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Complications lead to Costa Rica’s sixth coronavirus-related death

April 20, 2020

A 54-year-old man became the sixth person to die in Costa Rica after testing positive for the coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Monday morning.

The Alajuela resident had tested positive for the coronavirus and was admitted into intensive care at Hospital México on March 6. The 54-year-old had several risk factors, including hypertension and diabetes, that complicated his COVID-19 diagnosis

The man’s death was likely caused from those complications, though the Health Ministry has released limited information. While the 54-year-old never left intensive care after being admitted with COVID-19, he tested negative for the coronavirus on April 7.

The man was a medical worker at San Rafael Hospital in Alajuela and was among the first known coronavirus cases in Costa Rica. He likely imported the virus after a February trip abroad and was considered “Patient Zero” in Costa Rica by the Health Ministry.

“Pneumonia due to the virus is what brought him to the emergency room,” Health Minister Daniel Salas said. “Complications from that caused his death.”

He becomes Costa Rica’s sixth known death related to COVID-19. Two elderly men, both 87-year-old Ticos, died in mid-March. A 45-year-old man with no known risk factors died earlier this month, and an 84-year-old man died Wednesday.

Sunday evening, a 69-year-old man with hypertension became the fifth person with COVID-19 to die in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has confirmed 660 cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Sunday. The number of active cases has decreased in each of the last three days:

Costa Rica coronavirus cases.
Costa Rica coronavirus cases. Click for full size. Tico Times graph.

Fourteen people are currently hospitalized, with nine in intensive care. The Health Ministry says 112 people have recovered from COVID-19.

If you believe you may have COVID-19 or have questions regarding the coronavirus, contact Costa Rican health authorities by dialing 1322.

Timeline of COVID-19 in Costa Rica

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