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$30 million have been invested in the purchase of protective equipment.
- Social Security courtesy photo -

Published Friday, September 18, 2020

Health workers say to follow
precautionary health measures
to avoid more covid-19 infections

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In commemoration of the world day of patient safety, Social Security calls on the people of Costa Rica to increase precautionary measures for avoiding contagion of covid-19.

Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of covid-19 include frequent cleaning of hands using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water; covering the nose and mouth with facemask, using disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing; keep a social distance of 1.8 meters; stay at home as much as possible, and avoiding close contact with anyone that has a fever and cough.

Health workers need care and protection as much as the sick, because they are exposed on a daily basis. Health workers, also referred to as essential workers, have been at the forefront of taking care of patients without much regard. Nursing the sick is their skill. But the pandemic amplified their jobs, including the daily risks they take in caring for patients.

According to Karol Brenes-Romero, doctor of the Occupational Health Area of Social Security, health workers desire that "we all put the same motive in the protection of the most vulnerable people in the country."

In order to elevate the message with the community, a group of workers recorded a video showing their enthusiasm for taking care of themselves and in this way motivate people to follow basic health measures to avoid more covid-19 infections. The video can be seen on the Social Security YouTube channel.

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, health workers are exposed to physical and mental health losses resulting from the care of covid-19 patients, and even point out negative effects of the social misconceptions of their labor, given that, in some cases, they have suffered attacks and stigmatization.

In a statement issued by WHO, it is reported that health workers face situations of mental exhaustion due to the public service they offer and the personal risk they are facing.

And, although they are trained and know how to take care of themselves, WHO also comments that health workers are not exempt from feeling tired and worried about the threatening environment.

WHO calls on communities to recognize the importance of health personnel, respect and support their work so that everyone's effort is reflected in safe and timely health services.

The negative impact that the pandemic can cause on health workers includes a series of reactions of varying intensity and frequency because each person experiences differently, depending on their personal and social environment.

According to the international experience monitored by WHO, people experience strong reactions such as feelings of anguish, fear or insecurity due to the perception of threat, sadness, frustration and anxiety, fear of the unknown, vulnerability or hopelessness.

Surveillance of the well-being of health personnel should be a combination of national efforts to sustain the health system with comprehensive measures and of the system itself to support officials, WHO said.

Since day one of the health crisis, the protection of workers has been assumed and the necessary actions are taken to maintain the continuity of services in a safe environment for users, Social Security said in its statement.

According to Esteban Vega, manager of Social Security, $30 million have been invested in the purchase of protective equipment.

Health workers are on the front lines in the war against the pandemic.

As of Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported the following on the statistics of the virus in the country:

1,302 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 37,490 active cases. The ages of patients infected range from a three-month-old baby to a 100-year-old person.

12,029 foreign-born people have been infected with a total of 60,818 cases since March, approximately 19.7% of the total cases.

• 627 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 245 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 23 to a 91-year-old person). And 382 patients are in recovery rooms. The majority of the rest of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 22,662 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 37.3% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

• 117,301 people have been ruled out.

• 193,045 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

666 deaths of people infected with covid-19, approximately 1.1% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these 253 were women and 413 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 victim 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 Thursday night, the pandemic has killed 944,887 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

What else should health authorities do to contain the spread of the covid-19 in the country?
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