Costa Rica wants to preserve "fragile success" against Covid-19, says president

San José (hooly News) – Costa Rica has managed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic without taking drastic containment measures, but it is a "fragile success," its president Carlos Alvarado warned in an hooly News interview.

"What has happened so far is a fragile success, it can collapse if we do not maintain discipline," warned the president.

Since the onset of the disease on March 7, this Central American country of 5 million inhabitants has registered 911 cases of Covid-19, with a number of deaths which has so far plateaued at ten.

The country can also pride itself on having one of the lowest case fatality rates (1.1%) in Latin America.

So much so that Costa Rica is the first country in Latin America to have resumed, on Tuesday, its football championship, behind closed doors however.

The president attributed these good figures to the disciple who demonstrated the population by following the instructions of the authorities, and to the fact that these instructions were based on scientific advice.

He also mentioned the country's historic heritage.

"We are a country without an army, which has had a universal social security system for almost 80 years, with 23 public and clinical hospitals and more than a thousand primary health centers," said Alvarado.

According to Maria Dolores Pérez-Rosales, representative of the Pan American Health Organization in the country, "the health surveillance system has acted quickly and it is a solid surveillance system".

She also hails "the positive response of citizens" to the restrictions put in place by the government.

If the country has not decreed total containment, it quickly closed its borders, prohibited the entry of foreigners despite the weight of tourism in its economy, suspended classes and festive gatherings. Public places were closed and vehicle traffic limited in the evening.

Costa Rica, which has become a center for the development of advanced technologies since the 1990s, has also been able to count on its laboratories, research centers and biomedical companies, which have quickly mobilized to fight against the new coronavirus, with the idea of reduce dependence on imported products.

Dr. Ileana Vargas, director of the School of Public Health at the University of Costa Rica, cites the country's strength against the coronavirus as its socio-economic situation and the level of education of its population.

"Since 1948 we no longer have an army and therefore there are more resources to devote to health and education," she said.

"We have chosen to protect life," said President Alvarado, who defends the principle of "using science and technology to react (to the pandemic), not to give political solutions to a health problem".

mas / lda / avz / lpt