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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

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On 6/14/2020 at 12:17 PM, Moderator_02 said:

Moderator comment: Below news arricle is very interesting reading because it is insight into President Corizo's thoughts about things that are likely to happen in the very near future here in Panama. Note in particular the last section about the [non-]reopening of Tocumen International Airport on June 23rd. Highlighting in the translation added by the Moderator.

 

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

https://m.panamaamerica.com.pa/sociedad/presidente-laurentino-cortizo-pospone-apertura-del-bloque-tres-y-anuncia-cambio-de-dos

I haven't been able to see anything regarding not opening Tucumen as previously planned. Not even La Prensa has mentioned keeping the airport closed. Can you verify somewhere that Tucumen will remain closed after the 23rd? Thank you.

 

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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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1 hour ago, Panama Bill said:

I haven't been able to see anything regarding not opening Tucumen as previously planned. Not even La Prensa has mentioned keeping the airport closed. Can you verify somewhere that Tucumen will remain closed after the 23rd? Thank you.

We, too, are looking for corroborating and/or elaborating information from a reliable source, but not finding it. Panama America is not known as a fake news source. We are spending energy on this because this is a big deal. If something doesn't surface in the immediate future then we will post the results of our research.

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90% de camas de UCI en la ciudad capital están ocupadas

En el país hay 551 hospitalizados : 449 en sala y 102 en UCI. Desde abril no se superaban los 100 pacientes en UCI.
 
Aleida Samaniego C.
16 jun 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/90-de-camas-de-uci-en-la-ciudad-capital-estan-ocupadas/

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Virus fight leaves medics exhausted and sick

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Posted 15/06/2020

Exhausted and sick health personnel is another reality of the spread of COVID-19, in Panama since it arrived on March 9.

Xavier Sáez-Llorens , an infectologist and member of the to Covid-19 Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to attend, revealed on  TVN that the exhaustion led to an "urgent" meeting with the health authorities.

He said that the medical and health personnel are exhausted and sick from Covid-19, a situation that, will force training new doctors, hire the unemployed and even bring foreign doctors to help while the health crisis lasts.

Despite the fatigue, the work carried out by medical and health personnel keep the country with the lowest case fatality rate in the world, a behavior that in his opinion shows "That they are sacrificing for something."

Sáez-Llorens said we must begin to show the work that is done in hospitals, laboratories, and other settings to give the best care to those affected by Covid-19 because it is these professionals who are on the front line of care and are at risk of contagion.

The exhaustion produced by long working hours since the appearance of Covid-19 is a problem identified by leaders of associations of health professions The president of the National Association of Nurses, Ana Reyes de Serrano said they have already warned the Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, and the director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau Cortés .

De Serrano explained that, after working 12 consecutive hours for more than 70 days, the nurses began to suffer problems in the muscles, bones and in the urinary system, in addition to contracting the disease.

She said that they do not know the number of members who contracted the disease, because the Ministry has not provided that figure, despite requests., Unofficially they place the figure of about 80 infected nurses. The guild has 6,623 members, of which 5,400  are active.

The coordinator of the National Negotiating Medical Commission, Domingo Moreno, said that the problem of staff exhaustion will not be solved in the short term; on the contrary, it is going to get worse with the challenge of more cases.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/virus-fight-leaves-medics-exhausted-and-sick

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OPINION: Pandemic  needs intelligent action

Posted 15/06/2020

The numbers of coronavirus infections are alarming the population. The health crisis requires comprehensive responses, including attention to growing economic needs, a quick response to the most urgent social deficiencies and a great deal of intelligence in coordinating State action.

 An example: if public transportation has become a source of contagion, then it is time to convert  former   school buses to transport Panamanians in a dignified and healthy way. Nor do we deserve that state advertising is a mere propaganda tool and not a health education tool. 

There is an urgent need to reprioritize public spending and allocate it to improve contagion prevention and traceability capabilities, which together with responsible social policy interventions should help reduce contagion.

 Health personnel who are showing their face and paying even with their lives must know that they are not alone and that public opinion is aware of their effort and the great deficiencies they face.

 The State is all of us, civil society, private companies and the government. The combination of resources and capabilities can solve this crisis. We are all in the same boat and what is indicated is to row in the same direction- LA PRENSA, June 15

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-pandemic-needs-intelligent-action

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761 vehicles blocked from Herrera

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Posted 15/06/2020

A total of 761 vehicles and 1,313 people were turned back by police in the first two weeks of June at the Santa María and Cruce de Ocú health centers in Herrera province.

