It was recently revealed that Costa Rica currently has the lowest mortality rate in the Americas (0.81%) from COVID-19 cases. This has been thanks to the sanitary prevention measures that were carried out in the nation when the first cases of infections were detected by this Coronavirus Pandemic.
An important fact to know is that Costa Rica, for now, does not have community infections. Also, it has more people recovered by COVID-19, than active cases. Also in this short time, it has made its scientific advances in the study and treatment of the Virus.
However, despite having these encouraging data, the Costa Rican government does not let down its guard and maintains rigorous sanitary measures. Complying with the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).
4 keys to understanding Costa Rica’s success against COVID-19
1. A Strong health system
Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the region that has a robust health system, including the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) that has been key in the fight against this Pandemic, ensuring first-class care for its citizens.
One of its main advantages is that the Ticos have free access to the COVID-19 tests, as long as they comply with the established parameters to consider someone as a suspicious case.
The Tico nation has 5 million inhabitants, and the public system has 29 hospitals.
Likewise, clinics for practically every neighborhood called Basic Equipment for Comprehensive Care (Ebais), which are the first step in health care and that has allowed daily personalized monitoring of COVID-19 patients.
2. Timely measures
The first cases of COVID-19 that were registered in Costa Rica were American tourist couple and later there were other infections. To prevent this chain and flatten the contagion curve, the country decided to close its borders to foreigners.
This decision was undoubtedly quite strong for a country that lives on tourism and that represents one of its main economic engines. It is estimated that the Costa Rican nation will have a 27% drop by 2020, in terms of its income from this sector. Other measures taken were the restriction of vehicular circulation, the closing of bars, and education centers at all levels, among others.
As for restaurant services, it was known that from May 1st they reopen their doors to the public, but with limitations. Likewise gyms, beauty salons, and theaters. All this due to the decrease in the curve of active cases by COVID-19.
3. Tico innovation
The Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica works diligently in the search for possible treatment and also cures. This is undoubtedly a race against the clock, not only in Costa Rica but throughout the world. Various options are being studied in the country, which are:
a) Working with convalescent plasma that is, taking blood from a patient who has already recovered, and separates the parts where the antibodies that have already gained the virus are found, and transfuse to sick patients.
b) The National Council for Science and Technology donated 35 million Colones to buy a protein strain in England. This protein will be injected by the experts from the Clodomiro Picado Institute to horses, which produce antibodies that can then be processed to a serum that can be used on COVID-19 patients.
With all these actions, Costa Rica demonstrates to the world its capacity, commitment and scientific talent for facing the COVID-19 Pandemic in the best way, and keeping the contagion curve flat, thanks to the preventive sanitary measures taken in time.