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Published Tuesday, July 7, 2020 

Covid-19 patient hospitalizations
has increased rapidly

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

Data on the number of patients hospitalized due to covid-19 infection has rapidly increased, Social Security said.

According to Román Macaya-Hayes, president of Social Security, the data analyzed from March 4 to July 3, forecasts that hospitalizations of patients with covid-19 could further increase quickly.

Data provided by authorities showed that since the first patient with covid-19 entered the hospital on March 4, there have been 241 patients with this virus in a hospital.

For each patient who recovers and discharges from a hospital, 2 new patients check-in for treatment.

On July 3 there was an abrupt growth of 10 virus-infected patients hospitalized in the ICU on that day.

"Thus, it is possible to compromise hospital capacity in terms of growth," Macaya said. "This situation reduces the availability of hospital beds, medical services, increases the requirement for specialists, protection supplies, medical equipment such as: monitors, respirators, infusion pumps, oximeters and even things as simple as an electrical outlet."

Hospitalization, especially in the ICU, can grow dramatically in a matter of days or hours, Macaya said.

The 70% of the total patients hospitalized are at the Specialized Patient Care Center with Covid-19, known as the Covid Hospital, in San José Province.

Since May, the number of people hospitalized has increased five times.

There are currently 52 patients treated in the specialty hospital, which is 59% of bed occupancy.

In the recovery rooms the hospitalization average is 9 days, while in the ICU, the recovery average is 17.

People over the age of 40 are the ones who have been hospitalized the longest, with a stay of 11 days on average. Meanwhile people under the age of 18 remain hospitalized for an average of 4 days.

In the ICUs, there have been cases of people hospitalized for up to 40 days.

Of the 19 diseased patients registered on July 5, 10 were in ICUs and 6 in recovery rooms.

According to Social Security, it is extremely important to reduce the number of people hospitalized if people are disciplined and strict in applying the recommended and mandated preventive measures.

"We must take care of ourselves and protect the people with a higher risk of developing the most severe form of the disease and consequently require hospitalization," Macaya said.

Specialists recommend people go to the hospital immediately if they have symptoms of covid-19, because the disease advances quickly.

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of covid-19 infection are fever, dry cough and tiredness.

Other less common symptoms are body aches, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of sense of smell or taste, rashes, or loss of color in the fingers or toes.

The most severe symptoms are shortness of breath or feeling short of breath, pain or pressure in the chest and an inability to speak or move.

Given these symptoms, immediate medical attention should be sought.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

245 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 3,452 active cases.

• The ages of infected patients range from a three-month-old baby to a 96-year-old person.

1,536 foreigners have been infected of the 5,241 cases since March, approximately 29% of the total cases.

• 88 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 79 patients are in recovery rooms and 9 are in an ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 1,766 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is the 33% recovery rate.

• 33,619 people have been ruled out.

• 48,487 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 23 deaths have been reported from patients infected with covid-19 since March, ten women and thirteen men.

The updated number of total patients in each district can be reached at the National Distance Education University on its 
Covid-19 Map

As of Monday night, the pandemic has killed 537,504 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Have you heard of people with symptoms of covid-19 infection who have not received medical attention in your community?
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