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The Emergency Fund was created for epidemiological, anthropological and financial risks, in which the required resources
have been available and adjusted to the course of the pandemic.
 - A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -


Published Thursday, October 1, 2020

$200 million-plus budget to cover
public health services until 2021,
say authorities

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Contingency Fund, so-called Health Emergency Fund, of $207,127,000 is sufficient to guarantee the provision of health services for covid-19 patients during the pandemic until the first months of 2021, announced on Wednesday Román Macaya-Hayes, president of Social Security.

According to Macaya, the Fund was created for epidemiological, anthropological and financial risks, in which the required resources have been available and adjusted to the course of the pandemic.

The Fund was first budgeted at approximately $74,565,720. Social Security said they later added an additional budget of approximately $132,561,280, for a total of about $207,127,000.

It seems as though there will be more money added to the fund, as the Comptroller General is analyzing an additional budget of approximately $66,280,640. If the budget is approved, Social Security will have secured more than $273.4 million for the Emergency Fund.

In addition to what they already have, the costs still need to be covered for the operating expenses of Social Security during the health crisis caused by the pandemic, so there’s an additional request to increase the budget by approximately $20,712,700. If all funding comes through, the Social Security Contingency Fund for Costa Rica will be just short of $300 million, at $294.12 million.

The Fund is renewed every year to address the possible risks that Social Security must assume, whether due to the pandemic or another national emergency situation.

According to Social Security, to date, approximately $123,833,776 has been spent from what was allocated to the emergency fund, approximately 87.9% of the initial budget.

This pandemic has left countries to develop all the possible strategies to contain the virus, yet no one has been able to avoid the increase of infections, because of its high capacity of contagion, Social Security said in its statement.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health shared the latest information on the statistics of the virus:

1,156 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 37,015 active cases.

13,822 foreign-born people have been infected with a total of 75,716 cases since March, approximately 18.2% of the total cases.

• 574 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 222 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 1-year-old baby to a 91-year-old person). And 352 patients are in recovery rooms. The majority of the rest of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 37,841 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 49.% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

• 138,749 people have been ruled out.

• 229,179 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

904 deaths of people infected with covid-19, approximately 1.2% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these 346 were women and 558 men. The ages range from 19 to a 100-year-old person.

As of Aug. 31, authorities confirmed the death of 31 foreign-born patients. The youngest and most recent reported foreign-born was a 19-year-old woman who lived in Guanacaste Province. Before then, on July 30, the ministry announced they would not provide updated information on foreign-born people who died from covid-19 in the country, which at the time authorities reported 30 had died from the virus since March.

Readers can see the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Wednesday night, the pandemic has killed 1,012,894 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Should health authorities invest more in applying massive tests for covid-19 diagnosis? 
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