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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
  • March 4th, 2021: Phase 2 of vaccinations against Covid-19 to start; Click Here

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CORONAVIRUS Titanic effort needs citizen honesty


Posted 19/03/2020

The preventive work carried out by health officials to prevent the spread of Covid-19 disease is, without a doubt, titanic. This great effort aims to locate all people who have had direct and indirect contact with patients diagnosed with the disease, in order to subject them to epidemiological surveillance, while seeking to provide medical attention as soon as possible to those who are positive in the evidence of the new coronavirus.

Far from being afraid of revealing the symptoms of the disease or having been in contact with a patient or with a suspect of having the virus, what we should do is be honest and offer all the details that these officials ask us, and this includes the people who have not been cited by health researchers. Identifying these cases is the key to immobilizing the contagion and saving lives.

That is why we must facilitate the work of health officials, because, while they seek to contain the spread of the virus, we and our families can save lives, including our own lives. All together we can beat this virus. -LA PRENSA, Mar 19.



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Government Closes Nsrtional Lottery


Posted 19/03/2020

While restaurants, hotels, and businesses in Panama are closing,  no move was predicted to shut down the nation’s major addiction - the National Charity  Lottery until Thursday, March 19 when  the government suspended Lottery from Monday, March 23 until  April 12.

 The regional showcasing of the twice-weekly draws has been abandoned in favor of  a televised  event without spectators or charity officials participation at the Lotteria headquarters on Ave  Cuba but nothing has been  to reduce crowds for the inevitable follow up

On Thursday, March 19, hundreds of “lucky winners” mostly older adults arrived early at lottery offices to collect their pots of gold,  silver or brass, anticipating the at least 30-minute regular wait in line.

They formed crowds to join the lines inside without keeping the six feet distance repeatedly recommended by the  Ministry of Health (Minsa) as a preventive measure against the new coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic ().

At the Río Abajo office  the National Police was forced to evict people reports La Prensa.

Meanwhile, Lottery director, Gloriela Del Río, reported that they are applying all the sanitary measures dictated by the Minsa, such as the use of alcoholic gel, the use of masks and the stipulated distance between officials and clients.  But shoulder to shoulder contact still exists in many selling stations

According to health authorities, those most affected by the coronavirus are people over 60 years of age. The same group that gets pumped up by the Lottery.

To date, there are 109 people with coronavirus, and one of them has died.



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NATIONAL CURFEW: Supermarkets announce new hours


Posted 19/03/2020

With the  March 18 introduction of the countrywide curfew from 9 pm to 5 am Panama’s, supermarket chains have announced new temporary  opening time schedules.

GRUPO REY, made up of  El Rey, Romero supermarkets, Mr. Precio stores and Metro Plus pharmacies reported stores will be open from Monday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm

RIBA SMITH  announced that he will serve buyers daily from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm With the exception of the Mercadito Versailles, in the township of Don Bosco, which will be open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

SUPER 99  will open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, including service money transfer and payment of basic services.

SUPER XTRA,  will open  from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

PRICE SMART  will lopen  from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

The supermarket chains also suggest that their customers make their purchases through the delivery platforms that exist to avoid the crowds.

The curfew was ordered by President Laurentino Cortizo , through Executive Decree No. 490 of March 17, 2020 and published in the Official Digital Gazette No. 28983 - A , of March 18, 2020.


Moderator comment: Below is Executive Decree No. 490 of March 17th, 2020, that is referred to above.



Executive Decree 490_Page_1.jpg

Executive Decree 490_Page_2.jpg

Executive Decree 490_Page_3.jpg




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Panama’s  multidisciplinary approach to coronavirus


Posted 19/03/2020

Some 12 medical and scientific societies in the country have developed a guide for the management and treatment of patients with coronavirus , said Julio Sandoval, a member of the government commission in charge of treating the disease crisis reports La Prensa

Sandoval stressed that the document is "important", because doctors reached a consensus. "That means that 12 medical societies of different specialties, such as the infectologist, pulmonologist, internist, neurologist, intensivist, anesthesiologist, among others, met and produced a guide to save the greatest number of patients," he said.

He stressed that unlike other countries, in Panama the guide was prepared jointly.

He said d that patients with coronavirus have various conditions, so it is valuable that these guidelines reflect in a multidisciplinary way what each specialist thinks to provide the correct care.

The guidelines are endorsed by the Ministry of Health and are used in hospitals with positive patients.



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Panama confirmed coronavirus cases at 109


Posted 19/03/2020

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Panama reached 109 by late afternoon on Wednesday, March 18 says Health Minister  Rosario Turner.

Of the cases, 55 are men and 54 are women. Thus, there is one deceased, 92 of thee patients are in home isolation, another 17 are hospitalized, of these 8 are in wards and 9 in intensive care.

Epidemiologist Lourdes Moreno of the Ministry indicated that people who are in intensive care, with stable conditions, have an age range between 34 to 77 years; however, they present morbidity or chronic diseases.

