As soon as the Ministry of Health announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in Carrillo, during the press conference on March 27, citizens of Carrillo started speculating who the person was, where did he lived and where he had traveled.
“Apparently even on bus the woman went, as if nothing was happening”, “what I don’t understand, is that, if they know they are infected, how can they be so irresponsables of going around like nothing is happening”, wrote some people in the post made by the municipality about the news.
The same thing happened when the announced of the second positive case came on March 29.
Since the beginning of the surveillance of the pandemic in the country, the health area has sent 13 Covid-19 tests for analysis. So far only those two people have been confirmed.
Both of them are in their houses and with “subtle symptoms of the virus”, said the Interim Director and Head of Health Surveillance of the Carrillo’s Health Area, Suseth Rodríguez.
Rodríguez clarified that the two people are residents.
Both of them are in home isolation in Carillo and have been respectful about the orders of the Ministry of Health”, added, and didn’t specify which was the epidemiological link because it is confidential information from the medical record.
The Health Area follows the track of another 19 persons: 14 that were in contact with the two positives, and other five for having contact with other positives (epidemiological links), as they have determined according to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
Rodríguez also emphasized that it is unfair to judge a persona just for going out when they didn’t know they were infected, as has happened in the town.
“It is not like ‘how irresponsible, the person went out’, because that person doesn’t know [he has the virus]. That’s why it is necessary the social distancing and to comply the sanitary measures that are being carried out”, she explained.
“There is a period of time catching the cases, here and in any other part of the country. The one who hasn’t have to be outside is us, we must keep the social distance because nobody knows who carries the virus, until it is caught”, she added.
During the daily press conference, President Carlos Alvarado announced on Wednesday that the vehicle restriction policies will be reinforced during Easter Holy Week, as well as business closures to reduce gatherings during those days.
Coastal trade on tenterhooks
Coastal communities of Carrillo are in a commercial break to avoid coronavirus spread and the arrive of hundreds of visitors that normally attracts Easter to Playas del Coco.
The president of the development association of that community, Flor de Lis, estimates that 80% of local businesses closed their doors with a clear call. “The tourism entrepreneurs came together to ask that no one visit us, for the good of all”, she said.
The president of the Carrillo Chamber of Commerce, Freddy Barahona, affirms that there is already an inevitable economic impact.
The coastal areas are the poorest in the country. We will have to work very hard and united to face the financial blow”, said Barahona, owner of a SME of artisan cocoa that also suspended operations.
Mass layoffs?: This is how the big hotels of Guanacaste respond to the “zero season” caused by Covid-19
Businesses that are still relatively active seek to stay afloat during the pandemic. As other municipalities in the province have done, the Municipality of Carrillo plans to support them.
“Through social networks, we will soon share a list of shops that offer home delivery services so we can support the canton’s trade, preserving the idea of staying at home”, said the head of the local government press, Fátima Sing.
*Contributed the journalist Marcela Cantero.