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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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Over 1000, restaurants call it a day

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Posted 22/07/2020

Burdened by fixed costs and a disappearing customer base over 1,000 Panama restaurants have permanently closed their doors leading to 6,000 lost jobs,

Others have created new versions of themselves so as not to disappear as they prepare for the new world of dining out which will likely never be the same with closely packed restaurants and bars.

There are a lot of 2x1 promotions in restaurants and franchises. There are also restaurants that seek to attract more customers with so-called solidarity dishes (at lower prices); restaurants with signature cuisine or with a cheaper menu; discounts and virtual events [like Wings Week ]. We also dabbled in novelties such as e-commerce, which 90% of restaurants did not have, ”said Domingo De Obaldía, president of the Panama Restaurant Association (Arap).

Despite all the endeavors  the sector has registered  80% drop in sales and the closure of at least 20% of stores nationwide, according to data from the association.

Parallel, with the  near-total stoppage of activities and the need to generate income, an independent movement has been created in social networks for the sale of food, which sparked the attention of both consumers and authorities .

“Food preparation that is being done in apartments and in mechanical workshops, and the public has to be very careful about hygiene. That is a problem that the authorities (the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Directorate of Revenue) have to attack, because they are also businesses that do not pay taxes, ”said De Obaldía.

The effects of the health emergency caused the Monthly Index of Economic Activities in April to register a fall of 34.7%, compared to the same period last year, due mainly to the impact in the construction sectors,  and hotels and restaurants sectors.

The Arap meets regularly to validate and discuss the measures that its members are taking, to have their security protocols  ready to open the day the health authorities give the go-ahead.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/over-1000-restaurants-call-it-a-day-1

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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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761 people with COVID-19 caught roaming streets

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Posted 23/07/2020

Control operations, in conjunction with the security departments, the Ministry of Health (Minsa)  have detected 761 people infected  withCovid-19 roaming the streets and 30,845 people driving without safe passages, between June 18 and July 22, says a report issued on Thursday.

The Minsa in a statement reiterated that the sanctions for those who do not comply with the established restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus remain in force.

"We remember that the rules that establish sanctions for those who fail to comply with the measures established in our country remain in force," the entity stressed.

According to the Ministry, these people were detected through the Updated Protection of Observation Cases (PACO) application, a system that is applied throughout the country.

"The intention is to identify these people, and move them to a place where they receive medical attention and also verify that they comply with the isolation required to cut the virus transmission chain," says the Minsa.

Until the report of Wednesday, the Minsa reported that Panama had  50 906 cases of coronavirus and 1,180 deaths.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/761-people-with-covid-19-caught-roaming-streets

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Limited return to construction work at Terminal 2

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Posted 23/07/2020

The Ministry of Health (Minsa)  has given the go-ahead for the restart of work on parking lots for terminal 2 of Tocumen International Airport which has been on hold along with all construction projects since March 26.

Only 160 workers will be returning at this stage.

"Contractors are warned that they must carry out these projects only and exclusively. Active workers must reside in the areas surrounding the project or in the province. If workers from other areas are required, they must have an antigen test or PCR, prior to the start of work, and they will not be able to leave until their completion, ”says a statement from the air terminal.

Contractors must comply with the guidelines for the return to the  post-COVID-19  normality for companies.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/limited-return-to-construction-work-at-terminal-2

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Panama’s public hospitals saturated  by COVID-19

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Posted 23/07/2020

The principal hospitals of Panama’s public health system are saturated by the COVID-19 pandemic with an occupancy rate of over 95%  when the ideal is to keep it below 85%.

The crisis is most visible in the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid  CSS Hospital and in Santo Tomás Hospital (HST), where new rooms for Covid-19 patients were enabled.

The president of the Association of Specialist Doctors of the CSS, Domingo Moreno, said that the authorities do not give the correct information on the situation facing the health system, but the opening of new rooms and the transfer of patients shows that there are serious problems.

Estimates indicate that for every thousand new cases of Covid-19 reported each day, about 200 should go to a hospital.

