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There are several topics associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This topic is the main or primary topic on this subject. The easiest way to find all topics related to coronavirus is to invoke a “tag display”. Simply click on the “ covid-19 ” tag (white characters on black background) that you see displayed near the top left of this topic.

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Significant pandemic milestones:

  • February 21st: Likely transfer of coronavirus from a teacher (who had traveled to Europe)  to Panama's first coronavirus death victim (Norato González); Click Here
  • March 3rd: Resolution passed raising national alert level regarding coronavirus epidemic; Click Here
  • March 8th: First confirmed coronavirus death (Norato González) in Panama; Click Here
  • March 9th: First confirmed case of coronavirus in Panama; not the date of case arrival in Panama, but the date the coroniavirus link was confirmed; Click Here
  • March 12th: President Cortizo declares a a national state of emergency; Click Here
  • March 15th: Certain business hours regulated, elective surgeries and routine medical consults suspended; Click Here
  • March 15th: Several provinces invoke a "dry law" (banning sales of alcoholic beverages) and implementing curfews; Chiriqui Province included; Click Here
  • March 15th: Foreigners banned from entering Panama; Click Here
  • March 17th: Countrywide curfew (9:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 22nd: All commercial flights into and out of Panama suspended; Click Here
  • March 23rd: Countrywide curfew (5:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 25th: Countrywide quarantine with restricted mobility mandated; sales of alcoholic beverages banned; Click Here
  • May 11th: Effective date of lifting the ban on the sales of alcoholic beverages; Click Here
  • May 13th: The gradual reopening of certain categories of business; Click Here
  • May 18th: People are authorized to leave their homes to exercise outdoors, but on a short lease; Click Here
  • June 1st: Quarantine lifted, but a 7:00PM to 5:00AM curfew is in effect; Click Here
  • June 3rd: Hardware stores reopen with limited hours; Click Here
  • June 6th and June 8th: Curfew/mobility restrictions elevated for Panama, Panama Oeste, and Veragaus regions; Click Here and Click Here
  • July 25th: Full weekend quarantine (lockdown) re-implemented for Panama; Click Here
  • July 27th: More restrictive mobility constraints including gender restrictions re-implemented, including Chiriqui Province; Click Here and Click Here
  • August 14th: Tocumen International Airport begins to open up to limited flights; Click Here
  • August 17th: Some "Block 3" businesses will be permitted to start operations; Click Here
  • September 14th: Relaxation of mobility constraints for all but three provinces; Chiriqui, Colon, and Bocas del Toro constraints continue; Click Here
  • September 28th: Restaurants and inns reopen providing they follow Minsa guidelines; Click Here
  • October 12th: Cinemas, swimming pools, and casinos allowed to reopen, and borders reopened; Click Here and Click Here
  • October 24th: All quarantines lifted and curfews standardized across the country and relaxed to 11:00PM until 5:00AM; Click Here
  • December 25th: Total lockdown countrywide for Christmas and New Years; Click Here and Click Here
  • January 4th, 2021: Total lockdown countrywide until January 14th, 2021; Click Here

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Over 1,100 schools will become covid vaccination centers


Posted 18/01/2021

Over eleven hundred schools and colleges will become covid-19 vaccination centers President Lorentino    Cortizo announced  on Monday January 18

He added that in phase 2-A, which is for adults over 60 years of age, about 560,000 people in this range should be vaccinated. He explained that in the province of Panama, circuits 8-6, 8-7 and 8-8 are the only ones with more than 50,000 adults aged 60 and over.

On the arrival of the vaccines, Cortizo reiterated that they are ready to receive it; "It will be announced what day or night the first batch of vaccines will arrive in Panama."

The Deputy Minister of Health, Ivette Berrío said that all logistics teams are ready to act once the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines is announced.

In stage 1A, health workers and support personnel who care for patients with Covid-19 will be vaccinated, then adults over 60 years of age and older who are bedridden and at home.

According to the vaccination strategy in stage 1-B are health workers, essential groups in the front line, such as the public force and the National Civil Protection System(Sinaproc)

In phase 2-A, adults over 60 years of age and the population aged 16 to 59 years with chronic diseases will be vaccinated. While in phase 2-B they will be teachers and administrators of public and private schools and universities.

Phase 3-A will be the population of the comarcas and areas of difficult access. In 3-B is the population in occupations at risk such as: airport, customs and migration; drivers of public transport and cargo, and deprived of liberty.

In stage 4, there is the population between 16 and 59 years old without chronic diseases.



