Latin America

How Costa Rica went from pandemic success to Covid-19 hotbed

The Central American nation set an example for its neighbors to follow during the early stages of the pandemic. But cases are rising and the local health system is struggling to keep up

People in San José, the capital of Costa Rica
People in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Photo: Miroslav Denes/Shutterstock

If Uruguay is seen as an island of tranquility in South America — with a small and stable democracy, largely free from political conflict, and an example for the rest of the continent during the Covid-19 pandemic — Central America’s equivalent would certainly be Costa Rica. Almost a year ago to the day, we wrote about how Costa Rica had managed to tame the coronavirus’ spread within its territory, setting an example for other Latin American nations to follow. At one point, thanks to its swift and effective pandemic response, Costa Rica had fewer deaths and infections per...

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