The president of the Association of Specialist Doctors of Santo Tomás, Carmelo Wong, stressed that announcements such as the possibility of hiring foreign doctors and the authorization of convention centers show that the system is being prepared for a difficult time.

The measures that the health authorities are taking to contain the Covid-19 pandemic are a reflection of the fact that the virus is out of control and that the health system is lacking the capacity to attend to the affected population in hospitals reports La Prensa

Dr Wong says the health system collapsed about two weeks ago. In the HST about 185 beds are occupied with Covid-19 patients, while new spaces are being converted to house more patients.

"When you start transforming general hospitals into Covid-19 hospitals, regardless of whether they declare them that;  if 80% of hospitalized patients are for Covid-19, it is a Covid-19 hospital," he said.

The provision of service centers in convention facilities, such as Amador and Figali, means that a "very strong" scenario is looming.

"All this without counting on the exhaustion of health personnel and the shortage of supplies, such as personal protective equipment," he said.

Dr Domingo Moreno, president of the CSS Association of Specialist Doctors, said that the health authorities do not want to recognize the problem.

"The system is already out of date," said Moreno, who explained that measures such as moving the Obstetrics service from the Hospital Complex to the Irma hospital in Lourdes Tzanetatos reflect the reengineering that is being carried out.

From the first days of the pandemic, Moreno argued that in the Hospital Complex, a policy of swabbing all patients before hospitalization had to be applied, to prevent the entry of the disease into the hospital, as well as to periodically test all health personnel.

He said  the situation is worsened by the lack of capacity to confine patients to intensive care units, which leads them to die in general care rooms, as is happening, "without any justification."

Until yesterday, in the Hospital Complex there were 97 beds available, of which 457 are in the ward, and of 117 beds in intensive care, there were about 18.

Ministry of Health counselor  Eyra Ruíz, said that hospitals still have the capacity to receive patients and that the situation would have been worse if they had not made decisions such as the authorization of the Amador and Figali convention centers.

 She said that when individually evaluated there are hospitals such as the HST and the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex that will always be full.

Ruíz explained that the authorization of the convention centers - like Figali, where they will have

160 beds is to decongest the hospital rooms., she said that they will be launching an awareness campaign so that positive people over 40 and with risk factors go to hotels to receive a seven-day treatment that will avoid hospitalization.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panamas-public-hospitals-saturated-by-covid-19

 

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Moderator comment: This news article is posted as an exception to CL policy about content being related to Panama. If/when Costa Rica opens its airports to international commercial flights it would be possible for those located in Panama to go by land to Costa Rica and then fly out of this region. Getting to San Jose by land from Panama may be difficult in itself.

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Costa Rica Close to Restarting Commercial Flights

Local authorities confirm that sanitary measures for the entry and exit of passengers have already been approved, and so far the plan is to reopen the Juan Santamaría and Daniel Oduber international airports as of August 1.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Civil aviation officials confirm that the first flights that would be authorized to arrive at the air terminal in the Costa Rican capital would come from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

You may be interested in "Tourism and Travel: Consumer Interests and Preferences"

Because of the spread of the covid-19 the country has already had more than four months to close the borders to foreign tourists, since March 18 the authorities only allow the entry of Costa Ricans and residents.

Alvaro Vargas, director of Civil Aviation, told Nacion.com that "... the government is maintaining the reopening of flights at both the Santamaría and Daniel Oduber airports in Liberia for Saturday, August 1. These airports have been closed to commercial flights since March 18, when the measure was issued to prevent the spread of the pandemic."

Vargas said that "... what is still not approved is the totality of protocols concerning the arrival of tourists, since measures have yet to be agreed upon, such as the possible obligation for visitors to take medical insurance before coming to Costa Rica or what is the convenient number of flights to avoid crowding in the terminal."

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Costa_Rica_Close_to_Restarting_Commercial_Flights

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Copa aplaza su reinicio hasta septiembre

Una vez retome sus operaciones, la aerolínea lo hará con el 10% de su flota de 102 aeronaves.
 
