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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

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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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Coronavirus recoveries exceed deaths for first time

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Posted 17/04/2020

As Panama entered its  total weekend  lockdown  in a row  the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported  that on Thursday, April 16, for the first time the number of recovered patients exceeds the number of deceased

The Ministry announced on Friday, that a total of 122 people had recovered, while the number of deceased was 116.

The statistics show that 194 new cases with COVID-19 were reported, for a cumulative figure of 4,210.

There are 3,631 people in home isolation and 341 hospitalized; 247 in the ward and 94 in intensive care.

In two days the cases in intensive care by 12; on Thursday, April 16, 106 cases were recorded and on Friday, 94.

Since March 19, the authorities have been applying a series of measures to contain the spread of the virus. For the second weekend in a row, the total quarantine is implemented on Saturday and Sunday.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/coronavirus-recoveries-exceed-deaths-for-first-time-1

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Scammers move in on programs to aid the poor

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Posted 18/04/2020

Criminal investigations are underway into a series of rip-off scandals linked to government programs to assist Panama’s most disadvantaged people.

 Two examples under investigation by The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office are  a man for allegedly selling masks with the Santo Tomás Hospital logo and another because he had $540 in Panama Solidario plan bonds

A foreigner was arrested in Bella Vista for selling the masks and brought before a judge of guarantees. to legalize his apprehension and request the imputation for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration. The prosecution is asking for a personal precautionary measure.

In a search raid at a residence in the Chame district, by the Public Ministry and National Police arrested a man, who had e appeared on social networks showing a large number of bonus coupons.

According to preliminary reports he  had food purchase bonds, each worth $20, totaling $540.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/scammers-move-in-on-programs-to-aid-the-poor

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Health system faces saturation if  people  ignore  quarantine

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Posted 18/04/2020

If the population does not comply with the quarantine measures to stop COVID-19, the country could face the month of May with more than double the cases currently reported today, and with a practically saturated Health system.

Health Minister Rosario Turner said on Friday, April 17: “If people are not kept at home there is a risk of reaching 10,000 cases on May 12. That is, a calculation of 228 cases per day, in the next 25 days.”

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/health-system-faces-saturation-if-people-ignore-quarantine

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206 quarantine flouting drivers off the road

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Posted 18/04/2020

In the first week of an Executive Decree, which sanctions drivers who violate the curfew and quarantine imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic 206 vehicles were towed and the license of the driver suspended for three months.

On Saturday, April 18 The vice minister of Health, Luis Fernando Sucre, raised the alert about the excessive number of vehicles on the streets, despite the fact that a two-day absolute quarantine was implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We want to remind the entire country, that today and tomorrow, the quarantine is total. Today we have seen a large number of vehicles moving, "said Sucre after touring the Modular Hospital that is being equipped to attend to critical cases of coronavirus.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/206-quarantine-flouting-drivers-off-the-road

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Desinfectan instalaciones de salud en Chiriquí, tras caso positivo de un colaborador

Flor Bocharel Q.
18 abr 2020 - 02:53 PM

https://www.prensa.com/provincias/desinfectan-instalaciones-de-salud-en-chiriqui-tras-caso-positivo-de-un-colaborador/

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Moderator comment (tongue-in-cheek): Shocked, totally shocked, to read that there is a black market for liquor. 🤪

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Cerveceros artesanales piden reconsiderar ‘ley seca’, porque estimula el mercado negro del licor

Juan Luis Batista
18 abr 2020 - 10:57 AM

https://www.prensa.com/economia/cerveceros-artesanales-piden-reconsiderar-ley-seca-porque-estimula-el-mercado-negro-del-licor/

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17 migrantes de un albergue en Darién tienen coronavirus

Juan Manuel Díaz
19 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/17-migrantes-de-un-albergue-en-darien-tienen-coronavirus/

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

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------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/19/2020 9:47:55 AM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 19, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 19, 2020) 

 

Event:  Increased Movement Restrictions, COVID-19 Situation Report, and Reminders

 

On April 16, the Government of Panama announced that both Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, will be full quarantine whereby no one can leave their homes.  For now, the inclusion of Saturday only applies to this weekend.

 

On April 18, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 4,273 cases of COVID-19. 

 

MINSA reminds citizens and residents of Panama that staying at home, not touching your face, and washing your hands frequently are the best means of prevention against COVID-19.  It also requires the use of masks, even homemade ones, when in public. 

