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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

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Tres colaboradores de la Asamblea Nacional han dado positivo con coronavirus

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La Asamblea Nacional de Panamá

Nimay González

La Asamblea Nacional de Panamá dio a conocer este sábado que tres de sus colabores han dado positivo con el nuevo coronavirus (COVID-19), y anuncia la suspensión de las actividades parlamentarias.

“Debido a esta situación y teniendo en cuenta las recomendaciones de las autoridades de salud, la Directiva del Legislativo ha tomado la decisión de suspender la actividad parlamentaria que podrá ser retomada para tratar algún asunto de interés nacional respecto a la crisis de salud pública que estamos viviendo u otros temas importantes”, indica el Órgano Legislativo en un comunicado.

Sin embargo, indica que ciertas unidades administrativas que son necesarias para el funcionamiento de la entidad, así como las comisiones permanentes de trabajo que deben sesionar por temas de importancia nacional, se mantendrán operativas.

La entidad detalla que una vez conocidos estos casos positivos, se procedió a aplicar los protocolos de seguridad sanitaria establecidos para garantizar la protección del personal, de los diputados y de los familiares de esos colaboradores.

 

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

Quote

Three collaborators of the National Assembly have tested positive for coronavirus

<<0eb58ed3-6ba2-4509-9344-98c20df090d2_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg>>

The Panama National Assembly

Nimay González • Mar 28, 2020 - 03:44 PM

The National Assembly of Panama announced on Saturday that three of its collaborators have tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19), and announces the suspension of parliamentary activities.

“Due to this situation and taking into account the recommendations of the health authorities, the Legislative Directive has made the decision to suspend parliamentary activity, which may be resumed to deal with any matter of national interest regarding the public health crisis that we are experiencing. living or other important issues ”, indicates the Legislative Body in a statement.

However, it indicates that certain administrative units that are necessary for the operation of the entity, as well as the permanent work commissions that must meet on issues of national importance, will remain operational.

The entity details that once these positive cases were known, the established health security protocols were applied to guarantee the protection of the staff, the deputies and the relatives of these collaborators.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/03/28/tres-colaboradores-asamblea-nacional-han/2725171.html

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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

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,

All of these efforts might slow the spread of the virus, but I don't see how it's going to stop it.  You can definitely have the virus and not be showing any symptoms.  Screening at airports or other

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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 3/28/2020 3:26:37 PM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 28, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

 

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 28, 2020)

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminder

 

Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.

 

On March 27, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 786 cases of COVID-19.

 

On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights.  There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.

 

The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama.  Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.   

 

On March 25, Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine.  The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to conduct essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gas and medicines, or dealing with a medical emergency, based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula.  For U.S. Citizens in Panama without a cedula, they should carry their passports at all times.  The two-hour windows are as follows: 

 

·         Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am 

·         Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am 

·         Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am 

·         Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am  

·         Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm  

·         Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm  

·         Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm  

·         Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm  

·         Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm  

·         Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm  

·         There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

 

Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly.  Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.  

 

On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all international commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days. 

 

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  

 

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.  

 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.  

 

The Government of Panama has implemented enhanced quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these measures.  

 

Schools and universities are closed nation-wide.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.  

 

On March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice 

 

U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.  

 

Actions to Take:  

 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City regarding possible US military evacuation/repatriation flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 3/28/2020 3:31:37 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 28, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 28, 2020)

 

Location: Panama

 

Event: Planned Military Repatriation Flights

 

The Embassy is working on two evacuation options via military flights for those U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) wishing to depart Panama. There are no guarantees of these flights or the space available.

 

There are two U.S. military air flights scheduled for April 2 and 4 with a limited number of seats available; we are in the process of notifying individuals who have already expressed interest in being evacuated from Panama about these flights.

 

·         April 2, departing Panama Pacifico at 9:05 p.m. and arriving Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL, to arrive 1:15 a.m. April 3.

·         April 4, departing Panama Pacifico at 4:53 p.m. and arriving Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX, to arrive 8:43 p.m.

 

Requirements, restrictions, and helpful information:

 

·         The flights are restricted to U.S. citizens and LPRs.  All passengers must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport or I-551 (green card) in order to qualify for a flight.

·         Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.

·         Please note these flights will arrive at U.S. military installations and you will be responsible for coordinating your onward travel, including transit from the base to a commercial airport.  The closest major airport near Fort Walton Beach, FL is New Orleans, LA; and the nearest to San Angelo, TX is San Antonio, TX.

·         If you are ill, you will not be permitted to fly. Prior to departure from Panama and upon arrival to the United States you will undergo a temperature screening.

·         All passengers must sign a promissory note to ensure payment of the required fare.

·         Baggage is restricted to two bags that cannot exceed 70lbs. total.

·         Service animals MAY be authorized on the April 2 flight.  Please be sure to share your needs as appropriate.

·         You may bring limited liquids and snacks.

 

Additional Department of Defense flights are projected through April 9, with limited seating.  The Embassy will continue researching additional military and civilian commercial options.

 

Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Please enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Embassy Panama City security updates: https://step.state.gov/

 

Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama and the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS. A neighbor was in an uproar over the announcement that all supermarkets and pharmacies were to be closed for two weeks, with the country on total lockdown. This was some kind of broadcast made on social networks.

About an hour ago the National Police put out a communique, saying that the information was false.

 

Fake.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Jim Bondoux said:

BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS. A neighbor was in an uproar over the announcement that all supermarkets and pharmacies were to be closed for two weeks, with the country on total lockdown. This was some kind of broadcast made on social networks.

About an hour ago the National Police put out a communique, saying that the information was false.

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of this public notice:

Quote

RELEASE

The National Police clarify to the public that the information from the audio circulating on social networks is false, about a total quarantine extended for 15 days and that the closing of pharmacies and supermarkets will take place.

In the audio a citizen expresses that said information was provided by his daughter, who supposedly works as head of logistics for the institution; information that is false.

