Costa Rica confirmed 440 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 8,036 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Monday afternoon.
One-hundred and sixty-one people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 30 in intensive care, both new highs.
“Telling people that this doesn’t exist, that this virus is an invention, is sincerely a cruelty,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “It depecriates human life. In this case, I lament and view with pain these types of messages saying that there is no pandemic.
“It’s true that many people die of other causes. But we would have many more deaths — and we still could have many more — if we lower our guard now, if we think that this doesn’t really exist.”
Sixty-five more people have been classified as recovered under Costa Rica’s definitions that qualify certain patients based on time rather than a negative test.
Costa Rica has 5,701 active cases and 2,304 recoveries.
Thirty-one people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including one death Monday morning. The data indicate Costa Rica has 0.61 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.
Two of the patients currently hospitalized in intensive-care units are children, the Health Ministry said Sunday.
As of Monday, 82 of the 88 intermediate-care beds at Costa Rica’s coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO) are occupied.
In addition to the intermediate-care capacity at CEACO, Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CCSS) has plans to create up to 159 more ICU beds for coronavirus patients at various public hospitals, including at a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José.
Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.
“Costa Rica is a country that respects science and values it in decision making. The majority of people understand there is a pandemic affecting the entire world,” said Román Macaya, executive president of the CCSS.
Costa Rica details one new death
The Health Ministry detailed Costa Rica’s 31st COVID-19-related death.
Monday morning, a 43-year-old resident of San José died while at San Juan de Dios Hospital, where he had been hospitalized since July 8. The man had risk factors including asthma, the Health Ministry said.
The Health Ministry emphasized last week that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 can receive free treatment at public hospitals and clinics.
If you believe you may have COVID-19, dial 1322 to reach Costa Rica’s national hotline. English-speaking operators are available.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
The recent spike in cases corresponds with both an increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, as shown in the below graph:
The Greater Metropolitan Area is the country’s current epicenter. The entire GAM and much of Costa Rica are under an Orange Alert and have strict health measures, including driving bans.
Costa Rica has processed 57,745 tests as of Sunday (11.3 tests per 1,000 people).
During its Monday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide full detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed. The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases that information later this afternoon.