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Study confirms cause of death for Costa Rica coronavirus patients

May 19, 2021

Since July 2020, the Health Ministry has worked alongside the country’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and the National Statistics Institute (INEC) to analyze Costa Rica’s COVID-19-related deaths.

The team of forensic and medical experts is determining how many of Costa Rica’s coronavirus-related deaths were actually caused by Covid-19 or an associated complication.

Of the 702 deaths analyzed so far, 90% have been confirmed to have resulted from the SARS-CoV-2 virus or a related complication.

“The virus provoked their death,” Health Minister Daniel Salas explained last year of people who fell under this designation.

The remaining 10% of deaths resulted from causes not related to Covid-19 or were indeterminable.

The details of the 702 deaths, released Wednesday by the Health Ministry, are as follows:

  • 632 died of Covid-19 (90%), comprising 388 men and 244 women.
  • 58 deaths (8%) were not likely related to Covid-19, though the individual had recently tested positive.
  • 4 cases were indeterminate.
  • 8 are pending further assessment with forensic pathology and medical centers.

Costa Rica has reported 3,673 deaths related to Covid-19 as of Tuesday, and more than 1,400 people are currently hospitalized with the disease.

This case-by-case analysis of deaths mirrors the examination Costa Rica conducted during and after the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. It will continue over the coming months.

If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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