 

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Se eleva a 17 la cifra de fallecidos por COVID-19 en Panamá y 901 casos confirmados

ea78f452-8cb6-4695-84c8-4cd6da9c91b9_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg

El Ministerio de Salud brinda actualización sobre casos de COVID-19 en Panamá. Cortesía

Nimay González

Las autoridades sanitaria de Panamá dieron a conocer este sábado que la cifra de fallecidos por coronavirus (COVID-19) se elevó 17, además el número de casos confirmados ascendió a 901.

Sube a 17 los fallecidos por COVID-19 en Panamá, 901 casos acumulados. Telemetro Reporta

Esto representa un total de 3 víctimas más y 115 casos nuevos en 24 horas.

“Para el día de hoy tenemos un cumulado de 901 casos, de los cuales 115 son nuevos casos. Hemos realizado un total de 5,762 pruebas con un 84% (4,861 pruebas) negativas, 540 pruebas más con con respecto ayer, de esas 540, 115 fueron positivas” detalló la doctora Lourdes Moreno, jefa de epidemiología del Minsa.

Explicó que de esa cantidad, 753 ( 83.6%) de los casos se mantienen en aislamiento domiciliario con sintomatología leve; hay 4 recuperados; 95 hospitalizados en sala; y 32 en cuidados intensivos.

Agregó que del total de personas con COVID-19 postivo, 512 (56.8%) son masculinos y 389 (43.2%) son mujeres.

Además 560 de los casos se registran en pacientes con edades entre los 31 y 60 años; mientras de 13 de las defunciones corresponden al rango de personas mayores a los 50 años de edad.

 

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

Quote

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Panama rises to 17 and 901 confirmed cases

<<ea78f452-8cb6-4695-84c8-4cd6da9c91b9_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg>>

The Ministry of Health provides an update on cases of COVID-19 in Panama. Courtesy

Nimay González • Mar 28, 2020 - 06:24 PM

The Panamanian health authorities announced on Saturday that the number of deaths from coronavirus (COVID-19) rose 17, and the number of confirmed cases rose to 901.

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Panama rises to 17, 901 cases accumulated. Reporting rangefinder

This represents a total of 3 more victims and 115 new cases in 24 hours.

“As of today we have a cumulative of 901 cases, of which 115 are new cases. We have carried out a total of 5,762 tests with 84% (4,861 tests) negative, 540 more tests compared to yesterday, of those 540, 115 were positive, ”explained Dr. Lourdes Moreno, head of epidemiology at Minsa.

He explained that of that number, 753 (83.6%) of the cases are kept in home isolation with mild symptoms; there are 4 recovered; 95 hospitalized in the ward; and 32 in intensive care.

He added that of the total number of people with positive COVID-19, 512 (56.8%) are male and 389 (43.2%) are women.

In addition 560 of the cases are registered in patients with ages between 31 and 60 years; while 13 of the deaths correspond to the range of people over 50 years of age.

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/03/28/se-eleva-a-17-la-cifra-de-fallecidos-por-covid-19-en-panama-y-901-casos-confirmados/2725443.html

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CORONAVIRUS: 14 deaths, 786 cases with peak 2-3 weeks away

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Fift day of lockdown

Posted 28/03/2020

The death of five more people from coronavirus, on Friday March 27 bought the total Panama fatalities to 14. and 112 new cases raised  the total of infections to 786 since the first contagion was confirmed in Panama, on March 9 with the peak some two to three weeks away said the  Ministry of Health as the country entered the fifth day of quarantine.

The national director of Epidemiology, Lourdes Moreno, said that the majority of cases are between the ages of 30 and 50.

 Moreno reported that to date 5,222 tests have been carried out in the country, of which 4,436 were negative. The per-capita rate if testing is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world.

As cases continue to rise, authorities expect Covid-19 Modular Hospital to be ready within a month, and to have more beds for intensive care units and mechanical ventilators.

Julio Sandoval, member of the Coronavirus Advisory Committee and national coordinator of intensive care throughout the country, stressed that the maximum peak of hospitalizations is expected in two to three weeks, for which they are already preparing.

He  reported that 100 mechanical fans are about to arrive that will be distributed throughout the territory and would add to some 500 already existing.

Meanwhile, four people have died on the Holland -America cruise ship Zaandam stranded in the Bay of Panama and banned from transiting the canal.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/coronavirus-14-deaths-786-cases-with-peak-2-3-weeks-away

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Canal reduces workforce as trandit cancellations mount

canal.jpg

Posted 28/03/2020

There have been 52 cancellations  of vessels   planning to transit the Panama Canal and  its  10.000 workforce has been reduced by 30 percent for the next 14 days

"We will continue to operate the Canal as long as human capital is not at risk," said  the Administrator  Ricaurte Vásquez  

Asked about the economic projections and a possible decrease in income  Vasquez told La Prensa that everything will depend on the containment of the outbreak worldwide, the measures are taken by the ports of the United States and how quickly the production and industrial zones of Asia are reactivated.

"It seems that the  situation [of the routes] in Asia is normalizing, but what is happening on the east coast of the United States is not yet clear to us," he said

But  "the economy is going to be slower." Consequently, “the operation of the Panama Canal will be negatively affected. How much is what remains to be seen. ”

Six percent  of world trade passes through the Canal  operations are connected with 1,700 ports, and it serves 144 maritime routes and 160 countries

Vásquez, who at the beginning of the year had warned about the great challenge of preserving water and hence the need to establish a fixed charge for the use of this resource, indicated that it will not be until the end of April when there will be a volume of ship traffic that It would respond to current circumstances, which could somehow serve as a barometer for the months ahead.

For fiscal year 2020, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) had calculated revenues of $3.26 billion, and direct contributions to the State of $1.824 billion.

The Panama Canal operates today, and for at least the next 14 days, with a workforce of 3,600 of its 10,000 employees, as part of the temporary and extreme measures carried out in the operations of the route as a result of the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19.

As of March 26, the Canal had confirmed 7 positive cases of coronavirus.  

