Rico’s COVID-19 – On Tuesday, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, reported a record 1,901 people recovered from Covid-19, ending the unanswered questions of why there few recoveries, in the range of 100 every day, when for weeks the number of new case daily was in the 500 range.
“The new recoveries are due to the updating work that the Health leadership areas have been carrying out on this issue,” said Salas. In addition, due to the increase in cases, there was a “logjam” in the reports.
OK, I get that. The ministry has been overrun by the spike in new cases during the month of July.
But, you can’t convince me that there wasn’t enough staff to detail a very important part of the machinery to deal with the pandemic?
Sorry, Dr. Salas, I just don’t buy your explanation, unless what you are saying there was gross incompetence on the part of your staff?
Minister Salas, in his justification, asked to remember that there had been a change on June 12 in guidelines to declare a recovered person.
According to those guidelines, recovered are declared as follows:
- Asymptomatic patients: 10 days after having obtained the positive result of the Covid-19 test
- Patients with mild symptoms: 13 days after obtaining a positive test result where the last three days must be free of all respiratory symptoms and fever
So, using my basic math skills, I would say there should be more, a lot more, recoveries than the 6,590 reported Tuesday.
Let’s see, between June 12 (1,612) and July 12 (7,596) there were 5,984 new cases. Using the above guidelines, assuming there were no asymptomatics, 140 people in hospital on July 12 and 30 deaths – those were the gold old days of the pandemic in Costa Rica – the should have been 5,814 recovered on July 25 (13 days after the 12th) only for those 30 days.
However, the number of recoveries reported on July 25 was 3.640 from the start of the pandemic in March.
Why is the number of recovered so important?
These people, the recovered, can come to donate their blood that will be used to make convalescent plasma.
As of Tuesday, there were 391 coronavirus patients hospitalized, of which 98 require intensive care.
According to the head of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) or Caja, Dr. Roman Macaya, patients who are in severe or critical condition are helped recover with convalescent plasma.
People who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies — proteins the body uses to fight off infections — to the disease in their blood. Convalescent plasma can be given to people with severe COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus. It also might help keep people who are moderately ill from becoming more ill and experiencing COVID-19 complications.
Convalescent plasma could also help other people who may have a higher risk of serious illness, such as people with chronic medical conditions, for example, heart disease or diabetes, two of the major causes of deaths due to COVID-19 in Costa Rica.
I ask, Dr. Salas, shouldn’t this not make it a priority to discharge COVID-19 patients so that they can in turn donate blood?
I am keeping my fingers crossed that today announced are another wave of recovered.