In the 48 hours -which ended at six am on Monday- 107 vehicles and 155 people who could not justify their entry to the Herrera province, and therefore Los Santos were  blocked

Since March 19, when restrictive mobilization measures began, 2,272 people have been arrested for curfew  violations

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/761-vehicles-blocked-from-herrera

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14 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

We, too, are looking for corroborating and/or elaborating information from a reliable source, but not finding it. Panama America is not known as a fake news source. We are spending energy on this because this is a big deal. If something doesn't surface in the immediate future then we will post the results of our research.

Thank you for your response. Perhaps Panama America misquoted the president, or misunderstood what he said. On the other hand maybe Cortizo was expressing just the idea of keeping the airports closed and then decided not to do it.

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9 hours ago, Panama Bill said:

Thank you for your response. Perhaps Panama America misquoted the president, or misunderstood what he said. On the other hand maybe Cortizo was expressing just the idea of keeping the airports closed and then decided not to do it.

We are watching closely, as this is a big deal. We currently are thinking maybe a misquote.

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As of late Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 - 21,422 infected, 448 deaths, 13,766 recoveries. 93,646 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

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Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama. Still going up.

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Alto Boquete remains at 14 confirmed cases, and Bajo Boquete remains at 3 confirmed cases. Minsa reports the 14 cases in Alto Boquete, and the 3 cases in Bajo Boquete are recovered. That means no active coronavirus cases in the Boquete area.

alto boquete.jpg       Note: No graphic representation for Bajo Boquete available.

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David reporting 217 cases. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

divala.jpg             nuevo mexico.jpg

https://geosocial.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/2c6e932c690d467b85375af52b614472

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Panama's ICUs at breaking point

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Posted 16/06/2020

As the number of cases of coronavirus, continues to escalate The main hospitals in the metropolitan area of Panama are near breaking point with intensive care units (ICUs) at more than 90% capacity.

Julio Sandoval, the national coordinator of Intensive Care Units and member of the Coronavirus Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) at a  conference "Covid-19 in Panama", organized by the Association of Medical Students from the University of Panama, said that across the country there is a 39% (179) availability of beds for ICUs and semi-intensive care units, out of a total of 458.

However, said  Sandoval this percentage is misleading because in the metropolitan region the main hospitals are at the limit, even with the areas enabled in private hospitals to serve patients with Covid-19. The projections prepared by the Minsa advisory team show that, if the transmission of Covid-19 is not stopped, by June 30 there will be 1,337 new hospitalizations in the ward and 334 in the ICU.

The news comes as the whiff of scandal continues around the flawed purchase of ventilators, and the construction of a modular hospital intended to treat coronavirus patients 

Until Monday, the Minsa reported a total of 551 hospitalized, of which 449 are in the ward and 102 ine ICU.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama039s-icus-at-breaking-point-1

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736 new cases in one day risks hospital saturation

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Posted 16/06/2020

As hundreds of new cases of COVID-19 are detected daily, Panama health authorities are increasingly concerned about the capacity of medical facilities. Dr. Gladys Guerrero, coordinator of nosocomial infections at the Social Security Fund (CSS), said that hospitals cannot be allowed to become saturated.

On Monday, June 15,  there were 736 new bringing the accumulated total since the beginning of Match to 21,422 with and 448 deaths

According to the epidemiologist, there is currently active surveillance to capture and isolate positive cases and trace their contacts.

The strategy is carried out door to door in the most affected communities.

The figures are likely influenced by the recent opening of the second recovery phase and many flooded onto the streets and flouted distancing guidelines leading the Health Ministry to reimpose control by gender, day, and ID in Panama and Panama West.

Guerrero said  Monday that at the moment many cases are minor, but concern is rising in the population that is at risk and may need to be confined to hospitals.

" We cannot allow the capacity of our hospitals to be saturated, " she stressed. For the epidemiologist, the behavior of the virus has been constant, however, there are researchers conducting studies to see if it has mutated.

Guerrero reiterated the authorities' interest in interrupting the COVID-19 transmission chain "The moment we interrupt the transmission chain, the virus will not find anyone else to infect, " she said.