There are 200 people in voluntary isolation and another 600 workers forced by the Ministry of Health to quarantine their homes, due to contacts with sick relatives or spouses.

Most of the workers have been sent home for two weeks on vacation, while others work in the telework mode, and those who are part of the daily operation in the transit of ships are and will be assigned to work with the same crews. to have the option of isolating the entire group, in case a new case of Covid-19 occurs.

Conversations are being held between the road administration and the workers to make changes in shift rotation, with the aim of having fewer people exposed each time a ship transits.

It will be important to take extreme security measures to continue guaranteeing service to the world in times of such economic fragility and humanitarian crisis.

“We have to serve the ships that request transit and we continue to do that day by day. The coronavirus crisis is very different from any other that we have seen [...] We are generating knowledge as we go along and we will continue to work so that we can allocate resources safely, complying with sanitary regulations in order to serve the customers, ”said Vásquez

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/canal-reduces-workforce-as-trandit-cancellations-mount

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23 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

 

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Gobierno Nacional autoriza paso del crucero Zaandam por el Canal de Panamá

  Flor Cogley L. 
28 mar 2020 - 05:57 PM

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article. (Also, personal opinion is that Panama did the "right thing" in allowing passage of the Zaandam.)

Quote

National Government authorizes passage of the Zaandam cruise through the Panama Canal
Flor Cogley L.
Mar 28, 2020 - 05:57 PM

<<W4Q5IARTAJDW3AS5QWYF2RJJN4.jpg>>

It was decided to give him humanitarian aid that allows him to continue to his destination, Minsa reported. AFP

The national authorities authorized this Saturday, March 28, the passage through the Panama Canal of the Zaandam cruise ship, which is anchored in Panamanian waters, and where the death of four passengers and the contagion by coronavirus of at least two of its occupants

The Ministry of Health (Minsa), through a statement, informed the decision taken jointly by that entity, the advisers to the Covid-19 committee and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

On March 25, when the National Government, through the Minsa, decreed the total quarantine measure in the country, it was determined that those vessels that did not comply with the required sanitary measures could not transit the Canal, this depending on the protection policy of the Panamanian people, due to the pandemic by Covid-19.

<<R3QCDYOFGBDSFJYLACTRA4XYG4.jpg>>
The destination of both cruises is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the United States. Courtesy / AMP

Due to this, the Panamanian authorities had prohibited the passage of the boat owned by the Holland America Line company. However, this Saturday the measure was re-evaluated "in accordance with the health regulations to provide humanitarian aid that allows it to continue to its destination," the Minsa statement said.

"Transit by the interoceanic route will be allowed to continue its trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but it is clarified that no passenger or crew member of this vessel may disembark on Panamanian soil," he adds.

Although the time of the crossing by the international maritime route was not reported, it was reported that the "transit will be carried out in coordination with the entities involved and in compliance with all the biosecurity protocols that are applied."

In this regard, the ACP reported that the ship's transit had not yet been scheduled to transit the Canal.

According to the itinerary, the cruise had reserved passage through the waterway for Wednesday, April 1.

The ACP also noted that by crossing the Canal, Zaandam will save two days to reach Florida, United States, compared to the other alternatives it had considered.

On Saturday morning, 401 asymptomatic passengers were transferred to the Rotterdam cruise ship, also from Holland America Line, reported the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).

Panamanian airspace was also authorized to receive a flight with more humanitarian aid at night to supply the passengers and crew of both cruises, the AMP said in a statement.

Among the needs that the cruise presents, to be able to continue its trip, were fuel, food, medical supplies and oxygen tanks.

<<IXNBRON2KFFJBM3BO6KBZM45QQ.jpg>>
Tender boats were used to transfer asymptomatic passengers from Zaadam to Rotterdam. Courtesy / AMP

Rotterdam traveled from San Diego, in the United States, to Panama to assist the cruise ship with supplies, personnel and test kits for the new coronavirus, after passengers and crew with symptoms of the virus were identified.

According to the company, 53 passengers and 85 crew members reported flu symptoms to the Zaandam medical center.

This ship sailed on March 6 from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and ended in the Bay of Panama after Peru and Chile did not allow passengers to disembark, fearing that there would be cases of the new coronavirus on board, as was finally The medical team once confirmed the diagnostic tests.

https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/gobierno-nacional-autoriza-paso-del-crucero-zaandam-por-el-canal-de-panama/

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One million food bags en route to disadvantaged citizens

food-bags.jpg

Posted 28/03/2020

The distribution of food bags to Panamanians who normally earn their living in the informal sector and during the health crisis cannot go to work began on Saturday, March 28.

“ The team with the f First installment traveled to Nuevo Chagres, on the Costa Abajo de Colón to start delivering complete bags of food. Believe me, we are working 247/7 to bring solutions to those affected by Covid-19, ”said President Laurentino Nito Cortizo at 11:40 pm on Friday.

Food bags are part of the government's “Panama Solidarity” plan, to help low-income people in the midst of the health crisis. The initiative has three components: vouchers and bags of food, medicine, and cooking gas. The benefit, according to Cortizo, will reach one million people and will be distributed house to house during the next days. The barcode of the ID will serve as a debit card.

The food bags contain 5-pounds of bagged rice, beans, flour, sugar, pasta. milk tuna,  and ham slices, among others.

The Ministry of Agricultural Development said that to ensure transparency in the process of supply and distribution of food bags, they work directly with the Comptroller General.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/one-million-food-bags-en-route-to-disadvantaged-citizens

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CLAP FOR PANAMA CORONAVIRUS FRONTLINE HEROES

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Posted 28/03/2020

The nightly clapping and pot banging in support of health care workers and others in the front line in the fight against the coronavirus began in   Italy and quickly spread across  Europe to the UK.

 On Sunday, March 29,  at 7 pm Panamanians are invited to put their hands together in tribute to those still fighting and those who have already given their lives.

