Disregarding the sanitary measures imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will lead to less economic recovery and, consequently, higher unemployment, Health Minister Daniel Salas warned.

“Here we are all being responsible, assuming what can happen with health services and our country in general, because, as we said, non-compliance with sanitary measures, unfortunately, represents more unemployment, less economic reactivation, everything we have I have been seeing throughout this Pandemic. There are repercussions in all areas nationwide,” said Salas.

The Minister reiterated the need for citizens to respect provisions such as social bubbles, constant handwashing, and sneezing protocols, as well as guidelines on the use of masks to avoid saturation of the country’s medical centers with critically ill patients.

Last July 16th, the Continuous Employment Survey (ECE) revealed that unemployment climbed to 20.1% in Costa Rica between March and May 2020, driven by the strict sanitary measures to combat the Pandemic. The figure represents an increase of 8.8 percentage points over the same period in 2019.

The minister recognized the impact of the provisions on national production but emphasized that the effects on the economy of a possible hospital collapse would be even more profound.

That is why Sales stressed the importance of complying with the recommendations and guidelines, especially since the country is going through one of the moments of greatest risk.

“I understand that at this point there are many people who are looking for a way to have space beyond the social bubble and quarantine measures, but I assure you that more than ever, with the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths that we are having per day, the risk is higher in Costa Rica at this time than ever before,” said Salas.

“So breaking the bubbles and not following sanitary measures exposes your family, your friends, and your coworkers, even yourself. Remember that there doesn’t necessarily have to be risk and co-morbidity factors to people become seriously ill,” he added.

Without anticipating any possibility, the Minister indicated that in next week the new provisions that will take into effect as of August 1st regarding more business opening and increased vehicular circulation will be announced.

In the last 24 hours, Costa Rica added 629 new Coronavirus cases and 6 deceased, for a total of 15,229 cases and 104 deaths in four and a half months. Most of the deceased, 71 occurred in the past two weeks when the spread of the deadly Virus skyrocketed in the country. The country also established a new mark of hospitalized people (310), including 56 intensive care patients.

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