She said that there is limited human resources, some are tired, but on their feet, responding responsibly to give everything in their power and manage the situation.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/736-new-cases-in-one-day-risks-hospital-saturation

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Call  for government aid to floundering  regional airlines

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Posted 16/06/2020

The International Air Transport Association ( IATA ) made an "urgent" call to the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to take specific measures to help aviation, an industry that has been paralyzed for more than three months and runs the risk of "collapse".

Pedro Heilbron  who heads Copa Airlines which has over 100 planes parked at Tocumen International Airport, dubbed the “hub of the Americas,    estimates that it will take three years for the aviation industry to recover from the pandemic bur has said the company will not seek a government bailout.

"No sector has the liquidity to stay afloat during a four or five-month shutdown. We recognize the efforts made by the authorities in the fight against this pandemic, and we understand what countries are facing, but air transport is essential for our region and cannot be allowed to disappear, "said Peter Cerda, regional vice president for IATA.

It is not the first time that IATA has warned of the devastating  consequences of having an  industry paralyzed for so long, as a result of the  Covid-19 pandemic

Now, through a statement issued this Monday, June 15 it said that the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean should continue to be supportive of aviation, an industry that before Covid-19 contributed $167 billion to the regional economy and generated 7.2 million jobs throughout the region.

"The forecasts show a drop of at least $77 billionsin air transport and its contribution to gross domestic product, with more than 3.5 million jobs at risk," said Cerda.

Cerda specifically referred to Panama, where air transport created almost a quarter of a million jobs, and its main terminal, Tocumen airport, offering connections to almost 90 international destinations before the pandemic.

"It is worrying that the government has so far failed to take any firm steps to provide tangible support to the industry," he stressed.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/call-for-government-aid-to-floundering-regional-airlines

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WORLDVIEW: Life after the pandemic

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Posted 16/06/2020

By Jonathan Power

Perspective and proportion are everything in this Pandemic of Fear that now consumes our attention and our daily lives.

With very rare exceptions the media ignores this. As I write there have been world-wide 436,005 deaths from coronavirus. But a remarkable, barely noticed, 4,137,712 have recovered.

 In comparison the number who died last year from AIDS/HIV is 770,000. In its worst year- 2004- it claimed 1,600,000 lives.

The number who died from alcohol consumption last year was 3 million.  Smoking claimed 8 million deaths last year. The number from malaria was almost the same as deaths from Corona- 416,000. The number who died in motor accidents was 1.35 million. Traffic injuries are now the top killer of people aged five to twenty-nine.

The screamers must stop or at least get a hold of themselves- except in countries like India and Brazil where the Coronavirus is in danger of becoming out of control.

A simple question is raised: Why aren’t we putting the same energy as we are into the Coronavirus into defeating AIDS/HIV, alcoholism, smoking, malaria infections, and traffic accidents? Why? Why? Why? The human being is supposed to be rational or, at least, attempting rationality.

Alcohol could be much higher priced by taxation and the number of sales outlets limited- and only opened for a limited number of hours a day and closed on Sunday, as in Sweden. Cigarettes should also be taxed much more and their packets should have the gory pictures on one side as practiced in Europe, but with brown cardboard on the back, as not practiced. The punishment for smoking underage should be raised. The use of nets in malaria-infested countries should become mandatory.

It is when we start to discuss car accidents that the argument becomes more complex. Tobacco and alcohol are not necessary for life. (Neither are drugs but drug deaths are only 166,000, contrary to the general, often hysterical, perception.) But cars and trucks in many places are.

1.35 million motor deaths are far more than deaths from alcohol and nearly three times as many who die from the Coronavirus. The number is growing fast. This figure doesn’t include the number who are injured, not killed, but some grievously. That’s 50 million people.

In the more developed countries, death rates caused by vehicles have been falling. In the US by a third since the middle of the last century. Even so, 36,560 died last year- about as many who were killed by guns. Improved car safety, pioneered by Sweden’s Volvo, and tougher drinking-driving laws have had a good impact.

Set against that the increase in bicycling and walking has increased America’s traffic accidents. Bike accidents totaled 7,140 in 2018, a 41% increase in a decade.

The poorer Third World countries which have just 1% of the world’s motor vehicles have 13% of the deaths. Ethiopia has ten times per head the number of traffic deaths than Sweden.

Traffic deaths

Janette Sadik-Khan, a former New York commissioner of the department of transportation, and her deputy, Seth Solomonow, in their book, “Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution” argue that it is roads that are the main problem.