A message circulating on social l media says: Please, all of you, Moms, Dads, Grandparents and Great-grandparents, children and people of all ages, go and stand at your front door or on your balcony and clap your hands, shout out loud, bang pots and pans for 2 minutes to give thanks for our health care workers and all first responders. Let them hear how much we appreciate their hard work and how much we love them.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/clap-for-panama-coronavirus-frontline-heroes-1

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At least  2 million  Panamanians could be infected with covid -19

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Posted 28/03/2020

Regardless of the multiple graphs and prediction models that circulate about the pandemic it must be assumed that at least 50% of the Panamanian population (2 million) could become infected between 2020-2021. Say   infectologist Xavier Sáez-Llorens, member of the Ministry of Health (Minsa)  advisory on Covid-19

"Prevention strategies are designed to space the number of infections this year and thus make  time for the disease to be manageable for the health system (avoid exceeding human and hospital resources) and to develop powerful treatments and effective vaccines (prevention permanent), ”said the scientist on his Twitter account.

The infectologist  said that the time in which the number of infected detected doubles every - three, five, or seven days-depends on many factors: time of the epidemic, mitigation measures, number of samples performed, isolation of patients / contacts. "It is not the same for all countries." He said

Until yesterday  , Panama had 786 infected and 14 deaths from the coronavirus. The national director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, Lourdes Moreno, said that the majority of cases continue to be patients between the ages of 30 and 50.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/at-least-2-million-panamanians-could-be-infected-with-covid-19

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Government strengthens security as vandalism threats grow

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Posted 28/03/2020

The government called  in units of a National Naval Air Service (Senan) and the National Border Service (Seafront)early on Saturday, March 28  after reports of vandalism in El Chorillo and other parts of the Panama capital.

The objective, according to the Ministry of Public Security, is to guarantee public order and avoid breaking the rules decreed by the Government to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus that has already left 14 dead.

Messages have been spread threatening looting and public disorder. On the night of last Friday, March 27, vandalism attempts were recorded in El Chorrillo. Authorities do not rule out that community leaders are inciting riots. In videos released through social networks, citizens of El Chorrillo were observed burning tires.

. Some have questioned the total quarantine was decreed without the government guaranteeing access to food for people with limited resources. However, on Friday night distribution of bags of food that are part of the Panama Solidarity program began.

Public Security Minister Juan Pino reported that 18,000 men who make up the Panamanian security forces are across the country guaranteeing order in the streets and  to ensure that the provisions of the health authorities to contain the pandemic are followed
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/government-strengthens-security-as-vandalism-threats-grow

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28 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

 

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Lau Cortés estima saturación del sistema ante 'irresponsabilidad' ciudadana

Para el director de la Caja de Seguro Social la actitud inconsciente en materia de movilidad, marcará la ruta para un incremento considerable de casos diagnosticados con Covid-19

Por Yandira Núñez

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La cuarentena, en la práctica, no ha sido impedimento para el tránsito considerable de conductores y peatones en la ciudad capital.Aris Martínez | La Estrella de Panamá

Este sábado el director de la Caja de Seguro Social, Enrique Lau Cortés, fue claro y enfático: Panamá se enfrenta, de manera inédita, a una de las mayores tempestades sanitarias con la propagación del Covid-19 y de no existir conciencia ciudadana en la disminución de la movilidad, el sistema de salud no podrá responder a la demanda.

Cual sentencia condenatoria, el director de la CSS afirmó: “Si no cambiamos de actitud, en 15 días, la cantidad de pacientes será mayor a la capacidad del sistema para atenderla”.

“Lo que estamos viendo hoy, es producto de una actitud irresponsable al desoír las recomendaciones del sistema sanitario. Hay personas han estado moviéndose de un lado a otro esparciendo este virus a inocentes”, remarcó.

Sin titubeos, el galeno insistió en que “si no cambiamos de actitud, dentro de 15 días, cuando estimamos que nos encontraremos frente al pico máximo de la epidemia, es muy posible que la cantidad de pacientes que se presente sea mucho mayor a la capacidad que tiene el sistema sanitario para atenderla”.

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El Decreto Ejecutivo No. 507 del 24 de marzo de 2020, establece la cuarentena total, con algunas excepciones.Aris Martínez | La Estrella de Panamá

Aunque el pasado 24 de marzo -15 días después de conocerse el primer caso de Covid-19 en Panamá-el presidente de la República, Laurentino Cortizo, anunció el inicio de una cuarentena total y obligatoria de manera indefinida, un sector de la población parece estar desatendiendo al llamado.

“Este mensaje no pretende ser apocalíptico, pero no podemos seguir tratando de evadir el aislamiento a través de la cuarentena que se ha decretado, utilizando cualquier tipo de subterfugio”, dijo.

"De nada sirven todas las acciones sanitarias, tener unidades de cuidados intensivos, hacer un hospital con 100 camas, mandar a buscar médicos de donde no haya (...) si usted ciudadano, no asume su responsabilidad. Ciérrele la puerta al virus”, añadió Lau, recordando que las mascarillas, no hacen al usuario inmune.

En cifras

Luego de que la ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, confirmara el primer diagnóstico positivo de coronavirus en el país el 9 de marzo, los contagios y decesos han ido en ascenso. El último reporte registró un total de 901 casos -115 más que el viernes- y 17 fallecidos. De acuerdo los datos oficiales, a la fecha se han practicado un total de 5,762 pruebas de las cuales el 84% ha arrojado resultados negativos. De los casos confirmados, 127 se encuentran en condición de hospitalización y el 83.6% en aislamiento domiciliario.

Durante la rueda de prensa, las autoridades de gobierno indicaron que hay dos nuevos pacientes que lograron una recuperación total y exitosa. Además, informaron sobre la conformación voluntaria de un equipo importante de estudiantes de medicina, a labores estratégicas para batallar contra el virus.

El viceministro de Salud, Luis Francisco Sucre, recordó que se ha habilitado un robot virtual para atender las dudas concernientes a la contingencia a través del sitio ccs.gob.pa y de la línea de Whatsapp 69972539.

