On Tuesday, May 05, the president-elect of El Salvador allowed himself to say the wrong information about the processes, tests, prevention and traceability of Costa Rica in the face of the Covid Pandemic19. Bukele’s ironclad comment seems to be a response to international coverage by different media outlets, revealing the Costa Rican strategy and its (so far) successful approach to combat the virus.
Bukele accuses Costa Rica of hiding its low numbers of contagion in the reduction of tests carried out, but does not take the time to explain the model and criteria that Costa Rica is using to make an accurate application of the tests and adds that the decision is political and Costa Rica is therefore artificially reducing the curve, without reporting actual numbers and cases.
Below we clarify President Bukele’s mistakes.
- The tests carried out every day respond to technical and not political decisions. The tests are conducted based on a fairly broad definition of suspected cases that includes virtually any respiratory condition presented in recent days.
- Mass tests have been carried out even on asymptomatic people, such as those at the Carlos María Ulloa Nursing Home and at the Immigration Detention Center after 2 foreigners tested positive. These massive tests yielded 12 more positive cases at the detection center. All cases with a clear foreign tie.
- Corpse tests have been carried out on people who have recently died with conditions similar to those caused by Covid19. All of these tests have been negative.
- In Costa Rica there has never been community transmission, so the protocols and criteria for conducting tests have been sufficient to have a behavior of case growth.
- 100% of Returnees are tested regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
- Mortality in Costa Rica is 0.8% while in El Salvador it is 2.36%, still reporting despite the fact that El Salvador had 168 fewer cases than Costa Rica yesterday.
- The state of saturation of the Health systems independently of the tests reflects the number of people who need hospitalization and intensive care in Costa Rica, the preparations and the capacities of attention have behaved according to the data of positive cases of Covid-19.