 

On April 1, the government expanded movement restrictions based on gender.  Individuals will be permitted to circulate during the same hours determined by ID number as set forth in previous decrees.  However, the expanded restrictions only allow for movements as follows:  

 

·       Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday  

·       Men:  Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturday  

·       Sunday:  Everyone must stay home  

·       Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos) 

 

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 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.  U.S. Citizens in Panama should always carry their passports, and their Panamanian cedula if they have one.  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 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

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.  

  

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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COVID-19 hospital will aid patients and environment

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Posted 19/04/2020

Panama’s  modular hospital in Albrook, built to treat coronavirus patients  has been equipped with  a solar water heating system by the  Panama Solar Thermal Project, executed by the UN Environment Program (Pnuma) and the Ministry of  Energy.

The system based on solar energy generates up to 1,200 liters of hot water per day for hygiene and cleaning of the health center.

Being a 100% renewable technology, the heater will help not only eliminate energy billing for water heating but also avoid carbon emissions.

“ UNEP's priority is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to save lives. In doing so, we want to help countries to respond to this emergency in a sustainable way, avoiding further damage to the environment, ”said UNEP regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Leo Heileman.

The donation includes the installation of a screen with a monitoring system and a flow meter to measure the amount of hot water generated and demonstrate the reduction
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/covid-19-hospital-will-aid-patients-and-environment

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COVID

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Posted 18/04/2020

Early treatment with steroids and heparin has  slowed the death rate of people in hospital with coronavirus   says Julio Sandoval, an intensive care specialist and  member of Panama’s  Coronavirus Advisory Commission,

"These two therapies allow those who are in the hospital ward not to go to the ICU and, in addition, those who are in severe ICU do not present major complications," said Sandoval.

He explained that steroids are used to decrease inflammation caused by the virus, and heparin, to prevent clots in the lungs, heart and kidneys, as was happening with people in China and Italy.

Although the reports detail that the number of deaths  has increased, Sandoval argues that not all deaths occur in the ICU and that there is a tendency to stabilize or control entry  to  these units.

“At least we have managed to remove 30 patients from intensive care and 50 from hospital rooms. This is a light in the tunnel, but we have to wait for the number of positive cases to reach the top and start to decrease, "he said.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/steroids-and-heparin-slowing-rate-of-virus-deaths-1

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Police snag wanted men during curfew sweep

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Posted 19/04/2020

Among the  436 people  arrested on the first day of the weekend total COVID-19 curfew  were   27 minors In parallel operations, the National Police snagged  20 people wanted   for  different crimes In addition, two firearms were removed from circulation. The police warn that they will continue to carry out the operations and arrest anyone who circulates in the streets without a pass.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/police-snag-wanted-men-during-curfew-sweep

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On 4/18/2020 at 8:03 AM, Moderator_02 said:

 

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Farm market closed for second deep cleaning

merca.jpg

Posted 19/04/2020

Merca Panamá. The city’s principal farm market will be closed on  Wednesday, April 22, for a second deep cleaning operation sparked by the Friday announcement that cases of coronavirus have been detected among personnel at the facility. The market will be open are from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm on Monday and Tuesday.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/farm-market-closed-for-second-deep-cleaning

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Forenses practican prueba de Covid-19 al cadáver de un indigente encontrado en la vía pública

Juan Manuel Díaz
19 abr 2020 - 04:20 PM

https://www.prensa.com/judiciales/forenses-practican-prueba-de-covid-19-al-cadaver-de-un-indigente-encontrado-en-la-via-publica/

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Imputan cargo a un extranjero por comercialización irregular de mascarillas con el logotipo del Hospital Santo Tomás

Un juez de paz le impuso una multa de mil dólares a un ciudadano que aparecía en un video diciendo que tenía bonos de Panamá Solidario.
 
Olmedo Rodríguez
18 abr 2020 - 03:36 PM

https://www.prensa.com/judiciales/ministerio-publico-investiga-venta-de-mascarillas-con-logo-del-hospital-santo-tomas-y-uso-irregular-de-bonos/

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206 vehículos removidos con grúa por violar cuarentena

Olmedo Rodríguez
18 abr 2020 - 10:19 AM

https://www.prensa.com/judiciales/206-vehiculos-removidos-con-grua-por-violar-cuarentena/

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¿De qué vivirán los suspendidos?

