The Government of Costa Rica asked Central American cargo carriers to join the agreement reached with Panama that establishes a sanitary route to move in Costa Rica in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thereby unlock the borders.
The Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, Dyalá Jiménez, said this Saturday that the route has already been established and the fiscal warehouses have been enabled for the carriers to deliver or lift cargo and rest before returning to the country of entry, be it Nicaragua or Panama.
This “safe sanitary route”, which is followed by GPS and which allows the carrier to be in Costa Rica for a maximum of 72 hours, is the agreement that this country reached with Panama and which the rest of the countries of Central America and their respective transport sectors.
The minister emphasized that in the midst of the pandemic, it is necessary to implement extraordinary methods to guarantee the health of carriers and Costa Rican citizens, and called on carriers to implement this option.
The agreement for the sanitary route emerged last Wednesday as a solution to end the blockades that Panamanian carriers exercise on their side of the border in protest to sanitary measures decreed by Costa Rica on Monday and that restricts the entry of foreign drivers.
However, the blockade persists, just like on the other border, where the Nicaraguan government also closed its side in protest.
The decrees are in force and stipulate that foreign carriers who must leave product in Costa Rica, can enter a primary area of the border, unhook the container and deliver it to a Costa Rican truck; or make a change of driver for a Costa Rican or resident.
Truckers who do not deliver cargo in Costa Rica but need to cross the country from the border with Panama to the border with Nicaragua or vice versa, are authorized to enter but must transit in caravans escorted by the police.
These measures were taken by Costa Rica after detecting 50 cases of COVID-19 in foreign carriers in two weeks, most on the border with Nicaragua, a country that has taken few preventive measures of COVID-19 and that for this reason has been pointed out by organizations international.
With the new border measures, Costa Rica allowed carriers to apply tests, but will not allow those with symptoms to enter.
THE PANDEMIC IN COSTA RICA
The Health Minister, Daniel Salas, reported that in the last 24 hours only 7 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in the country, bringing the accumulated number to 918, of which 607 have already been recovered (66, 1%), 301 are found with the active virus (32.8%) and 10 have died (1.1%).
There are currently 15 hospitalized patients, of whom 4 are in intensive care units.
The authorities of Costa Rica also detailed that 34 repatriation flights have been made, in which 2,022 people traveled, of which 29 were positive with COVID-19 (1.4%) and none required to be hospitalized.