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There are several topics associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This topic is the main or primary topic on this subject. The easiest way to find all topics related to coronavirus is to invoke a “tag display”. Simply click on the “ covid-19 ” tag (white characters on black background) that you see displayed near the top left of this topic.

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Significant pandemic milestones:

  • February 21st: Likely transfer of coronavirus from a teacher (who had traveled to Europe)  to Panama's first coronavirus death victim (Norato González); Click Here
  • March 3rd: Resolution passed raising national alert level regarding coronavirus epidemic; Click Here
  • March 8th: First confirmed coronavirus death (Norato González) in Panama; Click Here
  • March 9th: First confirmed case of coronavirus in Panama; not the date of case arrival in Panama, but the date the coroniavirus link was confirmed; Click Here
  • March 12th: President Cortizo declares a a national state of emergency; Click Here
  • March 15th: Certain business hours regulated, elective surgeries and routine medical consults suspended; Click Here
  • March 15th: Several provinces invoke a "dry law" (banning sales of alcoholic beverages) and implementing curfews; Chiriqui Province included; Click Here
  • March 15th: Foreigners banned from entering Panama; Click Here
  • March 17th: Countrywide curfew (9:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 22nd: All commercial flights into and out of Panama suspended; Click Here
  • March 23rd: Countrywide curfew (5:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 25th: Countrywide quarantine with restricted mobility mandated; sales of alcoholic beverages banned; Click Here
  • May 11th: Effective date of lifting the ban on the sales of alcoholic beverages; Click Here
  • May 13th: The gradual reopening of certain categories of business; Click Here
  • May 18th: People are authorized to leave their homes to exercise outdoors, but on a short lease; Click Here
  • June 1st: Quarantine lifted, but a 7:00PM to 5:00AM curfew is in effect; Click Here
  • June 3rd: Hardware stores reopen with limited hours; Click Here
  • June 6th and June 8th: Curfew/mobility restrictions elevated for Panama, Panama Oeste, and Veragaus regions; Click Here and Click Here
  • July 25th: Full weekend quarantine (lockdown) re-implemented for Panama; Click Here
  • July 27th: More restrictive mobility constraints including gender restrictions re-implemented, including Chiriqui Province; Click Here and Click Here
  • August 14th: Tocumen International Airport begins to open up to limited flights; Click Here
  • August 17th: Some "Block 3" businesses will be permitted to start operations; Click Here
  • September 14th: Relaxation of mobility constraints for all but three provinces; Chiriqui, Colon, and Bocas del Toro constraints continue; Click Here
  • September 28th: Restaurants and inns reopen providing they follow Minsa guidelines; Click Here
  • October 12th: Cinemas, swimming pools, and casinos allowed to reopen, and borders reopened; Click Here and Click Here
  • October 24th: All quarantines lifted and curfews standardized across the country and relaxed to 11:00PM until 5:00AM; Click Here
  • December 25th: Total lockdown countrywide for Christmas and New Years; Click Here and Click Here
  • January 4th, 2021: Total lockdown countrywide until January 14th, 2021; Click Here
  • March 4th, 2021: Phase 2 of vaccinations against Covid-19 to start; Click Here

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Panama first country on continent to adopt vaccine Pass

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Copa Airlines will be used in a test run of the Air Transport Association Pass

Posted 21/04/2021

Health Minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, reported that because travelers are presenting false negative tests, Panama has been forced to evolve in the epidemiological surveillance system and thus becomes the first country in America to use the IATA Travel mobile application - Pass.

This app is designed so that travelers have information on their tests to detect the virus and their vaccines and their certification.

Luis Oliva, director of the Government Innovation Authority (AIG), said that the application will be operational in May and a pilot operation will be carried out with the Panamanian airline Copa to test the tool.

IATA, as an international airline guild, makes a process for the inclusion of laboratories certified by governments at a global level, this mitigates the risk that the tests generated by its application are false, which will provide confidence that air transport does not become a vector of contagion. The app is available on iOS and from May 12 on the Google Play Store.

