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Early Wednesday morning before daybreak mattresses and other objects were set on fire in front of an indigenous community care center / Ministry of Security courtesy photo

Published Thursday, July 16, 2020

Indigenous transferred
to Covid-19 Shelter

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

According to the National Emergency Commission, early Wednesday morning before daybreak mattresses and other objects were set on fire in front of an indigenous community center, a covid-19 shelter, located in Turrialba Canton in Cartago Province.

The shelter was sanctioned by the Commission to attend people infected with covid-19 or suspected of having the virus.

A mother and her 2-month-old baby girl, both infected with covid-19, were staying inside the shelter when it was set ablaze. The small family came from an indigenous territory looking for health attention. The baby is currently hospitalized at the Children's Hospital.

There were also three indigenous people living in the same shelter, who were there in isolation as a preventive measure while they waited for the results of their covid-19 tests.

To safeguard the lives of these people, the Commission reported that they were transferred to another shelter located in the Grano de Oro community, also in the Turrialba Canton.

The Municipality of Turrialba set up two shelters to provide care for people infected with covid-19 and those suspected of being infected, the Commission said in its statement.

According to Alexander Solís, president of the Commission, what happened was regrettable. He clarifies that keeping infected people in sanitary shelters allows protection for the rest of the citizens of the canton.

"These facts mean a clear ignorance of the way of transmission of the virus, as well as a lack of solidarity and humanism. The goal of having these shelters in all the cantons of the country is to guarantee the fast isolation (of the patients) for control of the spread of the virus in the community, as well as adequate care for people with a positive covid-19 diagnosis," Solís said.

People who are attended in the shelters are those who cannot comply with the quarantine order in their homes, for safety and health reasons, the Commission said in its statement.

Two other recently sanctioned shelters are located in downtown San José and San Ramon Canton in Alajuela Province. There are 43 people in these shelters, including children who were isolated to prevent further spread of the covid-19 contagion.

Authorities are prepared to open more shelters in the case of a faster increase in covid-19 infections throughout the country.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics on the virus in the country:

504 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 6,395 active cases.

• The ages of infected patients range from a three-month-old baby to a 99-year-old person.

2,661 foreigners have been infected of the 8,986 cases since March, approximately 29 % of the total cases.

• 188 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 157 patients are in recovery rooms and 31 are in Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 2,551 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 28% recovery rate.

• 43,403 people have been ruled out.

• 62,558 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

40 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Of these, 11 foreigners, one person whose nationality is not yet identified and 28 Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths, 16 were women and 24 men.

Readers can reach 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 587,791 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Have you heard of hate crimes against covid-19 patients in your community?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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