QCOSTARICA – The last seven days (May to May 11) have been bitterly deadly for the country, with 146 people dying from covid-19.
According to this number of deaths, we’ve reached the painful record of almost one death per hour.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, May 5, 17 deaths were reported; on Thursday, May 6, there are 14; on Friday, May 7, 24; Saturday, May 8, 21; Sunday, May 9, 23; Monday, May 10, 21; and Tuesday, May 11, 26.
The total since the first death associated with covid-19 in March 2020 is now 3,456: 1,310 women and 2,146 men, with an age range of 2 to 103 years.
As to new infections, the country continues to register more than two thousand new confirmed cases of covid-19 every 24 hours. At this rate will reach 300,000 infected in less than two weeks.
In fact, in only 13 days, that is on May 25. Or sooner.
According to Health, the country registered 2,555 new cases on Wednesday, May 5; 2,559 on Thursday, May 6; 2,392 on Friday, May 7; 2,029 on Saturday, May 8; 2,463 on Sunday, May 9; 1,500 on Monday, May 10; and 2,236 cases on Tuesday, May 11.
That is a total of 15,734 cases in seven days, an average of 2,248 per day, reaching a total of 273,714: 136,335 women and 137,379 men, of whom 241,959 are Costa Rican and 31,755 are foreigners, since March 2020.
Those numbers are unfathomable for the country that had everything under control, our average new cases daily less than 500 and deaths in the single digits, only a month ago.
For the week of April 5 to April 11, there were 5,119 new cases or 731 daily average, an outrage from the numbers the seven days before that (March 29 to April 4), 2,798 cases for a daily average of 400.
Same with the deaths. For the period of April 5 to April 11, there were 47 deaths, an average of 7 daily; the week before that (March 29 to April 4), there were 48.
Medical services on red alert
Although the central government has refused to heed the demands of the medical sector to declare a hospital red alert, it does not mean that the medical sector, doctors, nurses, managers and support staff, are not living a nightmare daily.
The crisis in the hospitals of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), due to covid-19, remains strong and firm with infected people need a bed in an intensive care unit (ICU).
The Caja confirms that as of May 11 there are 57 people hospitalized with covid-19 who are waiting for an ICU bed to open up. Of these, 11 are considered mild, 4 moderate, 29 severe, and 13 critical.
There is not a bed for any of them.
As of Tuesday night, the Caja had 1,352 covid patients in hospitals across the country, the majority centered in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) hospitals, with their specialized covid care.
Of those, 459 were ICU patients. A number down from 466, a record number, the day before.
The Caja says 359 is the maximum number of hospitalized ICUs, however, at the moment, thanks to the fact that they have expanded services, a total of 435 patients are in intensive care beds.
“Health personnel are anguished, frustrated and powerless in the face of patients who require intensive care and cannot be offered these conditions, and their families pray for that bed,” said Dr. Mario Urcuyo, advisor to the medical management and member of the technical team of situation analysis, who is a direct witness in the trenches.
“This is like waking up in the worst nightmare, medical centers continue to receive patients who require hospital care and they can no longer be given optimal care for their serious condition because they cannot be assigned the right bed,” said Dr. Mario Ruiz, CCSS medical manager.
“The Institution has been forced in the face of the growing demand for hospitalization to convert beds from other services to moderate covid-19 beds and the ICU has taken beds from other patients with other diseases that could require this care,” adds Dr. Ruiz.
The vaccination campaign continues across the country with the CCSS reporting, as of Monday, May 10, 2021, that a total of 1,093,931 doses been applied, of which 657,301 people have received at least one dose of this drug and 436,630 already have their complete vaccination.
The application rate is 21.19 per 100 inhabitants, according to EDUS SIVA 10-05-2021 data.
On Tuesday, another batch of 124,000 doses from Pfizer landed at the San Jose airport, for a received total of 1,505,895 doses of the 4 million purchased. On Monday, the CNE announced the purchase of 2 million more doses from Pfizer.
Expected on Tuesday was also doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility. However, it was made clear that the shipment would not arrive on Tuesday, but possibly later in the week.
The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is behind schedule because of export restrictions in India. The COVAX was leaning heavily on AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India to provide to countries globally. But as the COVID-19 crisis spiraled out of control in India, the government instructed its manufacturers to focus on the production of vaccines for domestic use.
To get more vaccines in the hands of Caja, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado sent a letter to his counterpart in the United States for vaccines, on a loan basis, that would reimburse the U.S. once the country received more supplies.