Alex E.Hernández V.
24 jul 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/economia/copa-aplaza-su-reinicio-hasta-septiembre/

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Moderator comment: Stricter quarantine (lockdown) measures are being re-implemented for Bocas del Toro, Colón, and Chiriquí.

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

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Executive Decree 873, establishes a curfew on weekends for Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Colón, establishes time changes in institutions and companies. It also imposes restrictions on movement by sex and ID number. We went back .....

 

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https://twitter.com/RetenChiriqui/status/1286692132837826562

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As of late Friday, July 24th, 2020 - 56,817 cases, 1,210 deaths, 31,828 recoveries. 197,605 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

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Tocumen and Arraijan are jockeying for the dubious status of being the "hotspot" in Panama. The numbers keep going up.tocumen.jpg

Alto Boquete reporting 42 (up from 38) cases, Bajo Boquete reporting 15 (up from 13) cases, and Los Naranjos reporting 22 (up from 13) cases.

alto boquete.jpg             bajo boquete.jpg             los naranjos.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David, reporting 258 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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Francia impone pruebas obligatorias de Covid-19 a personas provenientes de 16 países, incluyendo a Panamá

Se recomendó a los franceses evitar viajar a la región española de Cataluña.
 
AFP, PARÍS, Francia
24 jul 2020 - 01:08 PM

https://www.prensa.com/mundo/francia-impone-pruebas-obligatorias-de-covid-a-personas-provenientes-de-16-paises/

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One pandemic death every 50 minutes

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Posted 24/07/2020

There were 29 COVID-29 deaths on Thursday, July 23, meaning one person died every 50 minutes bringing the total to date to 1,209. There were 911 new infections of what nay-sayers like to call  “the flu” raising the number of accumulated cases from March to 56.817. and putting additional strain on overstretched medical personnel

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, reports that he called a meeting with the medical unions of the San Miguel Arcángel Hospital who have taken to the streets to protest a shortage of equipment and staff. "We know of the concern on the part of doctors and other professionals," he said and reported that in recent weeks they have hired 160 nurses and 138 doctors. At least 10 Panama doctors have been killed by the deadly virus.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/one-pandemic-death-every-50-minutes

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Overwhelmed Panama morgues stacking bodies

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Posted 24/07/2020

 DAILY mounting deaths caused by violence and coronavirus in homes have overwhelmed Panama morgues in Ancon La Chorrera and Colon forcing the Institute of Legal Medicine and  Forensic Scientists (Imelcf) to consider stacking up to three bodies in a single refrigerator and to bury unclaimed bodies to make room.

So far this year there have been  646 violent deaths, including homicides, suicides, and accidents and 51  people have died at home from coronavirus.

Hospital mortuaries are also at the tipping point as  the pandemic claims one life every 50  minutes.

At the start of the pandemic in  March, Legal Medicine agreed with the Ministry of Health to take charge of the deaths in the houses suspected of Covid-19. In these cases, the Imelcf staff collects the body, takes it to the morgue and do tests to verify if death from the virus.

Most of the deaths from Covid-19 t have been registered in San Miguelito and in the townships of December 24 and Tocumen, in the capital.

Until Thursday  the Ancón morgue, which has a capacity for 47 corpses, only had 1 space; while that of La Chorrera is already at its maximum capacity.  and the 12 refrigerated drawers to are full.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/overwhelmed-panama-morgues-stacking-bodies

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Court staff flout pandemic partying rules

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Posted 24/07/2020

The Ministry of Health (Minsa)   is studying the sanctions to be applied  to 15 Judicial  Branch  workers  members of the Employee Savings and Credit Cooperative CoopacreoJ-RL), which in  May held an anniversary  celebration  in the midst of the   coronavirus   pandemic which  has inhibited the  work of courts due to  COVID-19 contagions

The Minsa received a complaint filed by Luis Ramón Fábrega, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on July 15, after learning about the celebration and the possible infection of some employees of the Judicial Branch. Sources revealed that in just two offices of magistrates of the Court, at least four cases of officials infected with the virus have been reported.