El Gobierno aún no ha anunciado un plan para los miles de trabajadores, la mayoría de clase media, con contratos suspendidos. Tampoco hay garantía de que cuando se flexibilicen las medidas de cuarentena, estas personas puedan ser reincorporadas a sus puestos laborales

Por Adelita Coriat

El ansiado y esperado día D, finalizada la crisis del Covid-19, traerá consigo una nueva realidad económica tal vez no tan alentadora como el anhelado momento de poder abrir la puerta de casa y dejar atrás la cuarentena.

Pasada la primera quincena de abril, el Ministerio de Trabajo y Desarrollo Laboral (Mitradel) deberá reforzar el personal y la capacidad de respuesta para la avalancha de peticiones por suspensión de contratos y despidos que parecen reproducirse a una velocidad mayor que el contagio del virus. Los empleadores encontrarán sus empresas sin ingresos, y nada garantiza que al abrir las puertas empiecen las ventas.

En una semana, el número de solicitudes de suspensión de contratos se triplicó. El 8 de abril, el Mitradel daba cuenta de 18 mil contratos suspendidos; cinco días después se registraron 33 mil; el 15 de abril pasado se contaron 50 mil, y para hoy es probable que se registren 70 mil solicitudes de suspensión de contratos, esto sin incluir la lista de educadores que engrosará esta fila luego del anuncio del Ministerio de Educación sobre la interrupción de las clases virtuales, que se apareja con el riesgo de que los padres de familia no puedan hacer frente a las mensualidades. Todos estos datos detallados, con el nombre, número de cédula, sitio de trabajo están tabulados en el Mitradel y llegan al despacho de la Presidencia actualizados cada día.

¿Con qué liquidez cuentan las empresas para hacer frente a los compromisos salariales y de otra índole, con los negocios cerrados, a partir del 16 de abril en adelante? Muy poca o nula. ¿Cómo vivirán estas personas a las que se les suspendió el contrato?

Un estudio efectuado en 2015 por la firma PMorgan Chase, que se explica más adelante en este artículo, evidenció que el colchón económico, especialmente de las micro, pequeñas y medianas empresas es menor a un mes, mientras que las compañías más robustas, como el sector de bienes raíces, aguantaría aproximadamente 47 días.

El Gobierno tuvo acceso a $1,300 millones de una línea de crédito que pusieron a disposición las instituciones financieras internacionales. Estos fondos, además de luchar contra el Covid-19, podrían destinarse para el funcionamiento del Gobierno central y planillas, así como para cubrir el costo del plan Panamá Solidario que se traduce en bolsas de comida y bonos para la población más vulnerable. Pero también pueden servir para aportar un ingreso a esos trabajadores con contratos suspendidos.

Aunque hasta el momento el Ejecutivo no ha oficializado la ayuda a estas personas, se debe analizar la capacidad financiera del Gobierno para afrontar esta compensación, como ocurre en otros países.

El Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas facilitó la obtención de fondos del extranjero; qué hacer con ese dinero es una decisión que descansa en el Ejecutivo. El Mitradel tiene la lista identificada de trabajadores cesados. Es posible que el subsidio, a quienes se les ha suspendido el contrato, se active a través del mecanismo de la cédula, el monto, cuándo y cómo, deberá establecerlo el Gobierno.

Si el Ejecutivo otorga una cifra sustituta al salario de los cesados, por ejemplo de $400 mensuales para 100 mil suspendidos, representaría un monto de $80 millones al mes para este sector de la población afectado. En un escenario aún más dramático, suponiendo que se dispare el número de contratos suspendidos y alcance los 200 mil, se requerirán $160 millones tomando en cuenta la imaginaria cifra de $400 dólares por cada contrato suspendido. Si es manejable o no el monto, corresponde al Gobierno y a la mesa económica decidir, lo que definitivamente deberán analizar es cuál sería la situación en caso de no ejecutar esta acción y cómo impactaría a las familias, que ya incluyen a la clase media.

La única medida concreta que se ha anunciado en cuanto al destino de las líneas de crédito a las que obtuvo acceso el país, es el financiamiento para el sector agropecuario y las pymes, que aún se discute si será a través del Banco Nacional y/o la banca local, que suma $300 millones. Este dinero dará un oxígeno a las empresas que necesiten refinanciar sus deudas y requieran liquidez para afrontar el estado en que encuentren sus negocios cuando el Gobierno dé luz verde para su apertura.