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Moderator comment: Two prior postings in this thread were removed at the request of the originator of those two postings. Because this current posting quotes the removed content, this reply by default

That is recklessly false.  Right now there are two cruise ships where all passengers are quarantined.  Given how rotovirus spreads in a cruise ship environment, those ships are not a good place to be,

Get used to the weekend lockdowns.  My contact told me before Easter that Panama would be locking down the weekends. THEN, the notices from the US Embassy said, if you go back and read them, satu

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First batch of vaccines set to arrive Wednesday


Posted 19/01/2021

The first batch of vaccines against Covid-19 will arrive in the country at 2:00 am on Wednesday, January 20, says the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

More than 300,000 t people have filled out the form to get vaccinated.

The batch will arrive by plane at the Tocumen International Airport and will be received by the representatives of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Panama and delivered to the health and security authorities.



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Covid deaths exceed 480; infections near 300,000


239 patients are in intensive care units

Posted 19/01/2021

Covid-19 deaths in Panama passed the 4,800 mark on Monday, January 18, and accumulated  cases approached  300,000 according to the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

In the previous 24 hours, 37 people died from Covid-19,. In addition, it indicates that they "updated" four deaths registered

7,703 tests have been applied and 1,342 new cases detected (17.4% positivity). With these cases, the cumulative total since the start of the pandemic last year is 299,361.

Active cases total 53,405.

Meanwhile, there are 2,626 hospitalized 2,387 of them are in the ward and 239 in intensive care units.



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Vaccine rollout needs continuance of health protocols

Posted 19/01/2021

The process to begin the vaccination phase seems carefully planned, judging by the information provided yesterday by the Presidency of the Republic. Its execution, according to the plans and schedule prepared by the specialists, will be crucial for people, businesses, the economy and the entire country to return to normalcy. We trust that the professionals and technicians who will make the process so that everyone receives their vaccine a reality will do the best possible job, even if it is the first time they have faced the task of vaccinating the entire population. Panama has one of the best vaccination programs in the world and the professionals in charge of logistics have shown signs of knowing what to do. We hope that they will allow them to work, as they have always done, well, as said, the health of people at risk, sick or vulnerable to the virus depends on it. We must also make an appeal to the population. This process must be in order, as planned, but, above all, the measures recommended by the Health authorities must continue to be observed, since vaccination will take several months. - LA PRENSA, Jan 19



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Nursing veteran gets first vaccine jab


Posted 20/01/2021

Nurse Violeta Gaona de Cocherán, 59, who works in the Intensive Care Unit at Santo Tomas Hospital  became,  the first person in Panama to receive  the vaccination against Covid-19   on    Wednesday, January 20 .in a ceremony witnessed by President Larnursingentino Cortizo. 

She is on the front lines  in the battle against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19). She began her  nursing career 37 years ago



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On 1/8/2021 at 7:49 AM, Moderator_02 said:



Resignation of vacationing medical director accepted


After suspending staff vacations Croston traveled to Hawaii with his family

Posted 21/01/2021

The Social Security Fund (CSS) reported on  Thursday, January 21, that the resignation of the medical director of the Arnulfo Arias Hospital Complex, José Croston, was accepted.

Croston was questioned by several CSS officials because he signed a memorandum in which he prohibited vacations, but traveled with his family to Hawaii, United States.

Croston justified his trip on January 7 and also said that the entity's management was aware of the situation.

According to the entity, Croston's resignation was received and accepted by CEO Enrique Lau Cortés.

Due to Croston's trip, the Office of the Attorney General for the Administration began an investigation for possible breaches of ethics.

it was learned that an internal investigation was started within Social Security.

The CSS statement does not specify the reasons for Croston's resignation, which is presented on the day that intensivist doctors also reported irregularities in the vaccination process.

Two weeks ago  Crostonexplained that the trip was made to carry out a procedure with his daughter in Hawaii and that Lau Cortés was aware of this situation.

"I had previously advised my superiors, both Dr. Lau and Dr. Alex González, of my need to go out to attend to personal family matters of my daughter, who unfortunately is in Hawaii," Croston said.




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679 frontline healthcare workers get first vaccine shot


Posted 21/01/2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Social Security Fund (CSS) hope to complete the delivery of the last batch of vaccines to health personnel next Tuesday.

Itzel de Hewitt,   Head  of the Expanded Immunization Program (PAI), explained said that yesterday they began vaccinating in the main hospitals in against Panama and Panama Oeste and today they will send the vaccines to Darién, Herrera, Los Santos, Coclé and   Bocas del Toro

Until yesterday at 6:30 pm, the Ministry reported that 672 doses of vaccines had been supplied to doctors, nurses and other health personnel in the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste.