It was also reported that a worker from the plenary cafeteria presented symptoms.

On Thursday, July 23,  the suspension of judicial terms was announced in the Third Criminal Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, as well as in the Second Court of Childhood and Adolescence of the First Judicial Circuit, because of the coronavirus.

On July 21, the suspension of judicial terms was ordered in the Fifth Municipal Family Courts of Panama, and Sixth Municipal Civil, Fourth Municipal Civil, Fourth Municipal Criminal, and Eighteenth Civil  courts  after several officials tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court was closed for cleaning work, because of the virus.

The Implementation office of the Accusatory Penal System (SPA) proposed a plan for the reduction of the personnel working in the facilities of Plaza Ágora, to reduce contagions.

The strategy, proposed by magistrate María Eugenia López Arias, coordinator of the SPA, is to limit the number of judges who attend the hearings.

To date, some 128 officials of the Judicial Branch have tested Covid-19 positive, which has forced toughening the rules for physical distance within the facilities.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-staff-flout-pandemic-partying-rules

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Child dies as pediatricians warn of syndrome linked to COVID-19

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Posted 24/07/2020

Pediatricians at the The Children's Hospital (Hospital del Nino)  have announced  three cases of of Pediatric Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome, a condition related to COVID-19 and leading to the death of one of the children

The patients have were 7, 11, and 13 years old. One child fully recovered and the third remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Symptoms associated with the syndrome are fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, swelling in the glands, edema of the hands and feet, swelling of the tongue, and general weakness.

Two cases have also been reported in the Pediatric Specialty Hospital and another medical center. Fortunately, they managed to recover reports  the Ministry of Health

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/child-dies-as-pediatricians-warn-of-syndrome-linked-to-covid-19

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Moderator comment: Highlighting of text added by the Moderator. Note that we do not read about an expiration for these harsh lockdown restrictions.

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Panamá impone toque de queda para 3.2 millones de personas por covid-19

El Minsa impuso un toque de queda total por cédula y sexo en las provincias de Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Colón, Bocas del Toro y Chiriquí

Por Ismael Gordón Guerrel

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Personas hacen fila para ingresar a un supermercado.Roberto Barrios | La Estrella de Panamá

Cinco de las diez provincias en Panamá serán sometidas por las autoridades sanitarias a una cuarentena absoluta y restricción de movilidad por cédula y sexo.

El Ministerio de Salud de Panamá (Minsa) tomó la decisión de restringir la movilidad total en las provincias de Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Colón, Bocas del Toro y Chiriquí, por la rápida propagación del coronavirus, que ha infectado a 57,993 personas y ha cobrado la vida de 1,250 en un país de poco más de 4.5 millones de habitantes.

La restricción de movilidad para bajar los contagios del virus respiratorio, que surgió en la región de Wuhan en China, alcanza a 3.2 millones de personas.

Las cinco provincias que serán sometidas a la cuarentena absoluta acumlan más del 90% de la positividad de los casos, lo que representa un total de 52,754 infectados.

Panamá y Panamá Oeste se mantienen como las regiones más afectadas por covid-19 y su contagio alcanza 44,116 casos. Estas dos provincias se mantienen con movilidad restringida y cuarentena absoluta los fines de semana.

Debido al aumento significativo de contagios de la enfermedad infecciosa, que se manifiesta en un incremento proporcional de personas fallecidas y la situación sanitaria que reporta diariamente el Departamento de Epidemiología de la Dirección General de Salud Pública, se determinó que los mayores índices de infestación están en las provincias de Bocas del Toro, Colón y Chiriquí, el Gobierno considera necesario incorporar nuevas acciones para contener este alto grado de contagio y, de esa forma mitigar la propagación de esta enfermedad. 

En las tres provincias que entran en toque de queda suman 8,638 casos de los 57,993, que se han reportado en todo el país desde el 9 de marzo cuando se detectó el primer caso del covid-19.

Las cinco provincias tendrán de lunes a jueves un toque de queda desde 7:00 pm hasta la 5:00 am y los días viernes desde las 7:00 pm hasta el lunes las 5:00 am, a partir del 24 de julio.

