Wednesday 22 March 2023

Today’s Covid News: Restrictions allowed a decrease in Covid-19 and prevented hospital collapse

Contagion rate declines for the third consecutive week; Almost 2 million Costa Ricans have been vaccinated with at least one dose

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QCOSTARICA – A moderate decline in new cases for the third consecutive week allowed the hospital system to avoid the dreaded collapse and rapid increase in deaths.

As of June 7, 1,219,551 people had the first dose against Covid-19, and another 686,626 with the complete scheme, according to data from the CCSS. Shutterstock

The vehicle restriction, the suspension of the school year, the monitoring of business hours and the reduction of capacity in establishments of all kinds – from churches to hotels – appear to have given the expected result.

And it is that from May 16 to June 5, the national incidence rate went from 404 per million inhabitants to 366, according to Rónald Evans, epidemiologist and coordinator of the study “Pandemia en Perspectiva” (Pandemic in Perspective) at the Universidad Hispanoamericana (US).

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Likewise, hospitalizations for Covid-19, which reached an alarming 1,482 patients on May 25, fell to 1,262 people by June 10; that is, a decrease of more than 12%.

But not only the restrictions helped, since the vaccination process has advanced at a good pace, approaching 2 million (1,906, 177) people in Costa Rica with at least one dose of the vaccine.

As of June 7, more than 1.2 million (1,219,551) people had the first dose against Covid-19, and another 686,626 with the complete scheme, according to the CCSS vaccination report made weekly.

This aspect, in addition to the restriction measures established by the health authorities, reduced the average number of new daily cases from 2,074 to 1,877 infections, representing a 9% drop.

Geographically, only the province of Limón registered a slight increase compared to the previous week. In addition, it was the only province that had a reproduction rate or “R” rate greater than 1.

At the national level, the R rate remained at 0.93.

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In contrast, Cartago had the lowest with 0.8.

During the week from May 31 to June 5, Puntarenas was the province that registered the most infections.

“Particular care will have to be taken with the evolution of the pandemic in those two provinces and, in particular, in some of their cantons, if it is to really aspire to continue pushing back the coronavirus,” Evans said.

Still, the highest incidence rates are in Alajuela, Guanacaste, and San José. The incidence rate expresses the volume of new cases that appear in a given period, as well as the speed with which they do so.

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It should be noted that the 60 cantons remain under the red category, but with lower reproduction rates than the week of May 23-30.

Regarding deaths associated with Covid-19, Evans added that, to reach an accurate conclusion, a more in-depth study will be required since the emergency began. However, Pérez Zeledón registered a growth of 82%, San Carlos with 62%, and Heredia with 51%.

The epidemiologist indicated that mortality will begin to decline when patients begin to vacate the hospital beds, and also because people have resumed “small, hermetic and closed circles.”

“There is already a percentage of the population that has suffered the disease and is naturally immunized, which if we add it to the percentage of vaccinated, then we have a significant portion of the population that is not going to fall victim to the coronavirus,” Evans added.

The data shows that practically every month the number of immunized people is doubling.

Contagion rate

For every million inhabitants, 366 people are being infected, while in most provinces, the number of people who are infected for each sick person or R rate, is less than 1, according to the Universidad Hispanoamericana.

Province Population Rt R rate
COSTA RICA 5,126,373 366.1 0.93
San José 1,661,547 379.2 0.92
Alajuela 1,044,720 392.4 0.95
Cartago 541,259 352.9 0.86
Heredia 526,092 349.7 0.88
Guanacaste 393,893 370.7 0.97
Puntarenas 498,779 356.9 0.95
Limón 460,083 299.9 1.04


The Epidemiological report for Thursday, June 10

The Ministry of Health reported a total of 2,041 new cases for Thursday, June 10, for an accumulated total of 338,048, of which 300,100 are Costa Ricans and 37,938 foreigners, ranging in age from 0 to 113 years.

The number of people recuperated is 259,872 (77%), while 73,878 (23%) people are still active.

For Thursday, Health report 20 deaths, bringing the total to 4,298: 2,664 men and 1,634 women, ranging in age from 2 to 103 years.

A total of 1,262 people were in hospital on Thursday (a drop from the 1,482 on May 25), of which 489 are in intensive care (ICU).

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