How is Costa Rica handling Coronavirus?
At the beginning of the pandemic, under Carlos Alvarado’s administration, all the measures were taken to keep the population as safe as possible until more information of the coronavirus was revealed.
The former Minister of Health, Daniel Salas was at press conferences every day to inform the media about the amount of cases in the country and other information available so the public could have the most updated data. Currently, there’s only one monthly report from the Health Ministry.
Here’s a graphic portraying the amount of cases daily (light blue) and weekly (blue) from March 21st, 2020 to June 23rd, 2022.
The first measures taken by the government were to make face masks mandatory and to implement teleworking and virtual education in all the cases that could be applied in the public sector. This means that only front line personnel (health professionals, firefighters, policemen and other roles that couldn’t be practiced from home).
The authorities then encouraged the private businesses and schools to do the same and most of them did send the employees to work from home.
In the following official Ministry of Health graphic we can see that Costa Rica has had a total of 904.934 (and 132.250 by nexus which means that they are assumed to be infected but not confirmed but had contact with a person that was tested positive) covid-19 cases since 2020 and 2021 correspond to May 2022 infections. Also indicates that 801.474 cases correspond to Costa Ricans and the other 103.460 cases were for foreigners.
A sanitary vehicular restriction was regulated so that it restricted the hours and days of circulation by the final plate number. This to avoid a curfew on the citizens. It did work for a while regarding the amount of covid cases but was devastating for the economy and unemployment statistics in Costa Rica became to raise until it got to 24%.
Additionally, the maximum capacity of commercial premises was reduced at 50% forcing a lot of them to go out of business. It should be noticed that Costa Rica’s income is highly dependent on tourism, especially in outlying areas, and with airports closed for a prolonged period of time, this economic sector crashed as well.
In these statistics, you can see that taking into account the ages from 0 to 114, 860.711 people tested positive has recovered (418.126 male, 442.585 female), 8.525 people have died because of covid-19 (5171 male, 3354 female) and the total of cases that was mentioned before, 904934 are divided between 439.431 male and 465.503 female.
Circumstances have been slowly improving, not so much people works from home now and even if unemployment is still very high in the country, there are a lot of people doing different things to pay off debts and a lot of new small businesses have sprung up.
Vaccination against covid has been very efficient in Costa Rica, it was even obligatory at some point. Most people have at least 2 shots but you can get up to 4 shots.
Costa Rica has 7 provinces, here you can check out that most of the covid cases have been in San José followed by Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.
In May, 2022 Costa Rica changed government administration and the first mandate of the new president was to remove the obligation of face masks and vaccination against covid. There is a lot of uncertainty on how that is going to play out in the long run but it will help the economy of the country that has been neglected for almost 2 and a half years.