“Los siete sectores que se verán mayormente impactados por la pandemia, y que han generado en los últimos cinco años tres de cada cinco nuevos empleos, se contraerán entre un 50% y 60%. Sus finanzas estarán golpeadas, por lo que es casi seguro que no podrán hacer frente a sus compromisos financieros y laborales”, manifestó el consultor empresarial René Quevedo.

Estos sectores representan 936,652 empleos, de los cuales el 45% (423,120) es asalariado. Por otra parte, los trabajadores informales que representan 716,113 y los asalariados que laboran para empresas de 10 o menos trabajadores (296,259) representan más de un millón de trabajadores (1,012,372), que se traduce en el 53% de la fuerza laboral panameña. “En este contexto, el Covid-19 es una real e inminente amenaza a la estabilidad económica, laboral y social de nuestro país”, añade Quevedo.

Entre los sectores más afectados se encuentra el comercio al detal que emplea al 17% de la fuerza laboral, el de logística y transporte (11%), hoteles y restaurantes (9%), servicios administrativos y de apoyo (7%), actividades financieras y de seguros (4%) y entretenimiento (2%).

No obstante, el otro lado de la moneda del Covid-19 genera un impacto positivo sobre actividades relacionadas a la pandemia: salud (10%), negocios desde el hogar (5%), agricultura (4%), explicó Quevedo. (Ver tabla de la Contraloría sobre la población ocupada mayor de 15 años por categoría de ocupación hasta agosto 2019).

En otros países, los gobiernos han optado por subsidiar la falta de ingresos de los trabajadores con un cheque que llega a su casa. Pero en Panamá, a pesar de que el Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (MEF) ha conseguido fondos internacionales para hacer frente a la crisis, el Gobierno cuenta con recursos limitados. Si es verdad que en la actual crisis los gobiernos han adquirido un rol protagónico en salvar las economías e inyectar capital al sector privado, no puede mirarse como una piñata en la que cada quien recoge su bolsa de dulces.

El mes pasado los ingresos del Estado cayeron por la mitad debido a la paralización a consecuencia del Covid-19. Pero para abril, según algunos analistas consultados, podrían caer hasta en un 80%. Entre las medidas que ha adoptado el Ejecutivo para paliar la crisis financiera, se menciona la reducción por $2 mil millones en el presupuesto, paralización de inversiones, además de congelar los salarios y los nombramientos.

Aunque el Gobierno libere la restricción para algunas actividades y permita reabrir algunas áreas de la economía para echar a andar el motor, se establecerá la oferta pero no así la demanda. Esto afectará a un sector de estas empresas y trabajadores que no son sujetos de crédito y no podrán contar con los planes gubernamentales para aliviar la crisis de sus empresas o situación laboral, no así a quienes han cumplido con su historial de crédito y se encontraban al día antes de la pandemia.

La tercera fase de la crisis se centra en la reactivación económica que se acompaña de la recuperación del empleo, que la mayoría, a criterio de Quevedo, será en el sector informal, cuatro de cada cinco nuevos empleos entrarán en esta categoría. A corto y mediano plazo, sugiere el consultor, deberán instrumentarse acciones para estimular el consumo, requisito indispensable para la viabilidad y sostenibilidad financiera de empresas, independientemente de su tamaño, y trabajadores independientes e informales.

¿Cómo van a pagar estas personas sus compromisos bancarios y servicios? Como diría un banquero consultado por este medio, “un banco lo último que quiere es quedarse con la garantía del préstamo de su deudor, o embargar su casa. Todo es revisable, no se trata de venir con un hacha en las manos para quitarle la casa o el negocio a los clientes. Hay que llegar a acuerdos con los deudores, porque también hay que proteger a los depositantes”.

¿Cuánto dinero tiene una empresa para aguantar la crisis de Covid-19?

A medida que pasa el tiempo de cuarentena se agota la liquidez de las empresas para permanecer en el mercado mientras dura la tormenta del virus.

En marzo pasado, la especialista en negocios y comercio al detal Kate Taylor escribió en Business Insider sobre un análisis del Instituto JP Morgan Chase, en el que descubrió que de febrero a octubre de 2015, de 597 mil empresas pequeñas solo la mitad tenía reserva en efectivo lo suficientemente grande como para soportar 27 días sin negocios, la otra mitad no.