The epidemiologist said that among the symptoms registered by those infected by COVID-19 in Panama, are fever, cough, nasal secretions, pain in the stomach area and respiratory distress

In another aspect, Juan Miguel Pascale, director of the Gorgas Commemorative Institute, announced that tests are being carried out in the Darien province and the David district, and tomorrow a team will carry out tests at the Luis 'Chicho' Fábrega hospital in Santiago.

Metropolitan region
Moreno said  that the metropolitan region is the one with the highest percentage of cases with 56%. The townships with the most cases are: San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Bella Vista, Betania and Ancón.

1455 tests have been carried out, of which 93% were negative. "The massification of the test is  mportant; however, not only by coughing or having a runny nose can it be done, the person must

have a series of symptoms. The most important measure at this time is to stay home," Turner stressed.

Hospital outbreak
The director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique, Lau Cortés, v acknowledged that they discovered an epidemiological outbreak at the Ezequiel Abadía de Soná Hospital, Veraguas province, and detected danger for medical personnel and the general population.

"Yesterday we faced a painful situation, having to close a hospital ... this, because we discovered an outbreak at the Ezequiel Abadía de Soná hospital," said Lau Cortés.

In reaction to this scenario, 12 tests were taken and the staff included individuals with cough, phlegm, and shortness of breath. at the end 11 of the tests yielded negative results."63 people in the Ezequiel Abadía de Soná hospital were socially isolated, 17 of them were patients, the rest were officials, 8 of whom are doctors," said



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16 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

Moderator comment: The above reply hotlink discuss a new "sanitary fence" being implemented in certain regions of Panama. To see the reply that it refers to, simply click on the right pointing arrow at the far right of the title line; it looks like Screenshot 2020-03-20 09.11.39.png and will get darker when you hover your mouse over it.

The following news article goes into more detail about the "sanitary fence", and its impact.


Coronavirus en Panamá: Circulación restringida hacia el interior del país

Habrá puestos de control en la garita de Chepo, La Espiga, Capira, María Chiquita y el puente interoceánico de Colón, dentro del cerco sanitario.

Belys Toribio

Actualizado: 20/3/20 - 06:36 am


El movimiento entre la capital, Colón y La Espiga será normal. En este último punto se establecerá un puesto de control y más adelante en el balneario El Lago, en Capira, estará el último.

Con el objetivo de mitigar la diseminación del COVID-19 en el territorio nacional, el Ministerio de Salud ha ordenado declarar zonas epidémicas de control sanitario a las provincias de Panamá, Panamá Oeste y Colón.

El Decreto Ejecutivo No. 499, de 19 de marzo de 2020, establece estas provincias como zonas epidémicas sujetas a vigilancia sanitaria.

Es decir, el desplazamiento de la población será monitoreado por los estamentos de seguridad y personal de salud.

La titular de Salud, Rosario Turner, explicó que para velar por el cumplimiento de las disposiciones del decreto, se establecerán puestos de control.

En Panamá, el puesto de control estará en la garita de la Policía Nacional en Chepo.'

VEA TAMBIÉN Coronavirus en Panamá: Cuatro médicos enfermos por el COVID-19, tres de ellos están en cuidados intensivos

En Panamá Oeste, la garita será ubicada en La Espiga de La Chorrera y el balneario El Lago, en Capira.

En Colón, las garitas estarán en el puente interoceánico y otro en María Chiquita.

Las garitas en Panamá Oeste estarán vigiladas por la Policía Nacional; en Chepo, por el Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (Senafront), y en Colón, por el Servicio Nacional Aeronaval (Senan).

Por su parte, el ministro de Seguridad, Juan Pino, detalló que todas las personas que requieran movilizarse en función de algunas de las excepciones establecidas en el Decreto Ejecutivo 490 del 17 de marzo, que habla del toque de queda, deberán estar debidamente identificadas.

Es este sentido, tendrán que presentar cédula, carné laboral, salvoconducto institucional, recibo de agua o luz que demuestre su residencia.

De no cumplir con el mandato de la norma, las sanciones serán interpuestas por las autoridades correspondientes, de acuerdo a sus competencias.

VEA TAMBIÉN Estas son las medidas que los bancos del país están adoptando sin ningún tipo de recargo o penalidad

El decreto, también faculta al Ministerio de Salud (Minsa), para que según sea el comportamiento del COVID-19, establezca zonas epidémicas, cercos epidemiológicos o puntos estratégicos en provincias, distritos o corregimientos, con el fin de controlar el movimiento masivo.

De igual manera, el Minsa tendrá la facultad de ampliar o disminuir el horario del toque de queda, establecido desde la noche del miércoles 18 de marzo.

Actualización de casos

A Turner no le preocupa la cantidad de casos.

Según la funcionaria, la situación y estrategia implementada consiste es en detectar la mayor cantidad de contagios para brindarles la atención que requieren, de manera oportuna.

Ayer se reportaron 28 casos nuevos de coronavirus, para hacer un total de 137 casos, la cantidad más considerable para un solo día.

De estos, 73 son hombres y 64 mujeres. El 84% de los pacientes, 115 casos, están aislados en sus domicilios y han evolucionado positivamente sin complicaciones.

Según la jefa de Epidemiología del Minsa, Lourdes Moreno, hay 21 hospitalizados, 11 en sala y 10 en la unidad de cuidados intensivos, ya que en estos últimos casos, específicamente, presentan alguna comorbilidad.