Los Santos, Herrera y Coclé inician una nueva normalidad

El Gobierno Nacional, por medio de las mesas económica, laboral y de salud, ha trabajado en una estrategia denominada "Ruta hacia la nueva normalidad", que consiste en un proceso de retorno gradual, asimétrico, coordinado con las comunidades y adaptables a los cambios necesarios, de acuerdo con la evolución de los datos epidemiológicos y el impacto de las medidas adoptadas contra la pandemia.

Atendiendo los lineamientos de esta estrategia, el Minsa dictó las Resoluciones 423 de 13 de mayo y 453 de 29 de mayo, mediante las cuales puso en marcha la operación de las actividades económicas y empresariales contenidas en el primer y segundo bloque de dicha estrategia.

En las provincias de Coclé, Herrera y Los Santos, el número reproductivo efectivo de casos (Rt) de la enfermedad contagiosa covid-19 es bajo, no hay incidencias de casos y los equipos de salud están reforzados para dar respuesta a la presencia de contagios.

Se autorizó la reactivación, operación y movilización de las actividades de venta de autos en general, construcción del sector privado, con visto bueno del Minsa; servicios profesionales y administrativos.

Solo para la provincia de Los Santos se autorizó la reapertura de restaurantes y fondas.

Las medidas empiezan a regir a partir del lunes 27 de julio.

 

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

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Panama imposes curfew for 3.2 million people by covid-19

The Minsa imposed a total curfew by identity card and sex in the provinces of Panama, Panama West, Colon, Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí

By Ismael Gordón Guerrel
Updated 07/24/2020 18:38

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People line up to enter a supermarket. Roberto Barrios | The Panama Star

Five of the ten provinces in Panama will be subjected to an absolute quarantine and restriction of mobility by identity card and sex by the health authorities.

The Ministry of Health of Panama (Minsa) made the decision to restrict total mobility in the provinces of Panama, Panama West, Colon, Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí, due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 57,993 people and has charged the lives of 1,250 in a country of just over 4.5 million inhabitants.

The mobility restriction to lower the spread of respiratory virus, which emerged in the Wuhan region of China, reaches 3.2 million people.

The five provinces that will be subjected to absolute quarantine accumulate more than 90% of the positivity of the cases, which represents a total of 52,754 infected.

Panama and West Panama remain as the regions most affected by covid-19 and its contagion reaches 44,116 cases. These two provinces remain with restricted mobility and absolute quarantine on weekends.

Due to the significant increase in infectious disease infections, which is manifested in a proportional increase in deaths and the health situation reported daily by the Epidemiology Department of the General Directorate of Public Health, it was determined that the highest rates of infestation are in In the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Colón and Chiriquí, the Government considers it necessary to incorporate new actions to contain this high degree of contagion and, thus, mitigate the spread of this disease.

In the three provinces that enter the curfew, there are 8,638 cases out of the 57,993, which have been reported across the country since March 9 when the first case of covid-19 was detected.

The five provinces will have a curfew from Monday to Thursday from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am and on Fridays from 7:00 pm to Monday 5:00 am, from July 24.

Los Santos, Herrera and Coclé start a new normal

The National Government, through the economic, labor and health tables, has worked on a strategy called "Route to the new normality", which consists of a process of gradual, asymmetrical return, coordinated with the communities and adaptable to changes necessary, according to the evolution of epidemiological data and the impact of the measures adopted against the pandemic.

Following the guidelines of this strategy, the Minsa issued Resolutions 423 of May 13 and 453 of May 29, by means of which it launched the operation of the economic and business activities contained in the first and second blocks of said strategy.

In the provinces of Coclé, Herrera and Los Santos, the effective reproductive number of cases (Rt) of the contagious disease covid-19 is low, there are no incidences of cases and the health teams are reinforced to respond to the presence of infections .

The reactivation, operation and mobilization of the activities of car sales in general, construction of the private sector were authorized, with the approval of the Minsa; professional and administrative services.

Only for the province of Los Santos was the reopening of restaurants and inns authorized.

