Street Dwellers, Illegal Foreigners, and Truck Drivers: The Cases of COVID-19 “Under Investigation” by National Health Authorities

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    Every day, as part of the registry of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the country, the Ministry of Health reports cases “under investigation”, of which the age of the infected person is mostly unknown.

    Who are these people? The vast majority are street dwellers, foreigners with illegal entry and truck drivers who, due to their respective conditions, makes it difficult to provide this type of information, as explained by Health Surveillance officials.

    “Every day the Ministry of Health receives information on positive cases for COVID-19 from the notifying entity. Within this notification process there are some people whose characteristics are not known, like where they reside or their age”.

    “This happens especially with people such as street dwellers, foreigners or truck drivers, who do not have a fixed address and therefore these types of variables are not taken in the initial notification process.”

    The officials explained that the information of these people varies and that the Ministry of Health tracks as many cases as it can. However, until this past week, the accumulated number of people with data “under investigation” is 133.

    The tracking process is in charge of the governing areas of the Ministry of Health and the Health Areas of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), which are also in charge of looking for possible contacts and following up on each case.

    “This is a slow process, because an intensive search must be carried out for different people and to that must be added, day by day, new people who are identified by the reporting entities, but who do not have clear information either.”

    “That is why we will always need, daily, this type of information within the process of investigation and logically it is being investigated and updated as the days go by after the cases are notified in the first instance”.

    The press office of the Ministry of Health confirmed that there are cases in which it has not been possible to identify the most basic information of the infected person in a definitive way, and they are currently carrying out an official count of them.

    45,680 confirmed cases

    The country already registers 45,680 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 since the first imported contagion was registered, on March 6th. Of these, 18,053 people are counted as recovered.

    By age, the total number of cases are divided into 38,580 in adults, 2,931 in older adults and 4,036 in minors. Another 133 people are “under investigation.”There are also 469 people who have died from complications related to the virus; as well as 469 hospitalized people, of which 212 people are in intensive care units.

    Resonance Costa Rica
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