Hasta la fecha, solo se ha reportado una defunción, representando una letalidad de 0.72%.

En cuanto a la distribución geográfica, la mayor cantidad de casos positivos está ubicada en Panamá Metro, con 76; Panamá Oeste, con 25; San Miguelito, con 19, y Veraguas, con 7.

Moreno enfatizó que en Panamá Oeste, los corregimientos más afectados son Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, Nuevo Emperador, Vista Alegre y en La Chorrera se debe prestar atención a los llamados de las autoridades sanitarias, ya que, inclusive, se han confirmado casos en áreas rurales.

En Veraguas, donde hay un hospital cerrado en Soná, han aumentado los casos en los últimos dos días, mientras que en la provincia de Colón, a la fecha solo tiene un caso.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article.


Coronavirus in Panama: Circulation restricted to the interior of the country

There will be checkpoints at the Chepo sentry box, La Espiga, Capira, María Chiquita and the Colón interoceanic bridge, within the sanitary fence.

Belys Toribio

Updated: 3/20/20 - 06:36 am


Movement between the capital, Colón and La Espiga will be normal. At this last point a checkpoint will be established and later in the El Lago spa, in Capira, will be the last one.

With the aim of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the national territory, the Ministry of Health has ordered to declare epidemic zones of sanitary control to the provinces of Panama, Panama West and Colon.

Executive Decree No. 499 of March 19, 2020, establishes these provinces as epidemic areas subject to health surveillance.

In other words, the displacement of the population will be monitored by the security and health personnel.

The head of Health, Rosario Turner, explained that to ensure compliance with the provisions of the decree, checkpoints will be established.

In Panama, the checkpoint will be at the sentry box of the National Police in Chepo. '

SEE ALSO Coronavirus in Panama: Four Doctors Sick from COVID-19, Three of them are in Intensive Care

In Panamá Oeste, the sentry box will be located in La Espiga de La Chorrera and the El Lago spa in Capira.

In Colón, the sentry boxes will be on the interoceanic bridge and another one in María Chiquita.

The sentry boxes in Panama Oeste will be watched by the National Police; in Chepo, by the National Border Service (Senafront), and in Colón, by the National Aeronaval Service (Senan).

For his part, the Minister of Security, Juan Pino, explained that all the people who require mobilization based on some of the exceptions established in Executive Decree 490 of March 17, which speaks of the curfew, must be properly identified.

In this sense, they will have to present a certificate, work card, institutional safe-conduct, receipt of water or electricity that shows their residence.

Failure to comply with the mandate of the rule, the sanctions will be filed by the corresponding authorities, according to their powers.

SEE ALSO These are the measures that the country's banks are adopting without any surcharge or penalty

The decree also empowers the Ministry of Health (Minsa), so that, depending on the behavior of COVID-19, it establishes epidemic zones, epidemiological fences or strategic points in provinces, districts or townships, in order to control mass movement.

Similarly, the Minsa will have the power to extend or decrease the curfew schedule, established from the night of Wednesday, March 18.

Updating cases

Turner is not concerned with the number of cases.

According to the official, the situation and strategy implemented is to detect the largest number of infections to provide them with the care they require, in a timely manner.

28 new cases of coronavirus were reported yesterday, to make a total of 137 cases, the most considerable amount for a single day.

Of these, 73 are men and 64 are women. 84% of the patients, 115 cases, are isolated at home and have evolved positively without complications.

According to the head of Epidemiology of the Minsa, Lourdes Moreno, there are 21 hospitalized, 11 in the ward and 10 in the intensive care unit, since in the latter cases, specifically, they present some comorbidity.

To date, only one death has been reported, representing a case fatality of 0.72%.

Regarding geographical distribution, the greatest number of positive cases is located in Panamá Metro, with 76; West Panama, with 25; San Miguelito, with 19, and Veraguas, with 7.

Moreno emphasized that in Panama West, the most affected townships are Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, Nuevo Emperador, Vista Alegre and in La Chorrera, attention should be paid to calls from the health authorities, as even cases have been confirmed in rural areas.

In Veraguas, where there is a closed hospital in Soná, cases have increased in the last two days, while in the province of Colón, to date it has only one case.



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Hay 200 casos confirmados de coronavirus en Panamá


Minsa reporta aumento en casos de COVID-19. TR

Linda Batista

El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) informó este viernes 20 de marzo que a la fecha hay 200 casos confirmados de COVID-19 en Panamá.

De los 200 pacientes, 171 de ellos están en aislamiento domiciliario con sintomatología leve; un 8.5% está hospitalizados; y hay una defunción.

Información en desarrollo...


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article.


There are 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Panama


Minsa reports increase in cases of COVID-19. TR

Linda Batista • Mar 20, 2020 - 05:59 PM

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported this Friday, March 20, that to date there are 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Panama.

Of the 200 patients, 171 of them are in home isolation with mild symptoms; 8.5% are hospitalized; and there is a death.

Information in development ...