 

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

Quote

Lau Cortés estimates saturation of the system before citizen "irresponsibility"

For the director of the Social Security Fund, the unconscious attitude regarding mobility will mark the way for a considerable increase in cases diagnosed with Covid-19

By Yandira Núñez
Updated 03/29/2020 06:00

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The quarantine, in practice, has not been an impediment to the considerable traffic of drivers and pedestrians in the capital city.Aris Martínez | The Panama Star

This Saturday, the director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau Cortés, was clear and emphatic: Panama faces, in an unprecedented way, one of the greatest health storms with the spread of Covid-19 and in the absence of citizen awareness in the decreased mobility, the health system will not be able to respond to demand.

As a condemnatory sentence, the director of the CSS stated: "If we do not change our attitude, in 15 days, the number of patients will be greater than the capacity of the system to attend to it."

"What we are seeing today is the product of an irresponsible attitude when ignoring the recommendations of the health system. There are people who have been moving from one place to another, spreading this virus to the innocent ”, he remarked.

Without hesitation, the doctor insisted that "if we do not change our attitude, within 15 days, when we estimate that we will be facing the maximum peak of the epidemic, it is very possible that the number of patients that present themselves is much greater than the capacity that the health system has to attend to it ”.

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Executive Decree No. 507 of March 24, 2020, establishes the total quarantine, with some exceptions.Aris Martínez | The Panama Star

Although on March 24 -15 days after the first case of Covid-19 in Panama was known-the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, announced the beginning of a total and mandatory quarantine indefinitely, a sector of the population seems be disregarding the call.

"This message is not intended to be apocalyptic, but we cannot continue to try to evade isolation through the quarantine that has been decreed, using any type of subterfuge," he said.

"All health actions are useless, having intensive care units, building a hospital with 100 beds, sending for doctors from where there are no ... if you are a citizen, do not assume your responsibility. Close the door to the virus" Lau added, remembering that masks do not make the user immune.

In figures

After the Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, confirmed the first positive diagnosis of coronavirus in the country on March 9, infections and deaths have been on the rise. The latest report recorded a total of 901 cases -115 more than on Friday- and 17 deaths. According to official data, to date a total of 5,762 tests have been performed, of which 84% have yielded negative results. Of the confirmed cases, 127 are in hospitalization and 83.6% in home isolation.

During the press conference, the government authorities indicated that there are two new patients who achieved a full and successful recovery. In addition, they reported on the voluntary conformation of an important team of medical students to strategic tasks to fight the virus.

The Vice Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, recalled that a virtual robot has been enabled to answer questions regarding the contingency through the site ccs.gob.pa and the WhatsApp line 69972539.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200329/lau-cortes-estima-saturacion

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Panamá confirma 901 contagiados y 17 muertos por COVID-19

El Gobierno reiteró que no permitirá "alteración del orden público". Este viernes se registraron protestas en varios puntos: denuncian falta de comida

Por Juan Alberto Cajar B.

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El Gobierno panameño decretó el pasado martes cuarentena total y obligatoria en todo el país.EFE
 

Este sábado se registraron 115 nuevos pacientes por COVID-19, con lo que el país acumular un total de 901 contagiados desde que se detectara el primer paciente positivo el pasado 9 de marzo de 2020.

En la ya habitual conferencia de prensa de las 6:00 pm, las autoridades confirmaron que se reportaron este sábado tres defunciones, sumando un de total 17 víctimas fatales por el nuevo coronavirus.

El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) informó que hasta este sábado se han aplicado un total de 5,762 pruebas de la cuales 4,861 resultaron negativas.

Precisaron además que entre los pacientes contagiados, 127 se mantienen hospitalizados y dos más se han recuperado, elevando a cuatro las personas dadas de alta.

La edades de la mayoría de los contagiado, el 64.3%, continúan oscilando entre los 31 y 60 años, mientras que la medida de edad de las defunciones es de 50 años.

Desorden público

En cuanto al alcance geográfico de la enfermedad se mantiene la tendencia de Panamá Metro como la región con el mayor número de contagiados. Le siguen Panamá Oeste, San Miguelito, Veraguas, Chiriquí, Colón y Coclé; mismas regiones que coinciden con un alto número de detenidos por violar el toque de queda.

Al respecto, el viceministro de seguridad, Ivor Axel Pitti, informó que algunas personas siguen sin cumplir la orden de quedarse en casa, muchas de ellas deambulando fuera de los horarios establecidos por las autoridades.

Pitti indicó que en las últimas 24 horas fueron detenidas 579 personas siendo San Miguelito, Panamá, Chiriquí y Panamá Oeste las provincias con el más alto número de infractores, recibiendo multas, algunos detenidos y dos amonestaciones verbales.

Las autoridades volvieron a insistir a la ciudadanía que evite salir de sus hogares, y que de hacerlo, esto sea solo por razones de emergencia.

En tanto, el viceministro de Salud, Luis Sucre, también hizo referencia a las manifestaciones de  algunos ciudadanos que denuncian falta de comida en medio de la cuarentena, calificando esta situación como una "irresponsabilidad".

La noche de este viernes se registraron focos de protestas en los barrios de Barraza y Santa Ana en la ciudad capital, y en Samaria, distrito de San Miguelito. De acuerdo con videos difundidos en redes sociales, los manifestantes exigían a las autoridades la entrega de las ayudas prometidas por el presidente Laurentino Cortizo, para enfrentar la crisis.

La actividad comercial se encuentra paralizada casi en su totalidad desde el pasado martes luego de que el Gobierno ordenara una cuarentena total y obligatoria en todo el país como medida para contener el nuevo coronavirus.

 

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

Quote

Panama confirms 901 infected and 17 killed by COVID-19

The Government reiterated that it will not allow "alteration of public order". This Friday there were protests at various points: they denounce lack of food

By Juan Alberto Cajar B.
Updated 03/28/2020 19:58

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The Panamanian Government decreed last Tuesday total and mandatory quarantine throughout the country.