Traffic deaths in the US, they write, were 26 in 1899 and rose to 29,592 in 1929. As car numbers rose engineers widened roads both in the countryside and in the cities. As we have known for a long time traffic expands to fill the space available. Until very recently this observation was ignored. Interestingly, New York has a much lower number of deaths than other US cities- its streets are narrow, impossible to widen, with traffic forced to move slowly. It also has wide sidewalks  unlike many other urban areas. In central Dubai, they have very few sidewalks at all.

Research has shown that cyclists and pedestrians die not because they don’t wear helmets or don’t take care but because of the behavior of vehicle drivers- ignoring zebra crossings, speeding, being drunk or drugged and also because of using a mobile phone while driving.

When the two authors worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg they opted for means that were simple and cost-effective. “Instead of dreaming up megaprojects, we took a long, hard, look at the streets we already had, this time from the perspective of the most vulnerable people”. Between 2007 and 2013 they organized the redesign of lengthy portions of 137 streets and revamped 113 intersections. They expanded the space to walk, decreased crossing distances for pedestrians, and made streets navigable enough for children and old people. Speed limits were reduced, streets narrowed and monitoring cameras introduced. 2.5 acres of Times Square became car-free. Broadway became a walkers’ haven.

All these reduced traffic deaths in the city by 44%. There was a reduction of 37% in pedestrian deaths.

Mexico City’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, did much the same with similar good results. Before the city had been one of the world’s most dangerous. In two years the number of bike riders killed annually fell by 78%.

If the transport and traffic authorities were given the same budgets now being spent on the lesser killer, Coronavirus, they would save the lives of many more than are being saved from the virus.

 Of course, making significant changes in traffic problems are more straightforward than dealing with the Coronavirus, drinking or tobacco smoking, AIDS/HIV and malaria. These are more demanding. But there is no good reason why a lot more progress shouldn’t be made with these five as has happened with traffic deaths in the developed countries

This doesn’t mean cutting the budgets for overcoming the effects of the Coronavirus. It means increasing them for these other needs. The money is there- in reduced arms spending, in taxing the ever-growing high incomes of the well-to-do and the large sums often inherited, in taxing inflated salaries in parts of industry and banking, in imposing high taxes on drinking and smoking, and in much higher taxes on car and plane fuel. (We also mustn’t forget the need for financing the defeat of climate-warming.)

Corona has been a useful human experience. It has shown what in severe crisis governments can do if they have to. Now we need a restructuring of society’s priorities. We need a road map to the future. Thus far only a handful of governments have tried to make one. Humanity has been given a warning. We must act while the iron is hot. As the great Afro-American novelist James Baldwin wrote, “It will be the fire next time”.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/worldview-life-after-the-pandemic

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Fat cat government workers thrive - private sector jobless

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Posted 16/06/2020

While  the pandemic   has led to the suspension of more than 245,000  worker contracts, with more job losses to follow as hundreds of businesses put up their shutters for the last time have, a “privileged  class of 233 218  government officials, with  a monthly tab  of $358.4 million continue to serve during the “austerity”

In nations such as Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and New Zealand they have applied cuts to public spending including decreased salaries for higher echelon figures decrease in higher salaries of the government gear.

Colombia, lowered emoluments between 10% and 15% for four months to the officials who earn the most.

In  Paraguay there was a cut of up to 25% in government wages. Uruguay applied something similar.

 The Mexico government released  10 under-secretaries and cut salaries of high-profile officials by 25%.

New Zealand reduced wages by up to 20%, including Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern, and ministers,

Specialists in public policy and government affairs have suggested that the Laurentino Cortizo government save the payment of  subsistence allowance and other non-essential expenses to  fat cat  members of boards of directors “serving the people”

David Montenegro, lawyer, and public, Administrative Career Direction between 2014 and 2019 said: "The hiring of political appointments must be suspended and the hiring must be reestablished as soon as possible by means of a merit contest. This pandemic demonstrated that the country needs honest and trained officials who work for the country and not for a political party, "he said.

For some, says La Prensa  the last alternative is a method with a high probability of non-compliance. The measure assumes that after the state of emergency, when the official returns to the institution, he will have to pay the work with work. Who guarantees that this will be accomplished?

