QCOSTARICA – On Monday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,280 people in hospital with covid-19, of which 466 of them in an ICU, aged between 17 to 86 years.
Numbers that have been seen before in the history of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), so many patients of one single disease, as the Executive President of that institution, Roman Macaya, pointed out.
At the Center for Research in Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) at the University of Costa Rica, they see this number as the tip of the iceberg, predicting that the wave could see 3,000 people needing hospitalization by the end of this month.
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Of that number, one third, a thousand people could need an intensive care bed (ICU), and that the death toll nationwide would reach 3,500. That would be more than double today’s number of patients in intensive care and more than 500 more deaths in less than three weeks.
The estimate was published by Mario Villalobos, professor and former director of the Center for CIMPA.
To reverse this negative trend, the key is in the “martillazos” (hammer blows), a tightening of sanitary measures by the government, argues Villalobos.
This measure was also effective in dissipating a second pandemic wave in July of last year.
This is supported by the Estado de la Nación (State of the Nation) report which revealed that road congestion was directly related to the increase in Covid-19 cases in 44 of the 82 cantons of the country.
Many on social networks and talking to the media expressed the government’s lack of seriousness in tackling the current wave, by not going far enough with measures announced at noon on Monday.
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At a press conference from Casa Presidencial, Alexander Solis, head of the National Emergencies Commission (CNE), announced that the weekday vehicular restrictions would be extended to the entire country and not just the Central Valley, and a reduction in capacity in different sectors, that would continue until May 31.
For their part, medical services professionals who have called for a “red alert” status expressed they had been let down.
Solis, when questions about the refusal to call a “red alert”, explained that that would mean, from a technical point of view, the country would have to shut down all commercial activity and tightly control the movement of people.