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News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus

July 10, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health system.

Here’s what you should know as a new day starts in Costa Rica:

Community transmission in Costa Rica, WHO says

The World Health Organization (WHO) now says there is community transmission of the coronavirus in Costa Rica.

According to its “Situation Report” released Thursday, Costa Rica has advanced from having clusters of cases to experiencing community transmission.

The WHO defines community transmission as: A country experiencing larger outbreaks of local transmission defined through an assessment of factors including, but not limited to: large numbers of cases not linkable to transmission chains; large numbers of cases from sentinel lab surveillance; and/or multiple unrelated clusters in several areas of the country/territory/area.

Transmission classification is based on self-reporting, and Costa Rican authorities have themselves acknowledged there is growing spread of the coronavirus in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) that eclipses contact-tracing capacity.

Eighty-six countries or territories have community transmission, according to the WHO’s latest report, including Nicaragua, Panama, the United States and Canada.

New health restrictions to be announced

Costa Rican authorities met Thursday night to discuss what new restrictions will be applied in the face of an “exponential” rise in coronavirus cases.

“This situation merits the advancement of closure measures that will be […] duly communicated to the public,” Casa Presidencial said Thursday.

President Carlos Alvarado said he will heed recommendations from the nation’s top epidemiologists.

Typically, health measures are announced at the daily 1 p.m. coronavirus press conference and don’t go into effect until the following day. Check back at TicoTimes.net for full details as soon as they’re announced.

Costa Rica announces 26th COVID-19-related death

The Health Ministry on Friday announced Costa Rica’s 26th death related to COVID-19.

An 89-year-old Costa Rican woman, resident of San José province, died at the coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO). She had been hospitalized there since Monday.

Costa Rica’s COVID-19-related deaths comprise 16 men and 11 women ages 26 to 92. The majority have been older adults with additional risk factors.

Through Thursday, Costa Rica has 4,437 known active coronavirus cases and 120 hospitalizations.

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