Since  March 31, over 750 travelers have given false information at the Tocumen International Airport regarding their location or residence.

This has been verified by health personnel who monitor the quarantine of travelers.

They were fined $500 to $1,000 and put at the disposition of Migration for not complying with the norms, said the Health Minister.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/panama-first-country-on-continent-to-adopt-vaccine-pass

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Panama ranks high in virus testing

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Posted 22/04/2021

“Panama has one of the lowest incidences of active cases, both in the Region and worldwide, ranking 86 (with 89 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants), within the countries that report data to the WHO ”, says  Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in its bi-weekly report.

However, with respect to the accumulated positives, taking into account the first contagion, which in the case of Panama was in March 2020, a high incidence of 8,313 patients per 100,000 inhabitants is reported. It is ranked number 13 in the world.

PAHO also explains that despite having one of the highest incidences of accumulated cases in America, the country is among the nations with the most tests applied, which allows the identification of a greater number of cases in the population.

“Until April 17 there are 535,921 tests per million inhabitants, being surpassed in volume of tests by Chile with 630,894 tests per million inhabitants, Canada with 781,484 tests per million inhabitants, and the United States with 1,193,593 tests per million inhabitants”, specifies in the report of the international organization.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-ranks-high-in-virus-testing

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Latin America denounces vaccine hoarding

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Posted 22/04/2021

AFP  - Latin American countries denounced the hoarding of anti-covid vaccines by the richest nations and called for equitable access to them, at an Ibero-American Summit in Andorra.

In the plenary session in Soldeu, a town in this European microstate located between Spain and France, the majority of Latin American leaders intervened electronically, and their messages coincided: not enough vaccines arrive, keys to ending the pandemic and beginning the recovery post-covid.

"The most developed countries have developed hoarding policies (...) in contradiction with human solidarity," said the president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader.

access to vaccines against the coronavirus is one of the key topics of this meeting, which was attended in person only by the presidents of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, and the heads of government of Andorra, Portugal, and Spain, also represented by King Felipe VI.

Latin America, the second most mourning region in the world with more than 873,000 deaths and 27.4 million infections (including the Caribbean), has vaccinated less than 10% of its population when it returns to living a serious health situation, with daily records of deaths and infections in several countries.

"The Covax initiative, although valuable, is clearly insufficient and must be strengthened," said the Argentine, Alberto Fernández, referring to the mechanism to distribute vaccines, which has suffered delays and has delivered only three million doses to a Latin America with more of 600 million inhabitants.

The leaders still have to approve the final declaration of the summit, but the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, announced that “a very strong call will come out of it, with a very robust political voice, to effectively ask for a much more equitable and universal distribution of vaccines ”.

Although the health issue united the region, Venezuela divided it, with several presidents charging against the government of Nicolás Maduro, who did not participate and was represented by his vice president, Delcy Rodríguez

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/latin-america-denounces-vaccine-hoarding

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1,747 people  get AstraZeneca vaccine

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Posted 23/04/2021

By noon on Friday, 1,747 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been applied.

On Wednesday, April 21, the Government sent a note to the pharmaceutical company for the acquisition of 73,000  new doses of its vaccine as, applications for the first delivery were oversubscribed. The new vaccines are expected to arrive in the country between two weeks and 30 days.

In Panama, the application of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is voluntary and men over 30 years old and women over 50 years old were summoned.

International media highlighted Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine which has been questioned in Europe and the United States has been well received in Panama,

The fast-car operation in the parking lots of the Rommel Fernández stadium works from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

There are seven lanes available, where it is also expected to receive the Pfizer vaccine for people who missed their appointments in the past vaccination days.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/1747-people-get-astrazeneca-vaccine

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PAHO calls for virus variants vigilance

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Posted 23/04/2021

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reiterated its call to the countries of the region to maintain vigilance and follow up on the variants of Covid-19, especially those they call of "concern."

 PAHO details that a total of 9 countries, including Panama, have at least confirmed cases of the variants of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, which are in the group of "concern."

