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News briefs: Costa Rica expands hospital capacity at Trauma Hospital

July 22, 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:

Trauma Hospital begins accepting coronavirus patients

The Trauma Hospital in San José began receiving its first coronavirus patients, the Costa Rican presidency announced Tuesday afternoon.

Operated by the National Insurance Institute (INS), the Trauma Hospital is allocating 48 intermediate-care beds for these patients. This supplements the 88-bed capacity at the Costa Rican Social Security System’s adjacent coronavirus hospital (CEACO).

According to Casa Presidencial, the INS dedicating at least 15 workers per shift for coronavirus patients, who will be hospitalized in a fourth-floor wing. The INS staff will be joined by CCSS personnel.

“At a time when we are seeing an increase in the number of patients admitted to our health facilities, having the possibility of expanding the number of beds available for the care of COVID-19 patients is essential,” said Roberto Cervantes Barrantes, general manager of the CCSS.

As of Tuesday, CEACO was near capacity (85 of 88 beds occupied), while San Juan de Dios Hospital (74 patients hospitalized) has reached capacity for coronavirus patients.

The CCSS has plans for at least 159 ICU beds; as of Tuesday, Costa Rica announced 49 coronavirus patients in public ICUs.

Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths on July 21, 2020
Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths on July 21, 2020. Tico Times graph.

SJO airport previews reopening measures

In a video shared to social media, Juan Santamaría International Airport near San José shared some of the measures travelers can expect when transiting through Costa Rica’s largest airport.

These measures have been planned since early June, though official protocols for the return of regular international travel have not yet been announced by the Health Ministry.

“During this time, we have prepared to provide a safe travel experience,” the post read. “The time to fly again is approaching, and at SJO Airport we are ready!”

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