This Saturday, 115 new patients were registered for COVID-19, making the country accumulate a total of 901 infected since the first positive patient was detected on March 9, 2020.

At the now-regular press conference at 6:00 pm, authorities confirmed that three deaths were reported this Saturday, totaling 17 fatalities from the new coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that until this Saturday a total of 5,762 tests have been applied, of which 4,861 were negative.

They also specified that among the infected patients, 127 remain hospitalized and two more have recovered, raising the number of people discharged to four.

The ages of the majority of those infected, 64.3%, continue to range between 31 and 60 years, while the age measure for deaths is 50 years.

Public disturbances

Regarding the geographical scope of the disease, the tendency of Panama Metro as the region with the highest number of infected remains. They are followed by Panamá Oeste, San Miguelito, Veraguas, Chiriquí, Colón and Coclé; same regions that coincide with a high number of detainees for violating the curfew.

In this regard, the deputy minister of security, Ivor Axel Pitti, reported that some people still do not comply with the order to stay home, many of them wandering outside the hours established by the authorities.

Pitti indicated that 579 people were detained in the last 24 hours, with San Miguelito, Panamá, Chiriquí and Panamá Oeste being the provinces with the highest number of offenders, receiving fines, some detainees and two verbal reprimands.

The authorities again insisted that citizens avoid leaving their homes, and that if they do so, this is only for emergency reasons.

Meanwhile, the Vice Minister of Health, Luis Sucre, also made reference to the demonstrations of some citizens who denounce the lack of food in the midst of the quarantine, describing this situation as "irresponsible".

The night of this Friday there were outbreaks of protests in the neighborhoods of Barraza and Santa Ana in the capital city, and in Samaria, San Miguelito district. According to videos broadcast on social networks, the protesters demanded that the authorities deliver the aid promised by President Laurentino Cortizo to face the crisis.

Commercial activity has been paralyzed almost entirely since last Tuesday after the government ordered a total and mandatory quarantine throughout the country as a measure to contain the new coronavirus.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200328/panama-confirma-901-contagiados-17-muertos-covid-19

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1 hour ago, Moderator_02 said:

 

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Ill fated cruise ship allowed to transit Panama Canal

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Posted 28/03/2020

 After days of being denied entry to ports along the South American coast while loaded with suspected coronavirus cases the beleaguered Zaandam cruise ship,  has been granted permission to transit the Panama Canal

Panama’s government gave the OK on  Saturday, March 28 the vessel; which is anchored in Panamanian waters, and where the. death of four passengers and the contagion by coronavirus of at least two of its occupants has been confirmed

The Ministry of Health (Minsa), said the decision was taken jointly with the advisers to the Covid-19 committee and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

On March 25, when the National Government, through the Minsa, decreed the total quarantine measure in the country, it was determined that vessels that did not comply with the required sanitary measures could not transit the Canal, due to the by Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to this, the Panamanian authorities had prohibited the passage of the boat owned by the Holland America Line company. But on  Saturday the measure was re-evaluated "in accordance with the health regulations to provide humanitarian aid that allows it to continue to its destination," said the Minsa statement.

"Transit by the interoceanic route will be allowed to continue their trip to Europe, but no passenger or crew member of this vessel may disembark on Panamanian soil.”

On Saturday morning, the ship's passengers were transferred to the Rotterdam cruise ship, also from Holland America Line, said the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).

Rotterdam traveled from San Diego, in the United States, to Panama to assist the cruise ship with supplies, personnel and coronavirus test kits.

According to the company, 53 passengers and 85 crew members reported flu symptoms to the Zaandam medical center.

This ship et sail on March 6 from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and ended in the Bay of Panama after Peru and Chile did not allow passengers to disembark.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/ill-fated-cruise-ship-allowed-to-transit-panama-canal-1

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16 hours ago, Jim Bondoux said:

BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS. A neighbor was in an uproar over the announcement that all supermarkets and pharmacies were to be closed for two weeks, with the country on total lockdown. This was some kind of broadcast made on social networks.

About an hour ago the National Police put out a communique, saying that the information was false.

 

Quote

Police deny  fake news of supermarkets and pharmacies  closures

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Posted 28/03/2020

Fake news is traveling around social networks faster than the coronavirus and on Saturday, March 28 The National Police (PN)  stepped in via Twitter to quash the information circulating about a total quarantine extended for 15 days, closing pharmacies and supermarkets. "In the audio, a citizen expresses that said information was provided by his daughter, who supposedly works as the head of s logistics for the institution, information that is false," said the PN. The entity called on all citizens for calm and urges them to follow the recommendations of authorized government sources, which daily provide timely and adequate information.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/police-deny-fake-news-of-supermarkets-and-pharmacies-closures

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National Assembly suspended as three test positive for coronavirus

assemblyj.jpeg

Posted 28/03/2020

Panama’s National Assembly suspended sessions on  Saturday afternoon, March 28, after confirmation that three officials of had tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Board of Directors, chaired by Marcos  Castillero ordered the suspension of the "parliamentary activity" on the recommendation of the health authorities. However, he points out that the activity "may be resumed  to deal with a matter of national interest regarding the public health crisis we are experiencing or other important issues."

He also said that certain administrative units that are important for the operation of the Assembly, as well as the permanent work commissions, "which must meet on issues of national importance," will remain operational.

On  Friday, March 27, the deputies had planned to approve in the third debate the bill 295, which establishes the suspension of the payment of public services for four months and without interest, inattention to the state of emergency declared by the coronavirus. But there was no quorum.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/national-assembly-suspended-as-three-test-positive-for-coronavirus

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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City regarding possible US military evacuation/repatriation flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 3/29/2020 1:19:23 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 29, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 29, 2020)

 

Location: Panama

 

Event: Planned Military Repatriation Flights

 

The Embassy is working on two evacuation options via military flights for those U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) wishing to depart Panama. There are no guarantees of these flights or the space available.