JPMorgan Chase, después de hacer los respectivos cálculos, concluyó que la mayoría de ellas se quedaba sin días de amortiguación en un mes. El promedio de efectivo en estas pequeñas empresas fue de 27 días. Una cuarta parte de ellas tenían efectivo para soportar 13 días de reserva.

De acuerdo con la industria calcularon el colchón de liquidez que podrían tener esas empresas para paliar la crisis: Restaurantes: 16 días; servicios de reparación y mantenimiento: 18 días; comercio al detal 19 días; construcción: 20 días; servicios personales: 21 días; comercio al por mayor: 23 días; fabricación de maquinaria: 28 días; servicios de salud: 30 días; manufactura de alta tecnología: 32 días; servicios profesionales: 33 días; servicios técnicos: 33 días y bienes raíces: 47 días.

A manera de comparación, en Panamá, solo en comercio (mayorista y detallista) y hoteles y restaurantes, dos áreas severamente impactadas por el Covid-19, trabajan 451 mil personas

Como aspectos negativos, según el criterio del consultor Quevedo, es previsible un aumento de la desocupación de la población joven y el agravamiento de la delincuencia, en un país que ya vive la más alta tasa de desempleo juvenil y peor explosión delictiva de su historia.

 

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

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What will the suspended live on?

The government has yet to announce a plan for the thousands of workers, most of them middle class, with suspended contracts. There is also no guarantee that when quarantine measures are relaxed, these people can be returned to their jobs

By Adelita Coriat
Updated 04/20/2020 00:00

The long-awaited and awaited D-day, after the Covid-19 crisis ended, will bring with it a new economic reality, perhaps not as encouraging as the yearned-for moment of being able to open the front door and leave the quarantine behind.

After the first fortnight of April, the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel) must reinforce the personnel and the response capacity for the avalanche of requests for suspension of contracts and dismissals that seem to reproduce at a speed greater than the contagion of the virus. Employers will find their businesses with no income, and there is no guarantee that sales will start when doors open.

In one week, the number of requests to suspend contracts tripled. On April 8, the Mitradel reported 18,000 suspended contracts; five days later 33 thousand were registered; Last April 15, 50,000 were counted, and for today it is likely that 70,000 requests for suspension of contracts will be registered, this not including the list of educators that will be added to this row after the announcement by the Ministry of Education about the interruption of classes. virtual, which is coupled with the risk that parents cannot cope with the monthly payments. All these detailed data, with the name, ID number, job site are tabulated in the Mitradel and arrive at the Presidency office updated every day.

What liquidity do companies have to face salary and other commitments, with businesses closed, from April 16 onwards? Very little or nil. How will these people who have had their contracts suspended live?

A study carried out in 2015 by the firm PMorgan Chase, which is explained later in this article, showed that the economic cushion, especially for micro, small and medium-sized companies, is less than a month, while the most robust companies, such as the real estate sector, would hold approximately 47 days.

The Government had access to $ 1.3 billion from a line of credit made available by international financial institutions. These funds, in addition to fighting Covid-19, could be used for the operation of the central government and payrolls, as well as to cover the cost of the Panama Solidarity plan, which translates into food bags and bonds for the most vulnerable population. But they can also serve to provide an income to those workers with suspended contracts.

Although so far the Executive has not made official aid to these people, the financial capacity of the Government to face this compensation must be analyzed, as is the case in other countries.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance facilitated the obtaining of funds from abroad; what to do with that money is a decision that rests with the Executive. The Mitradel has the identified list of dismissed workers. It is possible that the subsidy, for which the contract has been suspended, is activated through the ID card mechanism, the amount, when and how, the Government should establish it.

If the Executive grants a substitute figure to the wages of the dismissed, for example, $ 400 per month for 100,000 suspended, it would represent an amount of $ 80 million per month for this sector of the affected population. In an even more dramatic scenario, assuming the number of suspended contracts soars and reaches 200,000, $ 160 million will be required, taking into account the imaginary figure of $ 400 for each suspended contract. If the amount is manageable or not, it is up to the Government and the economic table to decide, what they should definitely analyze is what the situation would be if they did not execute this action and how it would impact families, which already include the middle class.

The only specific measure that has been announced regarding the destination of the credit lines to which the country has gained access is financing for the agricultural sector and SMEs, which is still being debated whether it will be through the National Bank and / or local banking, which totals $ 300 million. This money will give oxygen to companies that need to refinance their debts and require liquidity to face the state in which they find their businesses when the Government gives the green light for its opening.