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/fat-cat-government-workers-thrive-private-sector-jobless

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OPINION: Public servants must share the pain

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Posted 16/06/2020

Due to the pandemic, private companies have made difficult decisions, such as reducing expenses, reducing working hours, granting furloughs, and, unfortunately, suspending contracts together with the separation of employees. Sacrifice and economic pain in the family have intensified with the loss of income of informal workers, micro-entrepreneurs, and independent contractors, who do not have savings or a certain source of financial assistance.

In contrast, the national government has increased payroll costs, maintains a large number of public servants with travel expenses and mobilization expenses that are not justified, and the same continues to earn 100% of their salary without performing their duties, all of the above despite the significant reduction in income received by the State as a result of the pandemic.

If the health control measures must be prolonged, either due to a spike in infections or eventually to prevent a flare-up, the government will inevitably have to make adjustments to the payroll, in keeping with the new reality of its income. To get ahead, the sacrifice belongs to everyone.- LA PRENSA, June 16

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-public-servants-must-share-the-pain

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Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020

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Tocumen Airport prepares reopening plan, waiting for the Government authorization

Tocumen International Airport (AITSA) works on the Adaptation and Biosafety Plan for its reopening and attention to passengers once authorization is given by the National Government, through the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama .
 
According to a statement from AITSA, the plan contemplates the provision of resources and procedures, aimed at achieving sanitary measures within the terminals, while continuing to address aspects related to the regulations to normal operations.

Raffoul Arab, general manager of AITSA said that an airport advisory team and collaborators are preparing the plan to restart operations, whose route allows the normalization of all air and commercial activities progressively under strict biosecurity measures required by the Minsa due to the COVID-19.

“The Airport began the installation of technological equipment to control body temperature, such as thermal cameras at different points of entry to the terminal, adaptation of space in areas with acrylic counters, placement of signage in waiting rooms and floors for the purpose of complying with the guidelines for physical distances between passengers, in addition to an aggressive plan for cleaning and sanitation, alcohol-based gel dispensers, among others", said Arab.

He emphasized that "the restart of operations is designed so that each phase is completed in a timely manner, with the least possible damage."

The manager's statements were made during the repatriation of 150 North American citizens on a humanitarian flight at Tocumen International Airport.

The country's main air terminal handles more than 16.6 million passengers per year, 71% in transit, to 94 destinations in 39 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
 

https://panatimes.com/tocumen-airport-prepares-reopening-plan-waiting-for-the-government-authorization

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Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020

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4-year-old girl dies of covid-19 in Chiriquí

A 4-year-old girl from the province of Bocas del Toro died this Saturday morning at the José Domingo de Obaldía maternal and child hospital in David, Chiriquí, after respiratory problems and testing positive for covid-19 .

The little girl had been hospitalized for several weeks, since she had arrived with respiratory problems and apparently her condition worsened. Despite the efforts of the medical staff, the little girl passed away.

In the province of Chiriquí, there are 18 deaths from covid-19, of which 16 are indigenous and 2 are imported, the most recent being the minor one.

The new coronavirus has left a total of 429 dead in the country, and total cases reached 20,059 according to the official report on June 13.

 

https://panatimes.com/4-year-old-girl-dies-of-covid-19-in-chiriquí

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Panama Canal transits down 21% in May

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Posted 15/06/2020

Transits of the Panama Canal fell 21% , in May reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on waterway operations with a decrease in in world maritime trade.

May closed with a total of 937 transits, a reduction of 21% compared to what was projected at the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2019.

In April there were 1,222 transits. There were 163 cancellations in April, and  97 in May..

"During the first half of May, waiting times began to decrease and we observed a lower number of transits," said the canal administration.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-canal-transits-down-21-in-may

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

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------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/17/2020 8:43:49 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020) 

 

Location: Panama 

 

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flight 

 

At present the Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States.  As the COVID-19 situation develops, our ability to provide such assistance may become more limited or even unavailable.   There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future.   If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to remain where you are for the foreseeable future. 

 

The Embassy arranged for commercially-operated humanitarian flights for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who had expressed wishes to depart Panama.  These flights are now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.  

 

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights are: 

 

·     June 19 United Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 12:30 p.m. for Houston, TX, to arrive at 4:39 p.m. 

·     June 20 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 10:00 a.m. for Miami, FL, to arrive 2:15 p.m. 