 

There are two U.S. military air flights scheduled for April 2 and 4 with a limited number of seats available; we are in the process of notifying individuals who have already expressed interest in being evacuated from Panama about these flights.

 

·         April 2, departing Panama Pacifico at 9:05 p.m. and arriving Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL, to arrive 1:15 a.m. April 3.

·         April 4, departing Panama Pacifico at 4:53 p.m. and arriving Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX, to arrive 8:43 p.m.

 

Requirements, restrictions, and helpful information:

 

·         The flights are restricted to U.S. citizens and LPRs.  All passengers must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport or I-551 (green card) in order to qualify for a flight.

·         Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.

·         Please note these flights will arrive at U.S. military installations and you will be responsible for coordinating your onward travel, including transit from the base to a commercial airport.  The closest major airport near Fort Walton Beach, FL is New Orleans, LA; and the nearest to San Angelo, TX is San Antonio, TX.

·         If you are ill, you will not be permitted to fly. Prior to departure from Panama and upon arrival to the United States you will undergo a temperature screening.

·         All passengers must sign a promissory note to ensure payment of the required fare.

·         Baggage is restricted to two bags that cannot exceed 70lbs. total.

·         Service animals MAY be authorized on the April 2 flight.  Please be sure to share your needs as appropriate.

·         You may bring limited liquids and snacks.

 

Additional Department of Defense flights are projected through April 9, with limited seating.  The Embassy will continue researching additional military and civilian commercial options.

 

Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Please enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Embassy Panama City security updates: https://step.state.gov/

 

Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama and the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 3/29/2020 1:14:58 PM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 29, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 29, 2020)

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminder

 

Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.

 

On March 28, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 901 cases of COVID-19.

 

On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights.  There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.

 

The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama.  Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.   

 

On March 25, Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine.  The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to conduct essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gas and medicines, or dealing with a medical emergency, based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula.  For U.S. Citizens in Panama without a cedula, they should carry their passports at all times.  The two-hour windows are as follows: 

 

·         Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am 

·         Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am 

·         Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am 

·         Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am  

·         Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm  

·         Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm  

·         Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm  

·         Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm  

·         Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm  

·         Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm  

·         There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

 

Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly.  Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.  

 

On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all international commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days. 

 

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  

 

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.  

 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.  

 

The Government of Panama has implemented enhanced quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these measures.  

 

Schools and universities are closed nation-wide.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.  

 

On March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice 

 

U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.  

 

Actions to Take:  

 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

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Transportistas de carga piden exoneración en pago de peajes en corredores

Aet Elisa Tejera C. 
29 mar 2020 - 02:51 PM

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

Quote

Freight forwarders ask for exemption in payment of tolls in corridors

Aet Elisa Tejera C.
Mar 29, 2020 - 02:51 PM

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The backwardness of some supplier companies to whom transporters move their merchandise jeopardizes the fluidity of the supply chain. Archive

The National Chamber of Freight Transport (Canatraca) asks the National Highway Company (ENA) to exempt the payment of corridors for cargo vehicles while the national health emergency caused by the coronavirus (covid-19) lasts.

Entrepreneurs in freight transportation are running out of financial solvency to buy fuel, buy auto parts, and pay wages and travel expenses for drivers.

René Paredes, president of the Canatraca transport commission, said that the companies that transport their cargo are falling behind in payments due to the covid-19 crisis. "While the transport companies are running out of economic resources to face this crisis and continue with logistics operations," he said.

A trip, round trip by corridor from the province of Colón to Panama City represents $ 18 in toll payments. And more than one trip per day is currently being carried out to guarantee the supply of food, medicine and raw materials, Paredes said. At toll for corridors and highways, they are paying between $ 50 and $ 60, says the Canatraca representative.

He also indicated that a trip from Colón to Panama City and then Chiriquí represents an expense of $ 450 between fuel and the payment of tolls in corridors and highway.

Another aspect that jeopardizes the fluidity of the supply chain is the backwardness of some supplier companies to whom the carriers move their merchandise, Paredes said.

"We need companies to make payments for services provided in the short term, because otherwise we will run out of financial resources," he said.

The transport union also asks the Government to manage the expedited passage in the right lane for cargo drivers. According to the Canatraca representatives, they are spending many hours at the checkpoints.

Another request is that the Government allow them to acquire basic hygiene items (gel alcohol, gloves and masks) to reduce the risk of contagion from drivers. “Right now those items are out of stock and we have nowhere to buy them to supply drivers. We do not ask that they give it to us, but we do make it easier for us to buy ”.

In Panama, more than 350 drivers are dedicated to the transport of cargo, mostly food, medicine and raw materials for the food industry.

Trips to Central America slow down

Regarding cargo transportation from Panama to Central America, he indicated that it has decreased by 80%. In Panama, sanitary measures have been established for the entry of cargo from Central America and some countries such as El Salvador are applying the same to us, as it is the country with the most reported cases of coronavirus, said the representative of Canatraca.

The National Customs Authority (ANA) issued a series of measures to guarantee sanitary control and traceability of cargo entering or leaving the country.

According to the state entity, national and foreign carriers that enter the country must comply with the sanitary measures established by the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

Carriers must fill out the cargo traceability form when entering the country, when unloading the merchandise and when leaving the country. This requirement is mandatory.

ANA also requests that those foreign carriers that do not prove they have a contract with a national company to load merchandise to Central America will have a period of 24 hours to leave the country, once the unloading has been carried out.

Tayra Barsallo, Customs administrator, said that this state entity will guarantee supply throughout the country, with the consent that land transportation will not be affected.

All goods will be allowed to arrive at their destination without mishap, also verifying that the situation is not exploited for the smuggling of agricultural products from other countries, said the official.

