Caja facilities prepare for pilgrims

Not just the Cruz Roja and police agencies are on alert during the pilgrimage by the faithful Santuario de la Virgen de Los Ángeles in Cartago. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said that it has issued an alert for Hospital Max Peralta de Cartago and 34 medical sites in the central region of the country.

The Cruz Roja treats thousands during the pilgrimage, and a small percentage have to be hospitalized each year.

The Cartago hospital is setting up an evaluation area at the entrance to the emergency room to handle pilgrims who might be remanded there, the Caja said. A primary reason are those with heart conditions.

Hospital staffers are paying particular attention to this weekend and into next Tuesday when the peak number of pilgrims will be in Cartago. Perhaps as many as 2 million persons will take the trek from their home to Cartago this year. A continual stream of hikers already is seen on the highways, and some Costa Ricans are walking from more than 100 miles away.

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