On Friday, they expect to send the last shipment of vaccines to Chiriquí and Veraguas, in order to complete the application throughout the country by Tuesday. After that, they would have to wait 21 more days to apply the other dose, as the vaccine from the pharmaceutical duo Pfizer-BioNTech needs two doses per person

Simón Theoktisto, 60-year-old head of the intensive care ward of the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid Metropolitan Complex, was the second Panamanian and the first doctor to be vaccinated at the beginning of the process. A 59-yeqr-old nurse in the Santo Tomas ICU was the first



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OPINION - Despicable and inhuman

Posted 22/01/2021

What happened on Wednesday in the vaccination days is not surprising. The amazing thing is that it happened in no less than the first round of immunization, robbing medical personnel who directly care for Covid-19 patients of the opportunity to survive in the event of contagion. What they did is not only a very serious act against the lives of these personnel, but it is also a despicable and inhuman action. These vaccines make the difference between life and death for patients, doctors, nurses and technicians who risk their lives on a daily basis, both in public and private hospitals. And, precisely, it is necessary and urgent to include the latter among the first to be vaccinated, since they too expose their lives every day, while lightening the weight of the cases attended by the official sector. – LA PRENSA Jan 22.



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Vaccine queue jumpers push frontline doctors aside


Posted 22/01/2021

Doctors who have worked on the frontline caring for patients with covid-19 are concerned about complaints of possible selectivity in the vaccination roll-out process,

The Association of Resident and Intern Physicians of the Social Security Fund (CSS) stated that they have worked on the battlefront since the pandemic began and are part of the health personnel with the greatest exposure to the virus.

Anette Alberda, resident doctor at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex, stressed that inmates and residents are valuable personnel who, in 10 months of the pandemic, have represented the CSS in the first battlefront, and despite that they were not considered to receive the expected vaccine.

Guillermo Baily, medical director of the National Hospital, and José Terán, director of the San Fernando Hospital, confirmed that their staff who treat patients with SARS-CoV-2 in emergency rooms and intensive care units will not receive the vaccine in the first batch of doses.

"And the worst has been the application of vaccines to personnel who do not comply with the premise of being on the front line against Covid. This is disgusting ”, said Terán.

The CSS said on its Twitter account, that officials who accepted or agree to be vaccinated without being within the priority group will be dismissed.

Itzel Hewitt, general coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health , stressed that it is the responsibility of each hospital medical director to ensure that the guidelines are met and that the vaccine reaches the people who care for patients with the virus.

The Ministry of Health reported yesterday that about 3,319 people were given the first dose, in two days of vaccination, out of a total of 4,926 that so far have  been dispatched throughout the country.



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Doctors protest vaccination irregularities


Posted 22/01/2021

Intern doctors from the Social Security Fund (CSS)  came out on Friday January 22 at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Complex, to  protest favoritism that has been observed in the process of placing vaccines against covid-19

The doctors said that while they formed a line to get the vaccine edited passage was givenwithout explanations, to

other officials who are not in the first line of battle against the pandemic.

The protesters assured that due to the breaking of the protocol of those who organize the vaccination days, some 60 doctors remained without the jab.

Similar protests were staged at Santo Tomas Hospital.



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First case of S. Africa variant of covid-19 in Panama


Posted 22/01/2021

A 40-year passenger from South Africa has tested positive for Sars-Cov2 variant N501Y-V2  The Ministry of Health (Minsa) announced, on Friday, January 22.

According to the Minsa, the passenger, born in Zimbabwe, who entered the country on January 5 from South Africa. He had previously made a stopover in the Netherlands, before arriving in Panama.

In accordance with the protocols established by the Minsa, all people arriving in the country from the United Kingdom and South Africa are tested for Covid-19 at the Tocumen international airport.

The test result for this passenger was negative. As part of the protocol, he was placed in immediate quarantine.

Then, on January 17, he had a second PCR test, which was positive.

Leonardo Labrador, national head of epidemiology at the Minsa, explained that the protocol for this type of passenger establishes compliance with a preventive quarantine and a second test (PCR) is carried out on the fifth day. If this is positive, the patient would go into isolation in a hospital hotel to be provided with treatment and monitoring.

The official highlighted that the country's epidemiological surveillance system was able to capture this patient "in a timely manner" and carry out the necessary interventions to prevent the spread of this new strain of the virus that, until now, had not been detected in Panama.

Various variants detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil have been worrying the international community wondering about their contagion and the efficacy of vaccines against them.



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