Costa Rica approves lottery vendors subsidy amid COVID outbreak

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Aiming to halt the expansion of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region, Costa Rican authorities have suspended lottery activity within the country. 

The move comes after a temporary subsidy of $342,000 per month was approved by the Board of Directors of the Social Protection Board (JPS). As a result, over 1,900 vendors can now potentially receive the financial aid, with the only condition needed to meet requirements is that the lottery sellers must be active in the system.

Esmeralda Britton, president of the JPS, said: “We understand that shutting down operations for two weeks affects their finances, and in the context of this emergency we can’t leave these people without income.”

The subsidy will be funded with resources from the JPS and will take effect on April 3. The board established that if it’s necessary, vendors will receive money until June.

The JPS had suspended lottery draws on March 24 and estimated losses of $8.5m. It will also donate $1.02 million to the National Emergency Commission (CNE) in order to help contain the spread of the virus.

“The Board of Directors has authorized the use of resources to help with the COVID-19 crisis and 600 million will be contributed to the CNE. We want to protect the health of our workers, so initially we also estimate more than 5 billion in losses,” Britton added.

According to official figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), Costa Rica announced 19 new cases of coronavirus over the weekend taking its total up to 314 infected and two fatalities.