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ZLC cierra todas sus salas de venta por coronavirus


Zona Libre de Colón. Cortesía

Linda Batista

La gerencia general de la Zona Libre de Colón anunció sobre el cierre de todas las salas de venta hasta que el Órgano Ejecutivo levante el decreto que establece el cierre temporal de algunos establecimientos comerciales.

En una circular emitida este viernes, indican que las empresas que por la naturaleza de su actividad se encuentren contempladas dentro de las excepciones señaladas en el Decreto sobre cierre de locales, deberán completar el formulario que al efecto ha diseñado la Dirección de Operaciones Comerciales, y someterlo para su aprobación a la gerencia general.

Estas medidas empezarán a regir a partir de este lunes 23 de marzo de 2020.

Para obtener el salvoconducto institucional, se requerirá de la firma del gerente general previo a sus entrega a las autoridades competentes.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited, annotated automated translation of the above news article.


ZLC {Colon Duty Free Zone} closes all its retail rooms for coronavirus


Colon free zone. Courtesy

Linda Batista • Mar 20, 2020 - 05:06 PM

The general management of the Colon Free Zone announced about the closure of all the sale rooms until the Executive Branch lifts the decree that establishes the temporary closure of some commercial establishments.

In a circular issued this Friday, they indicate that the companies that, due to the nature of their activity, are included within the exceptions indicated in the Decree on the closure of premises, must complete the form that the Commercial Operations Directorate has designed for this purpose, and submit it for approval to general management.

These measures will take effect from this Monday, March 23, 2020.

To obtain the institutional safe-conduct, the signature of the general manager will be required prior to delivery to the competent authorities.



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Payment Suspension: Controversy in Panama

As a result of the economic effects that the outbreak of covid-19 will cause in the National Assembly, a general suspension of the payment of taxes, basic services and bank credits for three months is proposed, but the businessmen think that it is not suitable to generalize the measures.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bill No. 390, which proposes the suspension of payments and collections of taxes, social security contributions, mortgage loans, commercial and agricultural loans, is advancing in the National Assembly.

See "Coronavirus: How will it affect business?"

Businessmen in the country have expressed their opposition to the legislative initiative, since generalizing the measure could be counterproductive for the country.

Carlos Berguido, an executive with the Banking Association (ABP), told Prensa.com that "... it is not convenient to take widespread measures that use the same formula for all customers and all banks."

Berguido added that "... You can't work with one shirt as if everyone was the same size, you have to give the banking system the possibility of handling the situation with its clients according to their realities."

According to a statement from the Assembly, the draft also establishes a special price control regime for all those goods and products necessary for hygiene, cleaning of homes and offices, as well as for medicines, both for human beings and animals.

Coronavirus: How do the prospects for the banking sector change in the medium term?

We prepared for our clients the "Information System: Impact Analysis of Covid-19 on Business" that answers these and other questions in times of uncertainty.


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Cortizo ordena el cierre de comercios y empresas, salvo farmacias, supermercados, bancos, gasolineras...

Mónica Palm
20 mar 2020 - 11:20 AM


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Van 200 casos; empresas cierran y congelan contratos

Los negocios que cierran no estarían obligados a pagar salario; los trabajadores afectados con dicha medida serán incluidos en las listas de beneficiarios de los programas que establezca el Ejecutivo.
Aleida Samaniego
21 mar 2020 - 12:00 AM


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El coronavirus llega a más zonas del país

Chepo, Tortí, en el lado este de la provincia de Panamá, y Bugaba, en Chiriquí, registran casos. El Gobierno ordena el cierre de establecimientos comerciales

Por José Arcia

Chepo, Tortí, en el lado este de la provincia de Panamá, y Bugaba, en la provincia de Chiriquí, se sumaron a las zonas con personas afectadas por el coronavirus (Covid-19).


En La Pesa de La Chorrera, las autoridades instalaron un control para hacer cumplir el cerco sanitario.Erick Marciscano | La Estrella de Panamá


El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) informó, este viernes, que los casos aumentaron a 200, entre esos uno en cada una de las tres nuevas áreas.

La nueva cifra representa un incremento de 63 nuevos casos comparados con los resultados dados a conocer el jueves, cuando se registraron 137. Las personas hospitalizadas también se incrementaron, mientras que el jueves había 21, este viernes se anunciaron 28, de las cuales 11 están en cuidados intensivos. Se mantiene la cifra de una persona fallecida.

Lourdes Moreno, jefa de Epidemiología del Minsa, enfocó su atención en la cifra de personas afectadas por edades.

El 81% de los infectados son personas en edades de 20 a 59 años. “Estamos hablando de personas en edades productivas que se congregan, van al trabajo, se movilizan y por esa razón se han tomado una serie de medidas”, indicó Moreno.

Las áreas de Panamá metro, Panamá norte, San Miguelito y Panamá oeste son las más afectadas.

El Gobierno ordenó, a partir de la medianoche, el cierre temporal de establecimientos comerciales y empresas de persona natural o jurídica.

La medida está contemplada en el Decreto Ejecutivo No. 500 del 19 de marzo publicado este viernes, en Gaceta Oficial, y exceptúa varias actividades económicas, como los supermercados, abarroterías, empresas de empaque y envase de alimentos y bebidas.

