QCOSTARICA – After three days of nothing, not a word from the Ministry of Health, on the current covid-19 situation, Monday afternoon numbers were published. The last report was on Friday, April 30.
Yes, it is a long weekend after all, but the virus doesn’t know that.
What the numbers told us Monday is the critical situation of the public hospital system operated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), one step away from exceeding the maximum capacity.
On Monday, 1,024 people were in hospital, the first time so far since the national emergency due to the pandemic, the total number of hospitalized for this cause exceeded a thousand, of which 403 required an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Of these hospitalizations: six ICU patients are now in private medical centers: 3 at the Hospital La Católica, 2 at the CIMA and one at the Hospital Clínica Bíblica; fifteen are in wards.
The CCSS last Friday reached an agreement with private centers the use of beds for non-covid patients, in order to free public hospitals from the care of other pathologies and allow them to focus mainly on addressing the pandemic.
The details of have not yet been made public.
At the end of last year, the CCSS Medical Management announced that the institution was only able to grow to 359 ICU beds. Opening a bed in one of these units involves highly complex personnel and equipment, which are not available.
With great efforts, hospitals raised the number to 393 beds in April.
In a press conference on Tuesday, April 27, the institutional authorities warned that, if the increase in the number of hospitalized patients continues, the quality of care for any patient – – covid or non-covid – will decrease to “suboptimal”.
“If we have already reached the dreaded moment? I would answer that yes, we have already reached a point where the institutional capacity for optimal care has reached its limit. All that follows from here on is care that is not ideal for patients requiring a critical care bed.
“What are we going to do? If a patient requires a critical care bed and there is not one available, we put them in a moderate one or light or regular hospital bed, or in the corridor,” said Mario Ruiz Cubillo, medical manager of the CCSS, on April 27.
Between Saturday, May 1, Sunday 2, and Monday 3, 5,685 new confirmed cases were registered: 1,991 for Saturday, 1,839 for Sunday, and 1,855 for Monday, raising the accumulated total to 256,676 cases since March 2020.
The numbers over the long weekend were below the 2,000 registered three consecutive days prior (2,609 on Friday, 2,781 on Thursday – a record high, and 2,434 on Wednesday. K
Keep in mind that new cases on weekends is generally much lower than during the week, so we can expect, most likely, record setting numbers in one or two days.
The number of deaths since the previous Saturday from COVID-related causes reached 59: a daily average of almost 20 people (23 on Saturday, 12 on Sunday and 24 on Monday).
The total number of deaths associated with covid is now, 3,290 people since March last year.