The Ministry of Health confirmed thisFriday afternoon, the arrival of the first case of the coronavirus Covid-19 in Costa Rica.
The patient is a 49-year-old American tourist, who arrived in the country from New York by air on March 1 in the company of her husband, of the same age.
Health Minister, Daniel Salas, said the woman entered Costa Rica without showing symptoms of the virus, while the husband so far has not shown any indication of infection.
Salas said the test by the Costa Rican Institute of Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health (Incense) was positive for the covid-19.
Given this result, the woman and her husband remain isolated in a hotel in San José and under strict medical supervision to monitor their evolution. The name of the hotel has not been disclosed publicly.
In fact, Salas reported that the tourist has been receiving medication to treat her mainly for diarrhea. He indicated that the couple is calm and with an extremely collaborative attitude with the health authorities.
As their clinical condition is stable, they do not merit transfer to a hospital. For now, their food and lodging expenses will be covered by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Tourism Board.
Although the husband has not developed symptoms, he is still considered a suspicious case.
According to the minister’s statement, the man had contact in New York with some people infected with the virus shortly before flying to Costa Rica.
The couple entered the country through the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SAJO) without showing signs of contagion and then visited several points in Puntarenas and Alajuela.
Due to the above, added Salas, five people with whom tourists had contact in Costa Rica and also the 152 people who came on their flight from New York are being tracked.
“There is no transmission from person to person in our country,” said the Minister while urging the population to remain calm redouble personal hygiene measures.
Ticas and choir clear of infection
Meanwhile, Health officials ruled out the cases of two Costa Rican women, arriving on February 29 on a flight from the U.S. after having visited Italy and Tunisia.
They were the first two suspected cases, however, laboratory tests confirmed that a resident of Pococí, 52, and a her niece, 47, a native of Heredia, are not been infected.
Also, the 34 Costa Ricans of the Chorale Café Choir who were under monitoring after visiting South Korea, an active transmission area of Covid-19, were cleared of any infection.