While other countries suffer serious increases in their rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Costa Rica meets three consecutive weeks with these indicators in a tailspin. During these weeks, the average daily cases fell by 24%.
The report of new cases, between August 1 and January 31, shows a rebound in patients that remained constant, but in the end experienced a sudden decline. September was precisely the month that reached the highest number of confirmed cases with 34,473, while January closed with the lowest, with 24,959.
This drop in cases comes at a time when more testing is being done. In the last six months, 60% more tests were carried out and January was the month in which the highest figure was registered, with 97,856 new exams. Despite the encouraging data, it is not yet possible to indicate that the curve is flattening.
“The downturn has been practically abrupt, unexpected. We hope that this trend will continue like this for much longer, but it cannot be predicted with a good margin of certainty if we are on the way to flattening the curve,” said Ronald Evans, epidemiologist and head of research at the Universidad Hispanoamericana School of Medicine. .
The trend of recent weeks is a sample of the different waves in which the Pandemic is taking place, so the expert warns that the risk will remain until 70% of the population achieve immunity, either due to natural infection or by vaccination.
Return to classes
A challenge that the country will have to face in order for this decline to continue will be from Monday with the return to in person classes. If all the protocols are complied with and the mixed classes scheme continue, there would be no rebound in COVID-19 cases in schools and colleges, predicts Juan José Romero, coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Epidemiology at the National University (UNA).
In addition, global studies confirm that infections in homes are mainly caused by adults who leave home for work or to do business and then return, and not necessarily by minors who attend educational centers.
“As children and young people are the least ill from COVID-19, it is likely that the infections registered by diagnoses in health centers will not increase substantially on account of minors; but by contagion from the adults who live with them,” said Romero. This is why, given the lack of herd immunity, the mitigation protocols should continue to be applied for a time perhaps longer than expected.
Three weeks trending downward
The country registers three consecutive weeks with COVID-19 indicators down.
January 24-30. Average number of daily cases was 515 (122 patients less than the previous week), which represents a decrease of 23.7% Incidence rate was 100.5 cases per million inhabitants.
January 17-23. Average number of daily cases 657 (241 less than the previous week) representing a decrease of 36.6% Incidence rate 128.2 cases per million inhabitants.
From January 10 to 16. Average daily cases 898 (142 cases less than the previous one) which represents a decrease of 16% The incidence rate 175.2 cases per million inhabitants.