Además de la producción, distribución y comercialización de medicamentos y productos de higiene, así como todo lo relacionado con banca, financieras, cooperativas, seguro y demás servicios financieros.

También se exceptúa a las empresas que ofrecen servicios públicos, como transporte, luz, hospitales. Otro de los sectores que no paralizará sus actividades es la industria de la construcción, incluyendo la fabricación y distribución de concreto, cemento y sus derivados.

Los abogados para el ejercicio de la defensa de las personas detenidas durante el toque de queda también están exentos de la medida.

Este viernes entró en vigencia el cerco sanitario en las provincias de Panamá, Colón y Panamá Oeste y, a pesar de que muchas personas intentaron salir de la zona, los estamentos de seguridad pública lo impidieron.

Por otro lado, el presidente de la República, Laurentino Cortizo, sostuvo una reunión con el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, el diputado Marcos Castillero, y el presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, el magistrado Luis Ramón Fábrega.

El encuentro sirvió para coordinar temas que requieren la participación estrecha y coordinada de los tres órganos del Estado para enfrentar la crisis por el Covid-19 y tomar acciones en beneficio y protección de los ciudadanos, indicó un comunicado de la Presidencia.

Las autoridades también anunciaron que 14 hoteles dispondrán de camas para atender a los pacientes, cuya afectación es leve. Volvieron a insistir en la necesidad de quedarse en casa.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited, automated translation of the above news article:


Coronavirus reaches more areas of the country

Chepo, Tortí, on the east side of the province of Panama, and Bugaba, in Chiriquí, register cases. The Government orders the closure of commercial establishments

By José Arcia
Updated 03/21/2020 00:00

Chepo, Tortí, on the eastern side of the province of Panama, and Bugaba, in the province of Chiriquí, joined the areas with people affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19).


In La Pesa de La Chorrera, the authorities installed a control to enforce the sanitary fence.Erick Marciscano | The Panama Star

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported, this Friday, that the cases increased to 200, including one in each of the three new areas.

The new figure represents an increase of 63 new cases compared to the results released on Thursday, when 137 were registered. Hospitalized people also increased, while on Thursday there were 21, this Friday 28 were announced, of which 11 are in intensive care. The figure of a deceased person is maintained.

Lourdes Moreno, head of Epidemiology at Minsa, focused her attention on the number of people affected by age.

81% of those infected are people aged 20 to 59 years. "We are talking about people of productive ages who congregate, go to work, mobilize and for that reason a series of measures have been taken," Moreno said.

The areas of Panama metro, Panama north, San Miguelito and Panama west are the most affected.

The Government ordered, from midnight, the temporary closure of commercial establishments and companies of natural or legal person.

The measure is contemplated in Executive Decree No. 500 of March 19 published this Friday, in the Official Gazette, and exempts various economic activities, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, food and beverage packaging and packaging companies.

In addition to the production, distribution and marketing of medicines and hygiene products, as well as everything related to banking, finance, cooperatives, insurance and other financial services.

Companies that offer public services, such as transportation, electricity, and hospitals, are also excepted. Another sector that will not paralyze its activities is the construction industry, including the manufacture and distribution of concrete, cement and its derivatives.

Lawyers for the defense of those detained during the curfew are also exempt from the measure.

This Friday the sanitary fence came into effect in the provinces of Panama, Colon and Panama West and, despite the fact that many people tried to leave the area, the public security forces prevented it.

On the other hand, the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, held a meeting with the President of the National Assembly, Deputy Marcos Castillero, and the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Judge Luis Ramón Fábrega.

The meeting served to coordinate issues that require the close and coordinated participation of the three state organs to face the crisis caused by Covid-19 and take actions for the benefit and protection of citizens, said a statement from the Presidency.

The authorities also announced that 14 hotels will have beds to attend to patients, whose affectation is slight. They insisted again on the need to stay home.



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Ordenan cierre temporal de comercios en todo el país

Los comercios que podrán ofrecer sus servicios son los dedicados a la cadena de producción, distribución de alimentos, transporte y seguridad

Por María Alejandra Carrasquilla Reina


Tránsito de personas en La Peatonal, en el centro de la capital.Archivo | La Estrella de Panamá

El gobierno nacional ordenó a partir de las 11:59 pm de este viernes el cierre temporal de establecimientos comerciales y empresas de personas naturales o jurídicas en todo el país durante 30 días. 

 Los comercios que se exceptúan son todos los relacionados a la producción, distribución comercialización y venta de alimentos, medicamentos y equipos de seguridad.  

Otras empresas que podrán seguir abiertas son los dedicados al transporte marítimo, terrestre y aéreo, logística y el Canal de Panamá, señala el artículo 1 del Decreto Ejecutivo N° 500 del 19 de marzo de 2020. 

La medida se hizo para erradicar la propagación del nuevo coronavirus (Covid-19), que ha cobrado la vida de una persona y 137 personas contagiadas en el país.


Moderator comment: Below is an united, automated translation of the above news article.


They order temporary closure of businesses across the country

The businesses that will be able to offer their services are those dedicated to the production chain, food distribution, transportation and security.

