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Costa Rica isolates migrant detention center due to COVID-19 outbreak

May 5, 2020

Costa Rica has isolated one of its principal detention centers for undocumented migrants due to an outbreak of the coronavirus, the government reported Tuesday.

Health authorities detected a dozen infections among those detained after two other migrants with the coronavirus were identified over the weekend.

The Health Minister, Daniel Salas, explained that the 12 confirmed cases in the Immigration Administration’s Central Regional Apprehension Center were epidemiologically related to two people detained after they entered the country illegally. Both were already ill with COVID-19 when they arrived in Costa Rica.

“The Apprehension Center is in strict isolation by sanitary order, and positive cases are kept in that place with follow-up from the health authorities,” Salas said.

Costa Rica, which in the last month has managed limit spread of the virus — generally confirming fewer than 10 daily cases — reported Tuesday 13 new cases, of which 12 correspond to the migrant detention center, located in the city of Heredia.

The government did not disclose the nationality of those infected in the detention center.

During the coronavirus crisis, Costa Rica has strengthened its northern and southern borders. The northern border, 300 km long, has been the main focus of attention due to Nicaragua’s passive response to COVID-19 and the regular flow of people between the two countries.

Costa Rica registered 755 cumulative cases of the coronavirus through Tuesday, including six deaths and 413 recoveries.

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