Published Monday, November 2, 2020
Pandemic has strengthened the public
health system, authorities say
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
According to Román Macaya-Hayes, president of Social Security, this public health institution has improved and acted successfully due to the attention to the covid-19 pandemic.
Social Security has made an investment of $13,200,064 per day, allowing the country to reach health rates comparable to the most developed nations in the world, Macaya said.
The public health organization has 105 branch offices in the country, 1,064 community clinics are known as Ebáis, 29 hospitals, among others that have been strengthened due to greater investment in response to the pandemic.
Recently the Comptroller General approved an additional budget of approximately $66,329,680 for the Social Security Contingency Fund, also known as the Emergency Health Fund.
This year, the fund started with a budget of $74,620,890 and has increased to a total of $207,280,250, Luis Diego Calderón, financial manager of social security said.
According to Social Security, as of Oct. 14, approximately $131,966,214 had already been used for the expenses caused by the covid-19 health emergency.
Of that amount, 87% was spent on the purchase of respirators, personal protective equipment and tests to diagnose covid-19.
Additionally, a portion of the capital was used for improvements to the Covid Hospital, the medical towers of Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia hospital and adjustments in the National Psychiatric Hospital to establish an area for covid-19 patients.
Due to the huge amounts of spending that have been made in response to the pandemic, Social Security has proposed to request another extra budget of approximately $20,728,025 to cover the expenses for the rest of this year.
The fund is renewed every year to address the possible responsibilities that Social Security must assume, whether due to the pandemic or another national emergency.
For 2021, the budget for the emergency fund would start at approximately $99,494,520, which is pending approval by the Comptroller General.
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.
In Costa Rica, the contagion of covid-19 continues causing deaths in the country, according to the Ministry of Health. On Saturday, the ministry reported the following updated statistics of the covid-19 contagion in the country:
• 1,105 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 41,867 active cases.
• 17,321 foreign-born people have been infected with a total of 109,971 cases since March, approximately 15.7% of the total cases. Of these, authorities confirmed the death of 32 foreign-born patients.
• 445 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 186 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from a 1-year-old to an 87-year-old). And 270 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.
• 66,719 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 60.7% recovery rate of the total cases since March.
• 1,385 deaths of people infected with covid-19, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these 525 women and 860 men. The ages range from a 9-year-old to a 100-year-old person.
In October authorities stopped providing the updated statistics on people who have been ruled out and the number of medical covid-19 tests that have been made.
Readers can see the updated number of total
patients in each district at the National Distance
Education University on its Covid-19 Map.
According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, CSSE, at Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has killed 1,199,500 people worldwide.
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