The measures take effect from Monday, July 27.

 

 

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200724/panama-impone-toque-queda-3-2-millones-personas-covid-19

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

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Minister Luis Francisco Sucre @lpacosucre of the @minsapma at a press conference in Chiriquí, he reported that the decree was poorly drafted and that for the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Colón and Chiriquí, only the curfew applies, on weekends.

 

https://twitter.com/RetenChiriqui/status/1287148695293702145

 

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Sucre aclara que no hay restricción de movilidad los días de semana en Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro y Colón

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El ministro de Salud, Luis Sucre

Catherine Perea

El ministro de Salud de Panamá, Luis Sucre aclaró que en las provincias de Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro y Colón las personas pueden transitar de manera regular de lunes a viernes de 5:00 a.m. hasta las 7:00 p.m.

La aclaración surge luego de que el artículo 6 del Decreto Ejecutivo N°873 que establece nuevas medidas para toque de queda en estas provincias, señala que se mantienen vigentes las restricciones de movilidad de las personas por sexo y número de cédula los días de semana.

Sucre admitió que fue un error en la redacción del decreto y reiteró que solo hay toque de queda a partir de las 7:00 p.m. y la cuarentena total de fin de semana en estas provincias desde las 7:00 p.m. del viernes hasta las 5:00 a.m. del lunes.

Allí hubo alguna dificultad en la redacción, pero lo cierto es que solamente nos vamos a mantener en la provincia de Chiriquí por ahora solo cuarentena total sábado y domingo, toque de queda a partir de las siete de la noche, de lunes a viernes de cinco a siete de la noche pueden transitar de manera regular sino siguen subiendo los casos. Si los casos siguen subiendo haremos el análisis y posiblemente implementemos esta medida”, sostuvo Sucre.

El Minsa decidió decretar cuarentena total de fin de semana en Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro y Colón debido al aumento de casos de COVID-19. Esta medida también se mantiene vigente en las provincias de Panamá y Panamá Oeste.

 

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

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Sucre clarifies that there is no mobility restriction on weekdays in Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Colón

<<7d421869-2578-478b-9d92-a99a1fbb7b57_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg>>

The Minister of Health, Luis Sucre

Catherine Perea • Jul 25, 2020 - 06:15 PM

The Minister of Health of Panama, Luis Sucre clarified that in the provinces of Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Colón people can transit regularly from Monday to Friday from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

The clarification arises after Article 6 of Executive Decree No. 873, which establishes new measures for curfews in these provinces, indicates that restrictions on the mobility of people by sex and ID number remain in effect on weekdays.

Sucre admitted that it was an error in the drafting of the decree and reiterated that there is only a curfew from 7:00 p.m. and the total weekend quarantine in these provinces from 7:00 p.m. Friday until 5:00 a.m. of Monday.

"There were some difficulties in the drafting, but the truth is that we are only going to stay in the province of Chiriquí for now only total quarantine Saturday and Sunday, curfew from seven o'clock at night, Monday through Friday from Five to seven o'clock at night can transit regularly but cases continue to rise. If the cases continue to rise we will do the analysis and possibly implement this measure, "said Sucre.

The Minsa decided to order a total weekend quarantine in Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Colón due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. This measure also remains in force in the provinces of Panama and Panama West.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/07/25/sucre-aclara-hay-restriccion-movilidad/3076124.html

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The latest bulletin is also obscure. it states that "the Ministry and the Social Security administration are moving ahead with the acquisition of new medicines. The new strategy, based on several actions, includes the minister's decision to declare without effect the decision taken May 26 to prevent their use."

The medicines are not specified. I had to check. May 26 was the day that the Ministry banned the use of hydroxylchlorquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin as treatment/prophylactic drugs for the coronavirus.