By María Alejandra Carrasquilla Reina
Updated 03/20/2020 12:27


Transit of people in La Peatonal, in the center of the capital. Archive | The Panama Star

The national government ordered from 11:59 pm this Friday the temporary closure of commercial establishments and companies of natural or legal persons throughout the country for 30 days.

 The businesses that are excepted are all those related to the production, distribution, marketing and sale of food, medicine and safety equipment.

Other companies that may remain open are those dedicated to maritime, land and air transportation, logistics and the Panama Canal, according to article 1 of Executive Decree No. 500 of March 19, 2020.

The measure was made to eradicate the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), which has claimed the lives of one person and 137 people infected in the country.


Moderator comment: If you wish to view Executive Decree N. 500 of March 19th, 2020, that is mentioned in this article then Click Here and then scroll to the bottom of that reply.


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Panamá se cierra al mundo

Por orden del mandatario Laurentino Cortizo, las fronteras aéreas para pasajeros estarán cerradas por un mes. La medida sanitaria impactará todas las aerolíneas, especialmente a la panameña Copa

Por Adelita Coriat

El mandatario Laurentino Cortizo ordenó a partir del domingo 22 de marzo suspender las llegadas y salidas de todos los vuelos internacionales de pasajeros a Panamá por un periodo de 30 días, como medida para combatir el Covid-19 en el país.


El Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen abrirá solo para transporte de carga Eric Marciscano | La Estrella de Panamá

El anuncio del Ejecutivo cae como otro balde de agua fría para la compañía aérea panameña, Copa Holdings, que desde la aparición del virus en el continente no ha parado de recibir cancelaciones de vuelos hasta verse obligada a reducir, a partir de abril, un 80% los vuelos diarios que realiza en el continente como líder de las conexiones aéreas del istmo. Insignia del hub de las Américas, Copa realiza 350 vuelos diarios, no obstante, para los analistas internacionales, es una de las compañías con mejor oportunidad de supervivencia, según recoge Yahoo finanzas.

Hasta el cierre de esta edición la empresa no había emitido una nota de prensa, en la que estaban trabajando, para poder explicar las acciones futuras de la aerolínea ante el impacto que deja el virus y el aislamiento del istmo del resto del mundo.

Las acciones de la empresa, que cotiza en la Bolsa de Nueva York, se han desplomado desde hace un mes a la fecha. Por ejemplo, el 20 de febrero se cotizaba a $108 la acción. Pero ayer se compraba en $32.22, luego de que un día antes bajara a $26. Lo que representa una caída de alrededor del 70% del valor de la acción en referencia.

Todo el sector turístico está pasando los peores días de su historia. Como Copa, la aerolínea Delta Airlines se desplomó en el mismo periodo citado de $58 a $21 la acción; American Airlines pasó de $28 a $10; United Airlines sufrió una de sus peores caídas de $79 a $21.

El mercado se precipita ante la incertidumbre sobre cuánto tiempo durará esta crisis y qué medidas se incorporarán para aliviar la situación. Algunas podrán ser rescatadas gracias a la inyección económica de los gobiernos. Ayer el presidente Donald Trump sugirió que el gobierno tome participación accionaria en las empresas que necesiten rescate por los efectos devastadores del virus.

Bloomberg anticipa que el coronavirus podría llevar a la quiebra a la mayoría de las aerolíneas de todo el mundo a finales de mayo. De hecho, se estima que muchas de ellas ya están en bancarrota técnica o han incumplido significativamente los acuerdos de deuda, según la consultora con sede en Sidney Capa Centre for Aviation, como lo publica el portal de internet de finanzas.

Para los analistas “salir de la crisis será como entrar en un campo de batalla brutal, lleno de víctimas”, según la consultora.

En Europa, Flybe, la aerolínea más grande, ha colapsado. Las pérdidas de los operarios podría cuantificarse en $113,000 millones este año, según la Asociación Internacional de Transporte Aéreo.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited, automated translation of the above news article.


Panama is closed to the world

By order of President Laurentino Cortizo, the air borders for passengers will be closed for a month. The sanitary measure will impact all airlines, especially the Panamanian Copa

By Adelita Coriat
Updated 03/20/2020 00:00

President Laurentino Cortizo ordered from Sunday March 22 to suspend the arrivals and departures of all international passenger flights to Panama for a period of 30 days, as a measure to combat Covid-19 in the country.


Tocumen International Airport will open only for cargo transportation Eric Marciscano | The Panama Star

The Executive's announcement falls like another bucket of cold water for the Panamanian airline, Copa Holdings, which since the appearance of the virus on the continent has not stopped receiving flight cancellations until it was forced to reduce, from April, 80 % of daily flights carried out on the continent as leader of air connections on the isthmus. Flagship of the hub of the Americas, Copa makes 350 daily flights, however, for international analysts, it is one of the companies with the best chance of survival, according to Yahoo finance.

Until the closing of this edition, the company had not issued a press release, in which they were working, in order to explain the future actions of the airline in the face of the impact of the virus and the isolation of the isthmus from the rest of the world.

Shares of the company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, have plummeted for a month to date. For example, on February 20, it was trading at $ 108 a share. But yesterday it was buying at $ 32.22, after a day earlier it dropped to $ 26. This represents a drop of around 70% of the reference share value.