The director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies Juan Miguel Pascale reported that there are about 17 confirmed cases of the Brazilian variant (P.1 and P.2). In addition, one of the United Kingdom variant, another from New York, and another from California.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/paho-calls-for-virus-variants-vigilance

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Tocumen covid testing company reschedules

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Posted 25/04/2021

The consortium in charge of testing passenger arrivals at Tocumen International Airport for covid-19 will reschedule the molecular tests performed with the Solana analyzer to "accurately determines a possible issue" in the cold chain of the product. "We continue to strengthen our technical and operational capacity to comply with the application of this test through which we seek to prevent the importation of new cases," said a statement on Friday, April  23. The company clarified that the covid-19 tests that are made to passengers from South America who arrive at the airport "are carried out in complete normality through the Sofia SARS antigen test."

After the detection of the Brazilian strain in Panama, the Government issued an Executive Decree on March 29, which it establishes that: All persons who have stayed or transited through South America, who enter the country by land or sea, using commercial or private means, must bring a PCR or negative antigen test a maximum of 48 hours before arrival. On arrival in the country, the decree indicates, any person who has stayed or transited through South America must carry out the PCR or antigen test, prior to their migration registration.

 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/tocumen-covid-testing-company-reschedules

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3,500 AstraZenaca jabs in four days

Posted 25/04/2021

From  Thursday, April 22 until noon on Sunday, April 25, 3,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 have been applied, in the fast-car,  operation located in the parking lots of the Rommel Fernández stadium.

On April 16, the first 36,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in the country. In the next three weeks, the arrival of 73,000 new doses is expected.

To apply them, according to the Ministry of Health (Minsa), another seven fast-cars will be established in the rest of the country, after the interest shown by the population.

The Ministry of Health announced that everything is ready to begin vaccination Monday, April 26, in the districts of Chame, Capira, and San Carlos.

In those districts, the first dose of vaccines will be applied to those over 60 years of age, pregnant women (with the authorization of their doctor) and teachers who work in the 8-2 and 8-3 circuits.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/3500-astrazenaca-jabs-in-four-days

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Stay of 122 Cuban doctors extended

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Posted 27/04/2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) has extended the stay of 122 Cuban doctors for two months. They were part of a larger group brought in at the start of the pandemic.

According to the ministry, it is an addendum to the agreement on "Cooperation for Health Emergency Response" signed between the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba and the Minsa.

It stressed that the temporary stay of this group was specified upon request of medical directors of various health institutions and after a consultation with specialized medical societies in the country, regarding "the immediate availability of national human resources."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/stay-of-122-cuban-doctors-extended

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Front line Panama nurses on strike

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Earlier protests brought no results

Posted 28/04/2021

The National Association of Nurses (Anep)  began a 24-hour work stoppage from 7:00 am Wednesday, April 28 after holding a virtual extraordinary general assembly.

The president of the Anep, Ana Reyes de Serrano, called on her members to support the decision. "We hope that each one of the nurses will support this measure, which is to achieve the demands that we have requested for compliance with all agreements and also by our colleagues who are on a temporary contract," she said She clarified that the sensitive areas of patient care and the vaccination days against Covid-19 will not be affected by the suspension of work.

She assured that this decision is not improvised, since they gave the government a vote of confidence last December, and everything remained on a promise.

This week, nurses held protests in various centers around the country at noon to demand answers to their demands. Among the requests are: permanence of the personnel who are under contract, payment of back wages and supplies to face the health situation due to the pandemic.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/front-line-panama-nurses-on-strike

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Luxury cars before nurses

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Nurses have been forced to declare a work sroppage

