Saturday 15 May 2021

Study: masks and vehicle restriction were the most effective against Covid-19 in CR

Restrictions were effective in reducing cases, but not when conducted by canton, preliminary research indicates

QCOSTARICA – When implemented together, the mandatory use of masks and vehicle restriction were the most efficient measure to reduce hospitalizations for Covid-19, according to preliminary findings of a recent study.

Restrictions were effective in reducing cases, but not when conducted by canton, preliminary research indicates

In contrast, other measures such as the closing of August 10, which only focused on cantons under orange alert, were less efficient in reducing hospitalizations, the preliminary investigation indicates.

- Advertisement -

“The effect of the measures was neither neutral nor negative. These measures, applied correctly, can alleviate,” one of the study authors and former consultant for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Tomás de Camino said.

“Definitely the masks are something that should be maintained, along with reduced mobility during the weekends,” added the specialist in mathematical models.

A preliminary version of the study was published on January 5, with the intention of informing the policies to contain the coronavirus. However, it has yet to go through the full scientific peer review process.

The research adds to two other scientific evidences that suggest the effectiveness of the measures to contain Covid-19: a study of the State of the Nation with data from Waze and a mathematical simulation from the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

Hospitals: key indicator

- Advertisement -

To determine the effectiveness of the measures, the researchers took as a basis the hospitalizations for Covid-19, a data that is reported daily and that has high statistical confidence.

In this way, they created a mathematical calculation to measure the speed at which hospitals fill up. If the result is positive, more people enter the medical center than leave. If the number is negative, this is reversed.

By analyzing the data, the researchers found that the three key moments in which hospitalizations were halted coincide precisely with three moments in which the Government implemented measures.

The key moments were July 11 (strict restriction and closing of shops), August 10 (closure in cantons under orange alert) and September 9 (mandatory use masks and vehicle restriction).

Still, not all measures were equally effective. In fact, the measure with the greatest impact was that of September 9, when the Government made the use of masks mandatory in closed spaces and implemented a vehicle restriction at the weekend.

This measure reduced the speed of hospitalizations by -28 percentage points. In contrast, the canton-focused closure on August 10 halted hospitalizations by -9 percentage points.

- Advertisement -

That is, the effect of the masks and restriction was greater.

But by eliminating vehicle restriction, masks are not enough, explained another of the study’s authors, Santiago Núñez-Cortés, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“When the vehicle restriction is relaxed, around October, the masks were insufficient and the speed of hospitalization goes up again. When there are two measures together, the effect is much stronger than separately,” he said.

Strict closures

The study indicates that strict confinements do reduce hospitalizations, but are necessary especially in cases where the virus is about to get out of control.

“Let’s think of the speed of hospitalizations as a downhill trailer. If we apply the brakes to a downhill trailer and the truck is very full, it costs more to stop it,” explained Núñez-Cortés.

In addition, for it to work, the hammer has to be made in a generalized way throughout the territory and strictly – as happened on July 11 – and not with differences by canton, as was done on August 10.

According to the researchers’ calculations, the July 11 shutdown curbed hospitalizations by -11 percentage points. But, being a confinement of only one week, it did not last: in a matter of eight days it picked up speed again.

“The toughest measures should be improved, to ensure that mobility can be reduced at higher levels,” said De Camino.

The researcher added that this type of study allows us to know if the government’s measures are being effective and pointed out that, like vaccines, measures against the coronavirus need scientific support.

“Any measure that is applied must be supported by research and scientific-technical criteria,” said the researcher.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"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.

Related Articles

Farmer’s fairs remain fertile despite the effects of the pandemic

QCOSTARICA - Despite the effects of the pandemic, "ferias" (farmers fairs)...

Colombia surpasses 80,000 COVID-19 deaths; ICU’s nearly full

QCOLOMBIA – Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Colombia passed 80,000 on...


Red Cross suspends extraction of nutritionist’s body in Chirripó

QCOSTARICA - The Cruz Roja (Red Cross), on Saturday,  suspended the extraction of the body of nutritionist Marialis Blanco Vega, who was found dead...

San Jose airport how has rapid covid-19 testing for travelers

QCOSTARICA -  Travelers who require a negative covid-19 test to enter their destination country may now get tested at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose)...

Costa Rica will buy two million more doses to accelerate vaccination

QCOSTARICA - The President of the Comision Nacional de Emergencias (CNE), Alexander Solis, announced this Monday afternoon that Costa Rica is purchasing an additional...

Costa Rica’s contagion rate continues to decline, experts once again warn of a ‘false ilusion’

QCOSTARICA - The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica fell for the second consecutive week and registers the lowest values ​​of the last...

Health expands group 3 vaccination for people from 16 to 58 years

QCOSTARICA - Adolescents of 16 and 17 years old with some risk factor in case of falling ill with covid-19 will be part of...

Farmer’s fairs remain fertile despite the effects of the pandemic

QCOSTARICA - Despite the effects of the pandemic, "ferias" (farmers fairs) that are a staple on weekends across the country, from small towns to...

Colombia surpasses 80,000 COVID-19 deaths; ICU’s nearly full

QCOLOMBIA – Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Colombia passed 80,000 on Friday, May 14, with intensive care units almost full in the biggest cities,...

New restrictions outrage hospital staff while business applauds “balance”

QCOSTARICA - The measures announced by the Government to reduce COVID-19 infections and hospital saturation unleashed a wave of reproaches, from one sector, and...

Rodolfo Méndez will complete the Circunvalación, a work that he started in 1978

QCOSTARICA - It's been almost 43 years since the Circunvalación (Ruta 39) project, to provide the capital with a peripheral ring road, was started,...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.