El Salvador COVID-19 update
Here is an update on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in El Salvador.
Current COVID-19 case activity
The official government website shows that new confirmed cases have been trending lower from a second peak reached around New Years. These are cases revealed by the roughly 2500 coronavirus tests El Salvador conducts in various places across the country each day. During the course of the pandemic, the government total of confirmed COVID-19 deaths has climbed to 1662 through February 4, although that number is recognized to be an undercount. As of February 4, there were 399 Salvadorans listed in grave and 77 listed in critical condition. Over the past 10 days, an average of 8 Salvadorans per day have died from confirmed cases of the disease. Hospital capacity appears to be sufficient after the government’s work during 2020 to update some existing hospitals and build a separate COVID-19 hospital.
|New confirmed cases per day|
On January 20, the head of the World Health Organization tweeted some recognition of El Salvador's efforts to date:
Large gatherings of people are a potential risk to change the current downward trend. Last weekend the country held the championship of its national soccer league in Cuscatlán Stadium in San Salvador attended by thousands of fans, sitting close together in many parts of the stadium. Hundreds also crushed together in San Salvador and San Miguel in the days before the match to buy their tickets.
All the major political parties are having campaign events and rallies around the country involving large crowds.
Salvadorans seem to wear masks with little complaint, but social distancing frequently is not possible or gets ignored. Hopefully masks will be enough.
El Salvador has been approved to receive an initial round of 16,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine designated for healthcare workers which should arrive in February. Some time after that, El Salvador should start to receive more than 300,000 doses of the AstaZeneca vaccine. Both of these allocations come through the global COVAX initiative. No word yet on when the 2 million doses which El Salvador separately negotiated with AstraZeneca will arrive. It will require more than 12 million doses to achieve Nayib Bukele's stated goal to vaccinate everyone who wants to be.
El Salvador’s airport remains open with incoming passengers required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test received in the 72 hours before departure. Persons who have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa in the preceding 30 days are not allowed to enter.
The 2021 school year is commencing with all education institutions in the country ordered to continue in virtual modes, as has been the case at all times since last March.