Costa Rica confirmed just six new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 655 known cases, the Health Ministry announced Saturday afternoon.
Over the same period, nine more people have recovered from COVID-19, meaning Costa Rica has registered its second-straight decrease in known active coronavirus cases.
Costa Rica has added 20 or fewer known cases in 15 of the last 16 days. Saturday’s six-person increase is tied for the smallest day-over-day rise since March 21.
Sixteen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 — 10 of them in intensive care. The age range of those in intensive care is from 44 to 75 years old.
Four people have died after contracting COVID-19, and 97 people have recovered, leaving Costa Rica with 554 active cases — three fewer than Friday.
The majority of Costa Rica’s known coronavirus cases are located in the provinces of San José and Alajuela. Below is a map of confirmed cases by canton. Click on a blue marker for more information, including the number of recovered people in that canton:
Because Costa Rica doesn’t produce its own PCR-based kits, it doesn’t have the capacity to conduct large-scale COVID-19 testing, according to the Health Ministry. Costa Rica has processed a total of 10,138 tests and can conduct up to 600 tests each day.
This suggests the country has an unknown number of asymptomatic coronavirus cases, Health Minister Daniel Salas has acknowledged, so everyone should continue abiding by social distancing guidelines.
Salas predicted known cases could rise over the coming days since some social-distancing policies — enacting during Semana Santa — were eased this week.
Costa Rica has 15,800 remaining PCR kits to test for the coronavirus but is arranging the acquisition of more, Salas said. More than 25,000 tests donated by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) arrived incomplete, he added.
If you believe you may have contracted COVID-19 or have questions regarding the coronavirus, contact Costa Rican health authorities by dialing 1322.
250,000 Ticos have zero income
President Carlos Alvarado said Saturday that 250,000 Costa Ricans have seen their incomes nullified due to the coronavirus crisis.
“There are 250,000 people who register zero income today,” he wrote on social media.
“Costa Rica needs to work, work, work, to get ahead. I would add, not only do we need to work, work, work, but union, union, union and we need more than ever, solidarity, solidarity and solidarity.”
Monday, the Costa Rican government will begin distributing the “Bono Proteger,” a financial support package to Costa Ricans whose jobs have been affected by the crisis.
Timeline of COVID-19 in Costa Rica
- March 6: Costa Rica confirms first COVID-19 case.
- March 9: Costa Rica suspends mass gatherings, tells employees to work from home.
- March 16: Costa Rica declares State of Emergency, restricts entry to non-citizens
- and non-residents. In-person teaching suspended.
- March 18: Costa Rica reports first COVID-19-related death.
- March 20: Costa Rica reports second COVID-19-related death. All national parks close.
- March 23: Beaches and religious centers ordered to close. Nighttime driving ban announced.
- March 31: Costa Rica inaugurates coronavirus-specific hospital at CENARE.
- April 4-12: Costa Rica imposes significant travel restrictions during Semana Santa.
- April 15: Costa Rica reports fourth COVID-19-related death.
- April 17: Costa Rica registers first day-over-day decrease in known coronavirus cases.
Monday marked the beginning of Costa Rica’s new nationwide driving restrictions, which will last through the end of April. Click here for full details.
Most flights to and from Costa Rica have ceased. Click here for the latest information about U.S. repatriation flights.