Costa Rica has surpassed 100 known cases of the novel coronavirus, reaching 113 confirmed instances, the Health Ministry announced Friday.
The figure marks a 26-person increase over the same time Thursday. It is the largest day-to-day increase since Costa Rica identified its first COVID-19 case on March 6.
The 113 cases comprise 67 men and 46 women, including nine elderly adults. More than 1,000 people have tested negative, and two people with COVID-19 remain in intensive care, the Health Ministry said.
Two United States citizens became Costa Rica’s first recovered cases, the Health Ministry said. After the husband and wife tested negative twice each, they have been given permission to leave their quarantine and return to their home country.
— Ministerio de Salud (@msaludcr) March 20, 2020
The next 15 days will determine how severely COVID-19 will impact Costa Rica, Daniel Salas predicted. The Health Minister issued a passionate call for citizens and residents to practice social distancing throughout the weekend and in the upcoming weeks.
Michael Soto, the Public Security Minister, said police will focus this weekend on enforcing the sanitary guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
Public spaces shuttered; municipalities closing beaches
Municipalities across Costa Rica are closing beaches and public spaces until further notice in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The Municipality of Garabito has closed all its beaches, including Jacó and several of the most popular Pacific destinations in Costa Rica.
The Municipality of Quepos has also closed all beaches until further notice. This includes beaches in and around the popular tourist town of Manuel Antonio.
The Municipality of Osa, in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, has closed all beaches it administers.
All beaches in the district of Nosara in Nicoya as well as Ostional in Santa Cruz are closed, according to Voz de Guanacaste.
The National Community Development Office (DINADECO) has ordered that “all community infrastructure owned or managed by a community organization must remain closed.” This includes community and children’s parks, sports spaces, community and multipurpose rooms, day centers for the elderly, and outdoor gyms throughout Costa Rica.
All National Parks throughout Costa Rica will close starting Monday.
The Health Ministry has asked citizens and residents to stay home whenever possible this weekend and throughout the coronavirus crisis.