Covid-19 in Costa Rica / Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Costa Rica Could Reach 4,000 Active COVID-19 Cases by Middle of July

As Costa Rica reports a record amount of new COVID-19 infections, an analyst predicts that 4,000 active cases are on the cards by July 14, while the government promises new restrictions.

Costa Rica could have 4,000 active cases of COVID-19 within two weeks, if things carry on the same as they’re going. The current trend of infection rate reveals that – on average – the COVID-19 caseload doubles every 13 days. As of today, Costa Rica has 2,221 active cases.

Today, mathematical biologist Tomas de Camino Beck published a graph showing this trend.                      

Costa Rica had 523 active cases on June 4 (26 days ago). Thirteen days later, on June 17, there were 990 active cases, and now there are 2,221. If this trend continues, by July 14, there will be around 4,000 active cases.

This won’t be the peak of infections, according to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). They estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic in Costa Rica will reach its peak in October.

“Latin America and the Caribbean will see over 483,000 deaths from COVID-19″ in the next three months,” says PAHO director Carissa Etienne.

Costa Rican authorities envisage various possible scenarios, including the collapse of the health system if they can’t reverse the current trend.

A recent analysis from the CCSS (Costa Rica’s public social security and health system) details the amount of hospitalizations needed to put enough pressure on the system to cause its collapse:

  1. 33 daily COVID hospitalizations would not compromise the number of beds available. It would increase occupational stress on the system by 40%, though.
  2. 66 daily hospitalizations would reduce general capacity in the system, because they would need to convert more beds. This would stretch the system to around 75% of its capacity looking after COVID-19 patients.
  3. 88 daily hospitalizations would exceed the number of beds available and the health system would collapse.

Today Costa Rica reported a record 294 new COVID-19 infections, with 56 people now in hospital. 

Responding to the latest numbers in his daily briefing, Health Minister Daniel Salas warned Costa Rica to expect new restrictions to be announced tomorrow

“These restrictions will be in force for at least a week,” said Salas. 

He went on to say that they won’t be enforced everywhere in Costa Rica, but to expect restrictions in the GAM (Gran Metropolitan area). Then he blamed the increase on people going out, saying the latest re-opening efforts had been interpreted by some as an excuse to socialize. 

This article was rewritten in English and adapted from the original in Spanish by Jessica Quesada in CRHoy on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

James Dyde is the editor of www.centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.