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By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Government of Costa Rica has declared a state of National Emergency today over the COVID-19 outbreak.

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The emergency decree empowers the government to carry out actions in a possible state of urgency and need due to the situation caused by the COVID-19 disease. This allows for more agile budgetary and administrative measures and continuity of services.

In addition, the Government of the Republic adopts the following measures:

  • Suspend lessons, in public and private educational centers and training centers of the INA, from March 17 to April 4, inclusive, and signal the re-entry to classes for April 13.
  • The school calendar is extended to December 23.
  • Cash transfers from Avancemos y Crecemos, financial aid from the INA, as well as food services for students are maintained.
  • The care networks will remain open to ensure that the mothers who are heads of household can continue working and prevent older adults from taking care of the minors. The attendance of boys and girls is at the discretion of those in charge.
  • In the case of flights, by decree it is instructed that from this Wednesday, March 18, starting at 11:59 p.m. and until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, 2020, only Costa Ricans and residents may enter the country. It applies by sea, air and land. Air transport, commerce and supplies crews are exempt from this provision.
  • In addition, Costa Ricans and residents who enter, will have to carry out a mandatory preventive isolation for 14 days, instructed by sanitary order that will be delivered by immigration officials, who were legitimized as a sanitary authority.

It is recommended that workers in teleworkable positions remain at home and that those with risk factors take the necessary actions not to expose themselves to contact with other people.

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Along the same lines, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, reiterated to the nationals the need to cancel their possible trips to outside the country, especially if they had a trip scheduled for Easter. “The actions implemented require the commitment of all, let’s each do our part, let’s not leave the country and, as much as possible, let’s stay at home,” said the health manager.

As of today, March 16, the data records 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with an age range of 10 to 87 years. They are 20 women and 21 men, of which 35 Costa Ricans and 6 foreigners, registering positive cases in 17 cantons of five provinces: San José, Heredia, Guanacaste, Alajuela and Cartago. By age we have: 32 adults, five seniors and four minors. At this time, 615 people have been discarded.