Health Minister Daniel Salas issued a stern warning to Costa Rican businesses on Saturday afternoon after his agency received numerous reports of locations filled to capacity the previous night.
Salas said businesses — the majority in San José and the Greater Metropolitan Area — were defying an order that instructs them to operate at a maximum 50% of capacity as part of Costa Rica’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“If this decree is not respected, we will fully close bars, clubs and even cinemas,” Salas said.
Costa Rica now has 27 confirmed cases of coronavirus, one more than at the same time Friday. Four people are hospitalized due to the virus — including a 54-year-old Costa Rican man in serious and deteriorating condition.
Four-hundred fifteen suspected cases have tested negative for COVID-19.
Costa Rica suspended mass gatherings on March 9 and announced new measures, including capacity limits, on Thursday.
The Health Ministry asked the public to email email@example.com if they see businesses that are not respecting the country’s anti-coronavirus measures.
Sanitary alert issued over fraudulent products
The Health Ministry has issued a sanitary alert in response to fraudulent products that market themselves as able to “prevent or treat COVID-19.”
The items “represent a risk to the health of the population since the use of these products may cause delays in the proper diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.”
The Health Ministry asked the public not to buy, sell or use products under the Plata Coloidal label “or any other type that indicates it will prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19, because they have not been proven to be safe and effective for these purposes.”
More than 300 schools closed
The Ministry of Education released a list of more than 300 schools that will close for two weeks starting Monday, March 16.
More than 250 schools are being closed due to water shortages, which prevents students and faculty from maintaining proper sanitation in the face of the pandemic. The other 91 schools have been identified as having an epidemiological link to COVID-19.