tuesday, the report was 1,500 new cases, something that had not been seen since last September.

2.12 is the highest R rate registered so far in the country during the national emergency due to covid-19, and its trend is upward.

Up to last week, omicron, considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, had been confirmed in nine cantons of four provinces, with only 18 cases confirmed cases, none of which have required hospitalization.

Specialists consider omicron a highly contagious variant. However, so far it has proven to be less virulent or aggressive than the previous since it does not trigger symptoms as serious as those that were registered with delta.

The report of the Universidad Hispanoamericana of December 30, pointed to Heredia as the province with the highest contagion rate, with 3.03. There, 100 people with the virus would transmit it to 303, a number described as “historical”. The highest registered up to that moment had been 1.6, in April 2021, in San José.

Heredia was followed last week by San José, with an R rate of 2.69 and Guanacaste, with 2.40. Alajuela reported 1.73 and Cartago 1.54. The lowest R rates were registered in Puntarenas and Limón, both with 1.53.

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However, hospitalizations and deaths still show slight, non-significant increases. This Wednesday, 140 people remained hospitalized with covid-19, five more than the day before. Of them, 51 remained in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), two more than on Tuesday.

This January 5, there were three more deaths related to covid-19. Since March 2020, 7,369 people have died.

With the crowds of the end and beginning of the year festivities, specialists expect a rebound in cases exacerbated by the contagiousness of omicron. This is expected to impact hospital services and deaths, but not with the same intensity as delta had between May and September last year.


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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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