  

Flights that are sold out may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines for any openings. 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airlines and the same routes.  All domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

If you have not already done so, please express your interest in consideration for future evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov .  If you have previously expressed your interest, you do NOT need to resubmit. 

 

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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Panamá prorroga por 30 días suspensión de vuelos internacionales

 

83d9ecb3-e855-406c-bb68-4ab2258ae90d_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_1003928.jpg

Vista del Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen.. @tocumenaero

RI

La Autorida Aeronáutica Civil de Panamá prorrogó por 30 días la suspensión de vuelos internacionales de aviación comercial y general de pasajeros, por motivos de salud pública ante la pandemia de COVID-19.

VER RESOLUCIÓN

Este plazo será contado a partir de las 11:59 p.m. del 22 de junio de 2020.

Panamá suspendió las llegadas y salidas de vuelos internacionales desde el 22 de marzo de 2020, y desde entonces la AAC ha emitido varias resoluciones extendiendo esta medida.

Se exceptúa de esta restricción los vuelos humanitarios, así como los necesarios para transporte de carga, productos y equipos médicos e insumos.

 

78785.pdf

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

Quote

Panama extends for 30 days suspension of international flights

<<83d9ecb3-e855-406c-bb68-4ab2258ae90d_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_1003928.jpg>>

View of the Tocumen International Airport .. @tocumenaero

RI • Jun 17 2020 - 09:15 AM

The Civil Aeronautical Authority of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial and general passenger aviation flights for 30 days, for reasons of public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE RESOLUTION

This term will be counted from 11:59 p.m. June 22, 2020.

Panama suspended the arrivals and departures of international flights since March 22, 2020, and since then the AAC has issued several resolutions extending this measure.

Humanitarian flights are excepted from this restriction, as well as those necessary to transport cargo, medical products and equipment, and supplies.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/06/17/panama-prorroga-30-dias-suspension/2957424.html

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/17/2020 10:50:59 AM
Subject: Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020)  

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation - Airport Closure Extended

 

On June 17, the Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights for an additional 30 days through July 22.  The previous exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines remain in place. 

 

On June 16, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 21,962 cases of COVID-19. 

 

On June 7, MINSA published a resolution regarding movement restrictions in the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste.  These provinces returned to movement restrictions based on gender and ID number beginning June 8.  Gender restrictions allow for movements as follows: 

 

  • Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
  • Men:  Tuesday and Thursday.  Saturday until 5pm 

 

Additionally, movement are restricted to a two-hour window based on the last digit of each individual’s cedula number or passport number if an individual is not a citizen of Panama.  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 7:00am and 10:00am (gender restrictions still apply). 
  • Weekend curfew for the month of June is from from 5:00pm on Saturday until 5:00am on Monday. 
  • Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos) 
  • Parents may take one child per family outside near their home or in the social areas of their apartment building during the two-hour window of the accompanying parent. 

 

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.  Other provinces in Panama will continue with the curfew that began on June 1 (see details below).   

 

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.  

 

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 June 11, MINSA announced that a health cordon has been declared in the community of Iber-Gun, in the township of Cristobal, Colon Province.  Health cordons were also announced on June 4 for the communities of Pantanal and Finca 1 in Changuinola, and Solución in Bocas del Toro. 

 

Effective June 8, Panama’s National Immigration Service opened and started a 90-day period during which foreigners may submit applications to maintain or adjust their immigration status in Panama without incurring fines.  This applies to applicants whose immigration status expired between March 13 and June 7.  For more details see www.migración.gob.pa

 

On June 2, 2020, MINSA published a resolution stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.  Any individual not wearing a mask is subject to possible detention and fine.

 

Starting June 1, the Government of Panama ended the quarantine with movement restrictions based on ID number and gender.  This change remains in effect for all provinces except Panama and Panama Oeste.  For all other provinces, the quarantine and two-hour movement windows were replaced by a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, Monday through Sunday.  Children are also free to move about from 4 pm to 7 pm, accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caretaker.  The use of masks and social distancing are still required.  This new flexibility does not permit social group activities, cultural events, festivals, visits to the beach, contact sports, or any other activity that violates social distancing.  The Government of Panama still maintains security checkpoints on the roads and prohibits most interprovincial travel.  

 

Also on June 1, the second economic block opened. The sectors included in that block are: public construction, mining of non-metals, and industry.  Religious sites, parks, social areas, and sporting areas are also allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity.  For more details about the Government of Panama’s plan to gradually reopen the economy, see the infographic in this tweet from MINSA or go to the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page (see link below).  The Government of Panama will evaluate every two weeks, but the date for opening additional business blocks remains unknown.

