A total of 10 laboratories received endorsement in Costa Rica to test antigens of the novel Coronavirus, one of the requirements to enter the United States. The Ministry of Health released on the afternoon of January 29 the complete list of centers authorized to perform tests to detect the presence of viral proteins by means of an immunocapture (PDR-Ag):
Hospital Clínica Bíblica.
La Católica Hospital.
Universal Hospital Laboratory.
San José Laboratory.
The approval of this type of test -which consists of a swab- in private health services responds to the expected demand in the country before its establishment as an entry requirement to the United States since last January 26. Precisely, for a person to undergo the test, it is necessary that they present their air ticket.
New US CDC regulation
The requirement for a negative test of SARS-CoV-2, antigens or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), was ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the arrival of Joe Biden at the power and applies to all foreign passengers arriving in the United States by plane. It must be done no more than three days before the flight.
The press department of the United States Embassy in Costa Rica confirmed on January 25 that the measure includes Costa Rican citizens traveling to North American territory. What is yet to be defined is the mandatory quarantine that the new administration wants to impose on travelers, which at that time did not apply to all nationals.
The US health entity justified the need for the tests because air travel requires spending time in the lines of security controls, as well as in air terminals, so it can be in contact with other people and make it difficult to social distancing.
Tico coordinating process
On January 19, the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura Sancho, announced the signing of an agreement with the Costa Rican Chamber of Health to provide efficient access to the required tests. Said agreement establishes a network of 130 clinical laboratories with the capacity to carry out tests and guarantee results within a maximum period of 48 hours.
The business organization must monitor that the times are met and keep the Institute informed about these, so that passengers can be alerted, said on that occasion the president of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
As a recommended price for the PCR tests, the tests will have a maximum recommended cost of $ 100 in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and $ 150 outside of it. Cheaper antigen tests are expected. The Health communications office argued that the portfolio is not linked to pricing.