 

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As of late Saturday, July 25th, 2020 - 57,993 cases, 1,243 deaths, 32,704 recoveries. 200,986 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen and Arraijan are jockeying for the dubious status of being the "hotspot" in Panama. The numbers keep going up.tocumen.jpg

Alto Boquete reporting 42 cases, Bajo Boquete reporting 15 cases, and Los Naranjos reporting 22 cases.

alto boquete.jpg             bajo boquete.jpg             los naranjos.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David, reporting 258 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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41 deaths sets new record as positivity  tests at 35%

testsj.jpeg

Posted 25/07/2020

Panama recorded 41 deaths from Covid-19 on  Friday, July 24 the highest daily total since the virus first struck on March 9, as the country struggles to reach its target of 4,000 tests a day.

The Ministry of Health said that 34 of the deaths occurred on Friday, and seven were on previous days, where laboratory verifications showed that the deceased suffered from Covid-19.

On Friday there were 1,176 new cases, for a cumulative total of 57,993.

Between July 16 and 24, 26,641 tests were performed, an average of 2,960 daily far short of the goal set by President Cortizo.  

Over the past eight days, the average test positivity rate was  35%, when ideally it should be 10% or less. The closest the country came to reaching that figure was in May when it reached 16% positivity.

Francisco Sánchez Cárdenas former Minister of Health and a member of the Advisory Health Council said there is a high demand for tests in the world, which sometimes generates a shortage in the country.

Juan Miguel Pascale, director of the Gorgas Institute for Health Studies, said that what takes the longest in this process is the extraction of nucleic acid (genetic material), because it is done manually so, they are looking for equipment and reagents to automate it.

The most tests were performed on  July 19, with 3,780, but  on July 21 only 2,144 were made

Cárdenas said that the Council recommended the appoint between 3 and 5.000 new tracers, for the entire country but many people are afraid of doing tracer and cleaner jobs in hospitals. "In the CSS they interviewed 27 people for cleaning in hospitals, but when they realized that they were facilities where there are patients with Covid-19, there were only three left," he said.

Tests cost an average of $30 each, without counting equipment and labor.

Most tests per day are in the Metropolitan Region where an average of 800 are applied in the 19 health centers and  by  13 response teams that visit communities.

The director of the CSS, Enrique Lau Cortés, said that they installed a team that allows 1,344 tests to be processed every 24 hours.

But  the technological platform that processes the test data in the CSS is not the same one used  Ministry of Health uses, so they are unifying that aspect. "By unifying the platform, information travels in real time and with less chance of error," he said.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/41-deaths-sets-new-record-as-positivity-tests-at-35-1

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Record surge in cases and deaths

covid.jpg

Posted 25/07/2020

New cases of COVID-19 in Panama surged to 1,176 on Friday, July 24 bringing the  number infected since March to 57,993 . Friday also marked a record-high 41 deaths. bringing  the  total to 1,250

The fatality rate is 2.1% compared to the world average. 4.1%.

 Active cases - 24,039.

 In home isolation,- 22,641 people, 21,967 are at home and 674 in hotels.

Hospitalized -  1,398 with  1,243 in  wards.

Intensive care - 155

Tests since March 9, 200,986 (50,734 positive and 140,252 negative).

Friday tests  - 3,381, with  positivity of 35%.

Age group -  people between the ages of 20 to 59 continue to be the most  infected with the virus.

Recovered 32,704.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/record-surge-in-cases-and-deaths-1

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Sucre aclara que para Chiriquí, Veraguas y Bocas del Toro no rige restricción de movilidad por cédula y sexo

Flor Bocharel Q.
25 jul 2020 - 06:12 PM

https://www.prensa.com/provincias/sucre-aclara-que-para-chiriqui-veraguas-y-bocas-del-toro-no-rige-restriccion-de-movilidad-por-cedula-y-sexo/

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Saturated hospitals leading to patient deaths

warda-1.jpg

Posted 26/07/2020

Hospitals in Panama are currently in "critical mode"  says former  Health Minister and member of the Advisory Health Council, Francisco Sánchez Cárdenas, who stressed that just as the majority of patients with Covid-19 die in hospital rooms, health personnel who work there are most at risk of contagion.

He said that there are more patients and health personnel in the wards, therefore, the number of deaths and infections will be greater than in intensive care units (ICU)., there are 4,989 hospital beds in wards, compared to 458 in ICUs, across the country.

