The National Emergency Commission of Costa Rica declared this Thursday an orange alert throughout the country in the face of the advance of the omicron variant, which is causing the fourth wave of covid-19 with figures not seen so far in the pandemic.

With this declaration of alert for the entire country, the authorities are obliged to develop contingency plans to ensure the continuity of essential services, reinforce teleworking guidelines and strengthen personal protective equipment guidelines, among other actions.

The CNE explained that institutions must also monitor compliance with health measures established at a general level, as well as health protocols and regulations.

The omicron variant, detected in Costa Rica on December 19, is causing the fourth wave of infections with numbers of new cases not seen during the pandemic, although hospitalizations and mortality have not increased at the same rate due to vaccination, according to the authorities.

This Thursday the Ministry of Health reported 3,816 new cases of covid-19, the third highest number of the pandemic, only surpassed by the previous two days when the number was 4,494 (Wednesday) and 4,360 (Tuesday). In addition there were 7 deaths.

As for hospitalized, this Thursday there are 247 patients, of which 61 are in intensive care units.

According to official data, in epidemiological week 1 of the year (January 2 to 8) there were 14,628 cases of covid-19 in Costa Rica, which represents an increase of 332% compared to the previous week when there were 3,385, while Mortality rose 200%, going from 7 to 21 deaths between the two weeks.

Until January 10, Costa Rica has applied 8,016,478 doses of the vaccine in the population over 12 years of age. Coverage with first doses in this sector of the population reaches 92.8%; in second doses 84% ​​and in third doses 10.8%.

The third doses apply only to first responders and people over 58 years of age.

Vaccination for children between 5 and 11 years of age also began this week in the country, a process that the authorities hope to conclude in the first half of the year.

So far in the pandemic, this country of 5.1 million inhabitants has recorded 604,658 cases of covid-19 and 7,401 deaths.

Between January 11 and 23, a series of night-time restrictions on mobility and the hours of operation of businesses are in force in the country, as actions to try to stop the wave of infections.

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