Costa Rica announced 18 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past day for a total of 218, according to official data released Friday afternoon by the Health Ministry.
The 18 deaths represent Costa Rica’s deadliest day during the coronavirus crisis. For reference, Costa Rica confirmed 23 total deaths due to respiratory viruses in all of 2018, according to the Health Ministry.
“Let’s not look at this as just statistics,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “They are people — people who three months ago were watching these press conferences and are no longer with us. That hurts.”
The Health Ministry has confirmed 22,081 cumulative known coronavirus cases. This represents 1,011 more cases compared to Thursday. Of these, 496 people resulted positive via a PCR test over the past 24 hours.
For the first time, the amount of new cases includes people who were not tested for the coronavirus. Rather, Friday’s figure sums 515 people who, since August 2, have begun exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and live with someone who has tested positive.
“If another person within the same family circle starts showing symptoms, it’s almost 100% certain that they have COVID. It’s a matter of practicality,” Salas has explained.
Friday, 229 more people were classified by health authorities as recovered. Costa Rica has 14,596 known active cases and 7,267 recoveries.
The data indicate Costa Rica has 4.27 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.
Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.
The Health Ministry on Friday did not immediately offer data on hospitalizations.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
Starting July 25, Costa Rica considers some patients as confirmed cases without requiring a positive test. This only applies if a person living with someone who has tested positive begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
The Health Ministry’s definitions also qualify certain patients as recovered based on time rather than a negative test.
Costa Rica has processed 100,050 tests as of Thursday.
The Greater Metropolitan Area is the country’s current epicenter. Costa Rica has relaxed restrictions through August 9; click here for details regarding business and driving restrictions.
The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases detailed information on the number of tests processed and the location of new cases later this afternoon.
If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available.