 

https://www.prensa.com/economia/transportistas-de-carga-piden-exoneracion-en-pago-de-peajes-en-corredores/

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Ministerio Público solicitará audiencia para imputar cargos por vandalismo

Adelantan cargos penales para las personas aprehendidas tras los actos delincuenciales perpetrados este sábado, 28 de marzo de 2020

Por Mileika Lasso

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Miembros de la Policía Nacional acuden a controlar los disturbios ocasionados por algunos residentes de Curundú y Santa Cruz.Redes Sociales

Ministerio Publico informó este domingo que se encuentra adelantando los procesos penales correspondientes a los actos delincuenciales perpetrados este sábado, 28 de marzo de 2020, en contra de establecimientos comerciales ubicados en la ciudad de Panamá.

Dentro de estos procesos la entidad aplicará y exigirá de manera rígida y severa la imposición de las medidas cautelares y de las sanciones penales correspondientes, considerando la gravedad de los hechos cometidos, aprovechándose de la situación de calamidad y emergencia nacional que enfrenta nuestro país, lo cual hace que dichos actos no sólo sean en perjuicio del patrimonio particular de los comercios afectados sino que ponen en peligro la seguridad e integridad de todos los panameños. 

En el comunicado de prensa, el Ministerio Público informó que agotará todos los medios posibles para identificar y exigir la responsabilidad penal de aquellas personas que hayan actuado como autores intelectuales e instigado-res de estos hechos criminales.

El comunicado se refiere a los hechos donde algunos residentes de Santa Cruz y Curundú mediante una protesta exigían más apoyo de las autoridades ante la falta de recursos económicos, la cuarentena sanitaria y la propagación de la Covid-19; sin embargo, en horas de la noche la peticiones se tornaron más fuerte llevándoles a vandalizar un establecimiento comercial al que le extrajeron alimentos.

Al lugar se presentó la Unidad Antidisturbios de la Policía Nacional, lo desencadenó intercambio de disparos y que terminó con la aprehensión de algunos sospechosos.

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El Ministerio Público hace un llamado a la conciencia de todos los panameños para enfrentar con madurez, conciencia y responsabilidad la situación de emergencia nacional ante la pandemia por el Covid-19 e insta a todos los ciudadanos a denunciar a todos aquellos que quieran provecharse para cometer hechos ilícitos de cualquier naturaleza. 

Más temprano ese mismo día, las principales calles de la urbe capitalina permanecían apostados agentes de agentes del Servicio Nacional Aeronaval (Senan) y del Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (Senafront), para apoyar a la Policía Nacional a vigilar el cumplimiento de la cuarentena sanitaria.

MÁS ACCIONES DE LOS AGENTES DE SEGURIDAD

La acción de Senan y de Senafront se mantiene este domingo en el interior del país. Tal es el caso de Colón donde los agentes velan que la ciudadanía cumpla con el Decreto Ejecutivo 507 que establece la cuarentena, así como brindan diversos tipo de apoyo.

 

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

Quote

Public Ministry will request a hearing to impute charges for vandalism

Criminal charges are advanced for those apprehended after the criminal acts perpetrated this Saturday, March 28, 2020

By Mileika Lasso
Updated 03/29/2020 15:24

<<5e8102aadb6e4.jpeg>>

Members of the National Police come to control the disturbances caused by some residents of Curundú and Santa Cruz.

The Public Ministry reported this Sunday that it is carrying out the criminal proceedings corresponding to the criminal acts perpetrated this Saturday, March 28, 2020, against commercial establishments located in Panama City.

Within these processes, the entity will apply and demand rigidly and severely the imposition of precautionary measures and the corresponding penal sanctions, considering the seriousness of the acts committed, taking advantage of the situation of calamity and national emergency that our country is facing. which makes such acts not only to the detriment of the private assets of the businesses affected, but also jeopardize the safety and integrity of all Panamanians.

In the press release, the Public Ministry informed that it will exhaust all possible means to identify and demand criminal responsibility of those people who have acted as intellectual authors and instigators of these criminal acts.

The statement refers to the events where some residents of Santa Cruz and Curundú, through a protest, demanded more support from the authorities due to the lack of financial resources, the health quarantine and the spread of Covid-19; however, in the evening hours the requests became stronger, leading them to vandalize a commercial establishment that extracted food.

The Riot Unit of the National Police appeared at the scene, was triggered by an exchange of fire and ended with the apprehension of some suspects.

Quote

RELEASE

The Public Ministry (MP) informs the citizens that it is carrying out the criminal proceedings corresponding to the criminal acts perpetrated this Saturday, March 28, 2020, against commercial establishments located in Panama City.

Within these processes, the Public Ministry will apply and rigorously and severely demand the imposition of precautionary measures and the corresponding penal sanctions, considering the seriousness of the acts committed, taking advantage of the situation of calamity and national emergencies facing our country, which means that these acts are not only to the detriment of the private assets of the businesses affected, but also jeopardize the safety and integrity of all Panamanians.

In the same way, the MP will exhaust all possible means to identify and demand criminal responsibility of those people who have acted as intellectual authors and instigators of these criminal acts.

The Public Ministry calls on the conscience of all Panamanians to confront with maturity, conscience and responsibility the national emergency situation before the pandemic by COVID-19 and urges all citizens to denounce all those who want to take advantage to commit wrongful acts of any nature.

Panama, March 29, 2020

The Public Ministry calls on the conscience of all Panamanians to confront with maturity, conscience and responsibility the national emergency situation before the pandemic by Covid-19 and urges all citizens to denounce all those who want to take advantage to commit wrongful acts of any nature.

Earlier that same day, the main streets of the capital city remained stationed agents of agents of the National Naval Air Service (Senan) and the National Border Service (Senafront), to support the National Police to monitor compliance with the health quarantine.

MORE ACTIONS BY SECURITY AGENTS

The action of Senan and Senafront is held this Sunday in the interior of the country. Such is the case of Colón where agents ensure that citizens comply with Executive Decree 507 establishing quarantine, as well as providing various types of support.

 

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200329/ministerio-publico-solicitara-audiencia-imputar-cargos-vandalismo

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