The entire tourism sector is going through the worst days in its history. Like Copa, Delta Airlines fell in the same period from $ 58 to $ 21 a share; American Airlines went from $ 28 to $ 10; United Airlines suffered one of its worst falls from $ 79 to $ 21.

The market rushes before the uncertainty about how long this crisis will last and what measures will be incorporated to alleviate the situation. Some may be rescued thanks to the economic injection of governments. Yesterday President Donald Trump suggested that the government take equity participation in companies that need bailout due to the devastating effects of the virus.

Bloomberg anticipates that the coronavirus could bankrupt most airlines worldwide in late May. In fact, many of them are estimated to be already in technical bankruptcy or have significantly breached debt agreements, according to the Sydney-based consultancy Capa Center for Aviation, as published by the finance internet portal.

For analysts, "getting out of the crisis will be like entering a brutal battlefield, full of victims," according to the consultant.

In Europe, Flybe, the largest airline, has collapsed. The losses of the operators could be quantified in $ 113,000 million this year, according to the International Association of Air Transport.



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New operating  schedule for Panama Metro


Posted 20/03/2020

For  the countywide curfew (9 pm to 5 am) Panama Metro has introduced a new operating schedule for Lines 1 and 2  Starting  Monday, March 23, until further notice, the hours for users will be from Monday to Saturday from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Sundays from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

"Likewise, we inform users that the Customer Service Office, located at the Iglesia del Carmen station, will attend from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm," said a  company statement,



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Sanitary fence to control movement to interior


Posted 20/03/2020

Panama citizens who last weekend ignored the coronavirus and headed to the beaches in droves will holiday at home from this weekend as the government implements a sanitary fence to restrict the movement of people to and from these areas to reduce the spread of the virus. with 137 cases confirmed by the Health Ministry on  Thursday, March 19

The National  security Forces  will establish 176  checkpoints throughout Panama City to control the movement towards the interior, the beaches and  rivers

Control in Panama East will be assumed by Senafront; in Colón by  Senan and the rest of the coverage will be in charge of the Police.



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All shops and businesses closed


Posted 20/03/2020

President Laurentino Cortizo has ordered  the temporary closure of commercial establishments and companies throughout the country, for 30 days, starting at midnight on Friday, March 20.

The measure, published in the Official Digital Gazette  on March 20, 2020, exempts 11 activities or industries.



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The economic consequences of the lockdown are starting to bite. Yesterday's TVN Noticias (March 20, 2020) carried an article about the desperation of casual employees of the food service businesses in Chiriqui. There is a hint at the end of the article that desperate people are driven to act. My rough translation follows:

March 20, 2020 on TVN Noticias

Merchants in Chiriqui concerned about situation and lack of resources

A group of women and casual workers in bars, canteens, barbecues and other establishments in the province of Chiriqui, who have been closed for more than seven days, assured that they are desperate, because they are unable to provide a livelihood to their homes.

They assure that they were employed in the sale of food, utensils and other articles in the night establishments, from which they could subsist, but now they are unable to do it.

“We do not have a salary, but what we do day by day, that is why for several days we have been left with nothing and are unable to go seek it, because they are still closed and there is a curfew,” they highlighted.

They hope that the government will give them help soon, because some said, "their children do not understand about crisis, virus or restrictive measures."

They explained that they are humble people, who live in neighborhoods and populous places, where they have to figure out how to bring in food.

"The help must be quick, to avoid that the desperation of the parents leads them to carry out inappropriate actions," they asserted.

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Panama coronavirus cases jump 63 to 200


Posted 20/03/2020

The number of  coronavirus cases   in Panama has climbed to 200 said  Minister of Health, Rosario Turner on Friday Jan20

That means an increase of  63 from   Thursday to Friday.

Of the total cases, 171 are in home isolation (with symptoms)  and 28 are hospitalized (11 in  intensive care and 17 cases in the ward).

 81% of affected people aged from  21 to 59 .

Panama Metro, Panama East, Panama North, Panama West and San Miguelito continue to be the points of greatest virus infection.

The most affected areas of Panama Centro are San Francisco, Juan Diaz, Bella Vista, and Betania

2 cases have been verified in Coclé, Colón 2 and Panamá Este 2. And , Chiriquí became the sixth province with a  confirmed case.

2,170 tests have been carried out, of which 91% have been negative.



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Pandemic in Panama to peak in three weeks


Posted 20/03/2020

The peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Panama would be reached, in said Dr Julio Sandoval, coordinator of Intensive Care Units and member of the advisory commission on  Covid-19.

The specialist indicated that this should not be a cause for alarm, because what is sought is to identify the largest number of positive people to keep them isolated and, prevent them from becoming a focus of contagion.

Along with other members of the group of advisers to the Ministry of Health (Minsa) , Sandoval made a tour of the province of Veraguas and the Azuero region (Herrera and Los Santos), in order to check the condition pf patients affected by the disease and the intensive care units.

