Wednesday 7 December 2022

Will Omicron mean the return of tighter restrictions in Costa Rica. Again?

“The pandemic at this point is not over," said Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, only thing confirming is that the QR Code will be mandatory starting February

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7 December 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The impact of the fourth wave of Covid-19, may once again see the government once again tighten sanitary measures. President Carlos Alvarado confirmed on Thursday that the actions to be taken to face the Omicron variant are being evaluated.

“The pandemic at this point is not over,” said Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, only thing confirming is that the QR Code will be mandatory starting February

“The pandemic at this point is not over. It has been much discussed if we are at the end of the pandemic, other people are talking about a very high peak. The important thing at this point is that we continue to take care of ourselves, that people continue to be vaccinated and that we continue with the care,” said Alvarado.

The words of the President didn’t answer the question, all we know at the moment is that it is unknown if the capacity of shops and other public activities would be reduced, if the nighttime vehicular start earlier again or if the daytime vehicle restriction by plates would return, among other measures.

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The only thing confirmed is that the QR Code will be mandatory starting February 7, if there is by then a resolution by the contentious court.

Regarding the 2022 school year, President Alvarado said yesterday that the face-to-face classes are scheduled to commence on February 17.

“For now we do not have changes of measures to announce regarding the school year,” said Alvarado.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 2,981 new cases of coronavirus, a slight increase in hospitalizations, and 1 death from the previous day.

The large number of daily cases is basically due to the Omicron variant, which has a very high contagion rate, although its effects are less harmful than the previous variants, now present in all seven provinces. Read more Omicron is present throughout Costa Rica; becomes the most common

The projections of the experts suggest that by the end of January and the beginning of February, the Omicron variant will be the dominant one in Costa Rica, with high contagion rates, which is considered a fourth wave.

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“The evidence points to the fact that given the enormous contagiousness of the variable, in a month or a little later, one could perfectly speak of an exponential increase in cases; indicated Rónald Evans, epidemiologist and researcher at the Universidad Hispanoamericana.

In that sense, vaccination continues to be the country’s main weapon to face the pandemic.

The Covid-19 Omicron variant is cataloged worldwide as the fastest transmission virus in history, due to its ability to infect a large number of people in a relatively short period of time, and it has even surpassed the Delta variant; however, its lethality is lower in relation to other variants.

In the case of Costa Rica, the arrival of the variant is a direct cause of the contagion rate or r rate to spike in the country, going from under 1 only a few weeks to 2.12 in the past week, the highest since the first case back in March 2020.

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Read more: Ómicron increases the rate of contagion of covid-19 in the last week

And it is that the wave of Covid-19 infections associated with the boom in the omicron variant continues to grow at a rate never before seen in the pandemic, with an increase of 70% of cases in the world last week, although at the same time deaths continue to decline, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Thursday.

The figures leads us to trust that the pandemic will evolve into less lethal forms, although the director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, insisted in his first press conference of 2022 that it is still premature to conclude that the omicron variant is a new lighter stage of the coronavirus.

“It appears to be less serious than delta, especially in vaccinated people, but it should not be categorized as ‘mild’, because it is also causing hospitalizations and is killing,” warned Ghebreyesus.

 

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