"In the wards we are evaluating whether people feel very insecure due to the lack of personal protective equipment or if there are too many patients with few staff. We have insisted to the Government that a greater effort must be made to protect personnel, "he added.

Sánchez Cárdenas said that two-thirds of the total deaths from Covid-19 are in wards, and that with the increase in patients in hospital facilities, between June and July they appointed 163 more doctors.

This week, the Advisory Council recommended to the Presidency of the Republic the creation of an “elite unit” of doctors and nurses to detect specific problems in hospital wards and find answers, both to deaths and infections that occur there.

Internist Reynaldo Chandler said that patients with Covid-19 arrive in the wards in a mild and moderate state, but often up to five and six days after being infected and the disease is already very advanced. and, some have acute respiratory failure, which further complicates their health.

This is one of the reasons why the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund have now chosen to deliver oximeters (oxygen meter) to patients with mild Covid-19 who are in isolation at home or in hospital hotels.

According to doctors, one of the characteristics of patients with Covid-19 is that they often give the impression of being well, but when they are evaluated they have low levels of oxygen in their body that can lead to death. In these cases, timing is key.

This week the Ministry of Health released a care guide for patients with mild or moderate conditions who are in homes and hotels, which established that they will transfer the infected to hospitals when they mark 93% or less of oxygen saturation.

Pregnant patients will be conducted when they report a saturation of 96% or less.

Nuvia Batista President of the  Society of Internal Medicine – says that there are no personnel for the number of new patients that arrive every day.

“Of the daily average of 1,000 cases for several weeks, at least 100 require to go to a hospital. When you multiply that for several weeks, there are many who enter, "said Batista.

She added that they also find a lack of supplies to treat the most serious patients who come to the wards and who cannot take them to the ICU, where they are at their maximum capacity.. "In other words, the saturation of hospitals is what is causing so many deaths," she said.

The specialist believes that the Government must take drastic measures: patients who come to wards must be reduced and this is achieved by stopping infections in the community. The problem will not be resolved in hospitals.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/saturated-hospitals-leading-to-patient-deaths

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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: 7/27/2020 10:06:58 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panam City, Panama (July 27, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (July 27, 2020)  

   

Location: Panama  

   

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flights  

  

The Embassy has identified two upcoming humanitarian flights with seats available.  Any traveler with the appropriate passport/visa to permit entry into the United States is eligible to purchase a ticket.  Travelers should carefully plan their onward travel as hotel options may be limited.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler.  

  

The upcoming humanitarian flights are: 

  

  • July 29 Copa Airlines flight CM4978 to Dulles, VA, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 9:00 a.m.  

  • July 31 United Airlines flight UA1033 to Houston, TX, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 12:30 p.m. 

 

Copa Airlines also confirmed that they will offer seats on multiple flights that transit through Panama.  Please check directly with Copa for these flight itineraries and availability 

 

For additional information about these flights and to make reservations, visit the respective websites of the airlines, Copa or United.  Flights that appear to be sold out may have openings due to cancellations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines for any openings.   

     

The Embassy encourages interested U.S. citizens and legal residents to purchase early and forward your purchase confirmation email to the Embassy immediately at PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov so that we can assist you with the issuance of salvoconducto passes.  You may also email this address if you are unable to make the currently scheduled flights but would like to be informed about the next humanitarian flight.  Please be aware that future flights are not guaranteed, and those who choose not to depart on these flights should prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely.   

   

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   

   

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 Monday, July 27th, 2020 - 61,442 cases, 1,322 deaths, 35,086 recoveries. 207,908 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen and Arraijan are jockeying for the dubious status of being the "hotspot" in Panama. The numbers keep going up.tocumen.jpg

Alto Boquete reporting 49 cases, Bajo Boquete reporting 20 cases, and Los Naranjos reporting 26 cases. These three statistics are all higher than previously reported.

alto boquete.jpg            bajo boquete.jpg            los naranjos.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David, reporting 264 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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