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Costa Rica’s deadliest day: 48 new deaths related to Covid-19

May 18, 2021

Costa Rica ranks sixth worldwide for new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

Epidemiological Week 19, which ran from May 9-15, registered 18,021 new cases of Covid-19 in Costa Rica, a 24% increase over the previous week, the Health Ministry reported.

Over that span, Costa Rica averaged 26 deaths related to Covid-19 per day. Of those, more that 70% represented patients who were younger than 70 years.

On Tuesday, May 18, Costa Rica added 2,294 cases of Covid-19. The country also registered 48 deaths related to Covid-19, the largest single-day total during the pandemic. The previous record was 33 deaths over 24 hours last Friday.

Deaths are considered “related to” Covid-19 in Costa Rica until further forensic work confirms the cause of death. Historically, 90% of deaths “related to” the disease are ultimately attributed to the virus.

There are 1,423 people hospitalized with Covid-19, a new record, including 47 in private hospitals. Of those hospitalized, 499 are in the ICU.

The average Covid-19 patient in a Costa Rican ICU is 53 years old — the youngest average age throughout the entire pandemic.

Costa Rica on Tuesday introduced new measures to increase testing, tracing and hospital capacity.

For context:

  • Respiratory viruses killed 23 people in Costa Rica in all of 2018.
  • The Social Security System says that never before in its history have more than 1,000 patients been hospitalized with the same diagnosis.
  • After Costa Rica confirmed its first case in March 2020, it took 135 days for the country to reach 48 total deaths related to Covid-19.

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