“The seven sectors that will be most impacted by the pandemic, and that have generated three out of five new jobs in the last five years, will contract between 50% and 60%. Their finances will be hit, so it is almost certain that they will not be able to meet their financial and labor commitments, ”said business consultant René Quevedo.

These sectors represent 936,652 jobs, of which 45% (423,120) are salaried. On the other hand, informal workers representing 716,113 and employees who work for companies with 10 or fewer workers (296,259) represent more than one million workers (1,012,372), which translates into 53% of the Panamanian workforce. "In this context, Covid-19 is a real and imminent threat to the economic, labor and social stability of our country," added Quevedo.

Among the most affected sectors is retail that employs 17% of the workforce, logistics and transportation (11%), hotels and restaurants (9%), administrative and support services (7%), activities financial and insurance (4%) and entertainment (2%).

However, the other side of the Covid-19 coin generates a positive impact on activities related to the pandemic: health (10%), home-based businesses (5%), agriculture (4%), Quevedo explained. (See the Comptroller's table on the employed population over 15 years old by occupation category until August 2019).

In other countries, governments have chosen to subsidize workers' lack of income with a check delivered to their home. But in Panama, despite the fact that the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has obtained international funds to face the crisis, the Government has limited resources. If it is true that in the current crisis governments have taken a leading role in saving economies and injecting capital into the private sector, it cannot be seen as a piñata in which everyone picks up their bag of sweets.

Last month, state revenues fell by half due to the stoppage as a result of Covid-19. But by April, according to some analysts consulted, they could fall by up to 80%. Among the measures that the Executive has adopted to alleviate the financial crisis, mention is made of the reduction of $ 2 billion in the budget, paralysis of investments, in addition to freezing salaries and appointments.

Although the government releases the restriction for some activities and allows some areas of the economy to reopen to start the engine, supply will be established but demand will not. This will affect a sector of these companies and workers that are not subject to credit and will not be able to count on government plans to alleviate the crisis of their companies or employment situation, but not those who have complied with their credit history and were at the day before the pandemic.

The third phase of the crisis focuses on the economic reactivation that is accompanied by the recovery of employment, which the majority, according to Quevedo, will be in the informal sector, four out of five new jobs will enter this category. In the short and medium term, suggests the consultant, actions should be implemented to stimulate consumption, an essential requirement for the viability and financial sustainability of companies, regardless of their size, and independent and informal workers.

How are these people going to pay for their banking commitments and services? As a banker consulted by this means would say, “the last thing a bank wants is to keep the guarantee of its debtor's loan, or to seize his house. Everything is reviewable, it is not about coming with an ax in your hands to take away the house or the business from the clients. You have to reach agreements with the debtors, because you also have to protect depositors. ”

How much money does a company have to endure the Covid-19 crisis?

As the quarantine time passes, the liquidity of companies is depleted to remain in the market while the virus storm lasts.

Last March, business and retail specialist Kate Taylor wrote in Business Insider about an analysis by the JP Morgan Chase Institute, in which she discovered that from February to October 2015, of 597,000 small businesses, only half had a reservation in Cash big enough to last 27 days without business, the other half not.

JPMorgan Chase, after making the respective calculations, concluded that most of them ran out of buffer days in a month. The average cash in these small businesses was 27 days. A quarter of them had cash to support 13 days of reserve.

According to the industry, they calculated the liquidity buffer that these companies could have to alleviate the crisis: Restaurants: 16 days; repair and maintenance services: 18 days; retail trade 19 days; construction: 20 days; personal services: 21 days; wholesale: 23 days; machinery manufacturing: 28 days; health services: 30 days; high-tech manufacturing: 32 days; professional services: 33 days; technical services: 33 days and real estate: 47 days.

By way of comparison, in Panama, only in commerce (wholesale and retail) and hotels and restaurants, two areas severely impacted by the Covid-19, 451 thousand people work

As negative aspects, according to the opinion of the consultant Quevedo, an increase in unemployment of the young population and an increase in crime is foreseeable, in a country that already experiences the highest rate of youth unemployment and worst criminal explosion in its history.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200420/viviran-suspendidos

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

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------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/20/2020 9:20:34 AM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 20, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 20, 2020) 

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report, and Reminders

 

On April 19, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 4,467 cases of COVID-19. 

 

MINSA reminds citizens and residents of Panama that staying at home, not touching your face, and washing your hands frequently are the best means of prevention against COVID-19.  It also requires the use of masks, even homemade ones, when in public. 

