The New coronavirus, Covid-19, has arrived in Costa Rica. We assumed this would happen and it was more a question of when than if. It was brought by an American tourist who entered the country on March 1, without any symptoms.
Over the course of her stay, she fell ill. Lab tests confirmed that she has the virus. Her husband was also tested and is awaiting results. The man had contact in New York with someone infected but still shows no symptoms. The woman has a preexisting condition that made her more vulnerable.
Both are quarantined in a hotel and are cooperating with authorities to stop the spread. They are reportedly remaining calm. Their lodging and food expenses while in isolation will be covered by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
The woman’s symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a hospital stay, although all hospitals are equipped with a protocol to follow in case they do get a patient who requires quarantine. The couple is under strict medical supervision.
The 152 people who shared a flight with the couple as well as five people the couple came in contact with in Costa Rica are being tracked for symptom development and subsequent testing if needed. 24 Costa Ricans from a choir that visited South Korea, an area of active transmission, are also being monitored.
There is no active transmission of Covid-19 in Costa Rica at this time. In any case, proper hygiene regarding sneezing and hand washing is advised.