Posted 28/04/2021

For now, Panama appears to have Covid-19 cases under control. As part of its strategy, it is developing a vaccination campaign that has already exceeded 10% of the total population of the country. That puts us in a privileged position compared to other nations, where the process has begun but is not going at the same pace. This campaign is unfolding in relative order and people are cooperating to make the process effective. The nurses in charge of the campaign, as well as those assigned to public hospitals, are doing a commendable job. But despite this, they constantly protest because the government does not meet its payments on time. It is a shame that there is money to pay for luxury and rental cars and not to pay for the shifts of these personnel, who were exposing their lives during the time that preceded the arrival of vaccines. Hopefully this vaccination process can accompany the measures that allow the national economy to also take off, as they have been very hard months. And although the figures show growth that by 2021 will be close to 10%, there is still more to reach the growth of previous years. The success of this campaign will mean getting out of the pandemic and recovering our life and economy.- LA PRENSA, Apl 28

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/luxury-cars-before-nurses

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Nurses get a deal and return to work

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Posted 30/04/2021

After two days of negotiations, the leaders of the Panama nurses’ union  (ANEP) and the authorities of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Social Security Fund (CSS) reached an agreement at 1 am on Friday and the work stoppage was lifted.

 Some1,376 nurses who are working under contract will be inserted into a permanence list in a staggered manner.

The Minsa reported that the agreement establishes a transfer table for personnel under contract due to the pandemic to the permanence payroll in a staggered manner and that it would take effect in 2021 with the permanent appointment of 150 to 200 nurses.

The following year they will be from 275 to 550 nurses, while in 2023 from 275 to 550 and then in 2024: from 275 to 550 nurses.

“We have seen today the progressive gradualness, from this year at least until 2024, 2025 with those that remain pending, in such a way that we assure these girls that they have been serving the country, the Ministry of Health, and the Social Security Fund during the pandemic”, said the Minister of Health Luis Francisco Sucre.

Regarding the recognition of the salary scale of the professional level with specialization, masters, and doctorates, Sucre said that payments will begin in a way of bonus until the commissions that have been instituted organize and coordinate to present the report to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) so that next year they can collect it as part of the salary.

The nurses' union began the week with protests at health facilities to demand compliance with their demands, then they decreed a 24-hour work stoppage, which was extended for an additional 48 hours.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/nurses-get-a-deal-and-return-to-work

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Health teams on alert for covid rebound

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Posted 06/05/2021

Panama Regional  Health Director Israel warned on Thursday of a rebound of coronavirus cases and said that teams were on alert.

Cedeño highlighted that in the region there have been more than eight weeks with a downward trend, but that in the last epidemiological week in the in the townships of Bella Vista, Betania and San Francisco there has been a slight elevation of cases.

"Not like we had in November, December and January, but townships that were reporting three or four new cases a day, there have been days that have reported seven, eight and even ten," Cedeño said.

He explained that numerically this is considered a rebound in cases and that the teams are alert in those areas to verify these new cases, but that in general they are staying below what was expected, taking into account that there has not been a third wave in Panama.

Cedeño's statements were made during a tour of the vaccination centers that are enabled in the 8-10 circuit, which includes seven townships in the eastern sector of Panama.

Regarding immunization, Cedeño announced that yesterday on the first day for the application of the second dose for older adults, teachers and pregnant women, 9,100 doses were placed, a figure somewhat higher than what they were expecting.

The vaccination process is also taking place in parallel in the Arraiján district), which also has its second day this Thursday.

In this district of the province of Panamá Oeste, it is planned to vaccinate about 30,687 people over 60 years of age, educators and pregnant women.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/health-teams-on-alert-for-covid-rebound

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First case of Indian variant detected at Tocumen International

Posted 07/05/2021

The first case of the Indian variant of coronavirus in Panama was detected last week at Tocumen International Airport the first case in a traveler from India.

According to the Health Ministry the passenger was immediately isolated and all the analyzes established in the protocols were carried out.

"The sequencing was carried out by the Gorgas Memorial Institute, which reports the case of this variant from India, and currently the person is in quarantine under strict monitoring," said Minsa.

In addition, the traceability of all the patient's contacts within the plane in which he was traveling have already been carried out. However, the infected has not presented, for now, any severe symptoms.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/first-case-of-indian-variant-detected-at-tocumen-international

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Moderator comment: Below is a graphic published by Minsa indicating that tighter restrictions on the gathering of people in groups is to become effective Monday, May 10th, 2021. We have been led to believe that this applies to Chiriqui Province, not the entire country; note the final sentence in yellow stating that restrictions apply in those areas where the Covid-19 infection rate is 5% or higher.