 

On April 21, the Municipal Council of the City of Panama passed a new decree stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.  Panamanian National Police and Municipal Police will enforce the decree which extends throughout the metropolitan area of Panama City. 

 

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

 

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. 

 

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.

 

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. 

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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-19 for 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 concerning humanitarian flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/17/2020 1:04:13 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 17, 2020) 

  

Location: Panama 

  

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flight 

  

The Embassy has identified one upcoming humanitarian flight with seats available. The flight is operated by Spirit Airlines (flight number NK 6511) and is scheduled for June 25.  There are no additional flights planned at this time, so if you desire to return to the United States, it is important to book immediately.  Any traveler with the appropriate passport/visa to permit entry into the United States who wishes to depart Panama is eligible to purchase a ticketTravelers should carefully plan their onward travel as hotel options in Fort Lauderdale may be limited.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

The Embassy is aware that the Government of Panama has approved in-bound flights from the United States to Panama to provide Panamanian citizens and other qualified travelers the opportunity to travel to Panama.  Questions about qualifications necessary and approval for passengers on these flights should be directed to the Embassy of Panama, in Washington, D.C.  Airlines operating these flights, such as Copa Airlines, may occasionally be able to offer seats on the out-bound flights to some passengers.  Please contact the airline offering these seats for sale directly about those flights.  The U.S. Embassy in Panama will continue announcing all flights approved by the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as humanitarian flights to the United States. 

 

NOTE – Because there are many seats available on the upcoming flight, no additional humanitarian flights to the United States are planned at this time.  We encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to ensure you are able to return to the United States.  U.S. citizens who choose not to depart on these flights should prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.    

  

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights are: 

 

·     June 19 United Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 12:30 p.m. for Houston, TX, to arrive at 4:39 p.m. 

·     June 20 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 10:00 a.m. for Miami, FL, to arrive 2:15 p.m. 

·     June 25 Spirit Airlines, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

 

For additional information about this flight and to make reservations please contact Spirit Airlines directly.  These tickets will be available soon, if not already, and the Embassy encourages you to check Spirit’s website regularly for updates. 

  

Flights that appear to be sold out may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines for any openings. 

 

There are no guarantees for these flights or the space available. 

  

The Embassy encourages interested U.S. citizens and LPRs to purchase early and forward your purchase confirmation email to the Embassy immediately at PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.govso that we can assist you with the issuance of salvoconducto passes. 

  

The Embassy will continue its efforts to identify and seek approval for future humanitarian flights to the United States as long citizens indicate the desire to evacuate.   

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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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As of late Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 - 21,962 infected, 457 deaths, 13,774 recoveries. 95,299 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama. Still going up. Now over 1,000 cases in that area.

tocumen.jpg

Alto Boquete remains at 14 confirmed cases, and Bajo Boquete remains at 3 confirmed cases. Minsa reports the 14 cases in Alto Boquete, and the 3 cases in Bajo Boquete are recovered. That means no active coronavirus cases in the Boquete area.

alto boquete.jpg         Note: No graphic representation for Bajo Boquete available.

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David reporting 217 cases. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

divala.jpg            nuevo mexico.jpg

https://geosocial.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/2c6e932c690d467b85375af52b614472

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International flight ban extended to July 23

copa.jpg

Posted 17/06/2020

Expats  who have  announced their intention of fleeing Panama  in June will have more time to pack their bags as the ban on international flights has been  extended until July 23, "for reasons of public health."

The announcement was made   Wednesday, June 17, by Gustavo Pérez Morales, director of the Civil Aeronautical Authority (AAC) . All humanitarian flights and those that transport equipment or supplies necessary to face the coronavirus pandemic are excepted.

Commercial and passenger flights were banned March 23, and were originally supposed to restart on May 23, but since then, the AAC has extended the measure, first until June 22 and now until July 23.

The suspension involves changes in the schedule of the Panamanian flag line Copa Airlines,  that on June 3 announced that on June 3 it was preparing to restart operations.

Air transport is included in the fourth phase of the economic recovery plan. The first started on May 13 and the second on June 1. There is still no date for the activation of the other phases.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/international-flight-ban-extended-to-juky-23

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