 

On April 1, the government expanded movement restrictions based on gender.  Individuals will be permitted to circulate during the same hours determined by ID number as set forth in previous decrees.  However, the expanded restrictions only allow for movements as follows:  

 

·       Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday  

·       Men:  Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturday  

·       Sunday:  Everyone must stay home  

·       Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos) 

 

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 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.  U.S. Citizens in Panama should always carry their passports, and their Panamanian cedula if they have one.  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 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

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.  

  

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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Panamá prorroga suspensión de vuelos internacionales por 30 días

f08d193c-4f0d-438c-8e61-22ae2469d23f_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg

Autoridad de Aeronáutica Civil prorroga suspensión de los vuelos internacionales. Tomada de @tocumenaero

Odalis Núñez

La Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil de Panamá (AAC) emitió la Resolución N° 053-DG-DJ-AAC que prorroga por 30 días calendario adicionales la suspensión de los vuelos comerciales internacionales.

La resolución que fue publicada en Gaceta Oficial N°29006, señala que la medida comenzará a partir de las 11:59 p.m. del miércoles 22 de abril de 2020, por razones de salud pública.

Dicha medida aplica para los vuelos internacionales de aviación comerciales de pasajeros y aviación general de pasajeros.

Se exceptúan los vuelos humanitarios y aquellos necesarios que transporten medicamentos, productos, equipos médico-hospitalarios, vacunas y cualquier otro insumo de salud pública requeridos para afrontar la pandemia por el COVID-19.

El Gobierno panameño ordenó suspender las llegadas y salidas de vuelos internacionales desde el pasado 22 de marzo, mediante el Decreto Ejecutivo N°244 del 19 de marzo 2020, por lo cual se han realizado vuelos humanitarios y de carga, para trasladar a extranjeros o regresar nacionales varados en otras naciones.

El decreto lleva la firma de Gustavo Pérez, director de la Autoridad de Aeronáutica Civil de Panamá.

 

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

Quote

Panama extends suspension of international flights for 30 days

<<f08d193c-4f0d-438c-8e61-22ae2469d23f_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg>>

Civil Aeronautical Authority extends suspension of international flights. Taken from @tocumenaero

Odalis Núñez • Apr 20, 2020 - 12:26 PM

The Civil Aviation Authority of Panama (AAC) issued Resolution No. 053-DG-DJ-AAC that extends the suspension of international commercial flights for an additional 30 calendar days.

The resolution that was published in Official Gazette No. 29006, states that the measure will begin at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday April 22, 2020, for public health reasons.

Said measure applies to international commercial aviation passenger flights and general passenger aviation.

Humanitarian flights and those necessary that transport medicines, products, medical-hospital equipment, vaccines and any other public health supplies required to face the pandemic by COVID-19 are excepted.

The Panamanian Government ordered to suspend the arrivals and departures of international flights since last March 22, through Executive Decree No. 244 of March 19, 2020, for which humanitarian and cargo flights have been carried out, to transfer foreigners or return nationals stranded in other nations.

The decree is signed by Gustavo Pérez, director of the Civil Aeronautics Authority of Panama.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/04/20/aac-prorroga-suspension-panama/2789584.html

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image.png

Senafront pide a los panameños utilizar las vías autorizadas

Telemetro Reporta •

El Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (Senafront) en conjunto con las autoridades costarricenses le pidieron a los panameños utilizar las vías autorizadas y no los pasos clandestinos, de lo contrario serán sancionados.

 

 

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

Quote

<<image.png>>
Senafront asks Panamanians to use authorized routes

Telemetro Reporta • Apr 20, 2020 - 09:02 PM

The National Border Service (Senafront) in conjunction with the Costa Rican authorities asked Panamanians to use the authorized routes and not the clandestine passages, otherwise they will be sanctioned.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/04/21/senafront-pide-a-los-panamenos-utilizar-las-vias-autorizadas/2790976.html

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Moderator comment: If you need an "upper" right now, you probably do not want to read this article.

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Distanciamiento social intermitente, la clave para detener el virus

La OPS advirtió que la enfermedad Covid-19 ‘todavía tiene que golpear con toda su fuerza la región de América Latina y el Caribe’.
 
Aleida Samaniego C. Urania Cecilia Molina
21 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/distanciamiento-social-intermitente-la-clave-para-detener-el-virus/

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Some 205 thousand students could miss the school year

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