He stated that his work is aimed at ensuring that there are sufficient beds in intensive and semi-intensive care units, as well as monitors for vital signs.

sneraguas they delivered more than 500 special protection equipment and 3 high-flow, mechanical oxygen ventilators. to maintain the biosecurity of all human resources, especially the medical one, in the care it provides to patients.

The work of the health authorities also includes the construction of a 100-bed modular hospital for future patients who could be in a delicate condition.

Sandoval explained  said that this hospital could be on the grounds of Albrook, Ancón township, near the Enrique Malek airport, which would facilitate bringing supplies,  and assistance

epidemiologist, Israel Cedeño, said that  the standard behavior of an epidemic is that, on average, the number of cases increases in the first two months, and then stabilizes and the number of new cases begins to decrease.

He added that since the "zero day" of preparation they  based  studies on the worst possible scenario, taking into account the behavior of the disease in Wuhan (China) and then considering the events in Italy.

The specialist specified that all this preparation has been carried out evaluating population differences (demography) and events of acute respiratory infections and severe acute infections registered in the world previously.

Indigenous areas
Meanwhile, the Minsa  has assigned  85 health support personnel (to the Ngäbe Buglé region to promote measures to prevent infection and reinforce healthy lifestyle habits in the native language.

Accesses will be controlled in the indigenous area, so that there is no entry of people who do not pass the screening.



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167 arrested for flouting curfew decree

Posted 20/03/2020

The National Police arrested 167 people across the country for ignoring   the 9:00 pm to 5:00 am  curfew  on the night of Thursday, March 1

In the El Dorado area, in the capital, the National Police even got on a public transport where three passengers were  traveling,  One of them did not carry documents, the other two had, but could not justify what they were doing on the streets at midnight, so they were brought before justices of the peace.

Other people who were driving  vehicles and could not justify what they were doing away from  home    suffered  the same fate.



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Panama’s top breadwinner  defies virus  as 50 ships a day transit  canal


Posted 20/03/2020

"The maritime sector is calm and working in order, providing confidence and transmitting tranquility to our customers," says the president of the Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP), Nicolás Vukelja. Vukelja,

The maritime sector, including the Panama Canal, represents approximately a third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and generates more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the CMP.

"It continues with its work and services in an orderly manner and abiding by the health and hygiene standards established by the Ministry of Health," he added. The ships are supplied with food, water, and other products, services that are developed by the boats in the docks, repair services, tugs, maintenance, inspection, fuel supply and other services are still supplied

Among the security measures to protect the health of employees in the maritime sector from coronavirus, direct contact with the crew of ships arriving in the country is avoided, and only ships approved by the maritime authorities are served.

To offer their services, the personnel of the maritime companies use masks, gloves, alcohol gel, in addition to putting into practice other recommendations such as maintaining the recommended distance between people.

In the Panama Canal, where until last week there was a queue of more than 100 ships waiting to transit, the waiting time has been reduced from ten days to between four and five days, the entity reported.

To transit by sea, a ship is required to report its conditions on board through the Single Maritime Window of Panama (VUMPA). In case of non-compliance or giving false information, it is subject to penalties and restrictions.

The ship must report to the Ministry of Health when there are changes in the crew of the ships in the last 14 days and that they come from ports in countries where Covid-19 cases have been reported.

According to the Panama Canal Authority, ships confirm through a form previously completed in the VUMPA with the 9 questions included in the Maritime Health Declaration. In order not to interrupt the maritime services provided



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Pandemic closes Decameron and Riu Hotels


Posted 20/03/2020

With an industry already in crisis in Panama before the arrival of the coronavirus, two major hotels have decided to close their doors from Friday, March 20.

The  announcements come from  the Colombian chain Decameron and the Spanish RIU

Decameron, which has one of the main beach resorts in the Panamanian Pacific, will be closed to the public until May 31, while RIU reported that its RIU Plaza hotel, on Calle 50, will not open before May 31.

Due to the current situation, and the Government's decision to suspend the entry of foreigners to the country, the crisis that has been hitting Panamanian tourism for 8 years has worsened.

In Panama city, with over 20,000  rooms, the occupation did not pass 39% in the first two months of the year in an industry where the break-even point hovers around 60% occupancy.

Coronavirus pandemic causes temporary closure of Decameron and RIU hotel

The Riu hotel in the capital has 600 rooms spread over 34 floors.

Ernesto Orillac, president of the Panamanian Chamber of Tourism of Panama, asked the government to be more direct and specific regarding the access that companies will have to the funds that the banking system will have to support the country's companies.

"It is important that the private sector, not only tourism, can access these funds quickly, since it is the only way to maintain the subsistence of many companies, and most importantly, the employment of their workers," he said.

He adds that the sector demands clear dates and terms for companies to make their calculations on tax issues and other obligations.

The National Assembly has approved in second debate the extension until next June of the fiscal amnesty that had expired in February.

Until 2018, the Panama Tourism Authority had registered more than 1,440 establishments dedicated to public accommodation.

More temporary closings are anticipated, especially among those who do not belong to an international chain.

Another company forced to stop its operations was the Pullmantur shipping company, which since last week in port  Monarch ship that usually sails every Friday from Colón 2000.

The company, which makes 7-day tours of the Caribbean, indicated that its vessel will not set sail until May 2.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama and the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

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