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    Costa Rica will not prohibit the entry of passengers from the United Kingdom, despite the detection in that country of a new strain of Sars-CoV-2 that causes the COVID-19 disease. In addition to spreading rapidly, the new strain is becoming the dominant form, said Patrick Vallance, scientific adviser to the British government. Cases of this variant were also detected in Denmark and South Africa.

    “The new strain is already in several countries without their knowledge, due to its very transmission capacity”, said Daniel Salas, Tico Minister of Health. “This mutated virus is already in several countries and we cannot trace where it is,” added the Minister. “It makes no sense to shut down England at the moment when we know that in the end it is a global virus that is circulating everywhere,” he added.

    No testing for tourists

    The possibility of implementing obligatory COVID-19 testing to tourists from said origin is not an option for Costa Rica either. “The COVID-19 test to travelers does not give accurate results as the WHO has said, because it can give false negative in periods of up to 14 days,” said the official. Countries such as Israel, Italy, El Salvador and Germany have already banned flights and passengers from England, Denmark and South Africa.

    It will arrive in the country

    The Costa Rican health authorities recognize that this variant will arrive in the country due to its high transmissibility. “Not that this one is transmitted more easily, but any of the versions that may exist and small mutations that have occurred, it does not make sense and the virus is going to arrive in some way, what is clear is that the virus “will always cause critical patients, severe patients, some of whom are going to lose their lives,” the Minister stressed.

    The new variant was discovered in an English patient during the previous September. However, it was not until this past Friday that England’s Public Health agency alerted the Government. This, after studies revealed the severity of the new strain, confirming that this variant could be 70% more contagious.

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