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Panama ban on seminars and conventions lifted 

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The new convention center

Posted 09/05/2021

Over a year after forbidding all seminars, forums, congresses, conventions, exhibitions, and in-person training sessions the Ministry of Health  (Minsa) has lifted the ban for provinces where  the positivity of coronavirus is less than 5 % paving the way for the opening of the new Panama Convention  Center

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) confirmed that from Monday, May 10 it is allowed to carry out this type of activities in person, limited to 25% of the capacity of the place in which the event is taking place.

The health authorities specify that in the development of these activities the established biosecurity measures must be complied with, this includes measurement of the body temperature of those attending the event, the mandatory use of a mask, and maintaining the required physical distancing.

The administrator of the Tourism Authority, Iván Eskildsen, said that this resumption will help in the economic reactivation by attracting foreign currency with international events in the new Panama Convention Center, with a capacity of 25,000  which is planned to inaugurate in the month of August.

On Sunday the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture said that the announcement is a small step in the direction of reactivating the tourism sector, but expressed concern because limiting activities to provinces with a percentage of positivity, is "a highly variable indicator "that does not provide the required confidence in the destination."

The president of the Panamanian Association of Professionals in Congresses, Exhibitions, and Related, Luis Ricardo Martínez, said this reopening will allow the reactivation of jobs and services that were temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/events/panama-ban-on-seminars-and-conventions-lifted

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Contacts of traveler with Indian variant investigated

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Posted 10/05/2021

The seven direct contacts of a sailor who was detected with the Indian variant of Covid-19   when he arrived at Tocumen International are being investigated and the results of the analyses will be known on Tuesday or Wednesday says   Israel Cedeño, director of the Metropolitan Health Region of the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

He emphasized that all direct and indirect contacts of that person in the country are being studied including tests on the first people who attended him.

Samples were taken from those people, then they were isolated. Of those who tested positive for Covid-19, sequencing must be performed to verify which variant they have of the coronavirus.

On the afternoon of May 7, Minsa reported that the first case in Panama of the India variant was detected in a traveler at the Tocumen International Airport. The passenger was immediately isolated and all the analyzes established in the protocols were carried out.

"The sequencing was carried out by the Gorgas Memorial Institute, which reports the case of this variant from India, and currently the person is in quarantine under strict monitoring," said Minsa.

 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/contacts-of-traveler-with-indian-variant-investigated

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Chiriqui has most virus cases as Panama readies for 3rd wave

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Posted 10/05/2021

Chiriquí Province has the highest number of active cases of Covid-19 with a total of 1,830, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

Sunday’s report revealed 4,284 active cases throughout the country, that is to say, that in Chiriqui province there are 42.7% of the cases.

According to the schedule announced by the Minsa on Thursday, May 13, the vaccination of older adults, teachers, and pregnant women of circuits 4-1 and 4-2 of the province of Chiriquí begins. Between both sectors, it is estimated to immunize about 35,000 people.

Third wave
Health authorities are preparing for a third wave of the virus in the country, after several weeks in which new cases reflected a  plateau.

The director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau Cortés, stressed that despite the fact that the country has traveled through a plateau for many weeks, they have indicators that show an increase in the number of cases and the possibility that they will increase more and affect the sanitary system.

“The Ministry of Health and we are preparing. First of all, we have reviewed all the inventory that is required to be able to face this pandemic. We already have experience with the second wave, we are seeing the entire supply of personal protective equipment, rushing the payment to suppliers, in case we need more supplies, "said Lau Cortés in Telemetro.

Since last April 4, the country did not register a positivity greater than 5%, Sunday it was 6.4%.

On the other hand, in addition to the immunization that will begin on Wednesday in Chiriquí, the second dose is currently being placed on educating teachers and pregnant women on the 8-8 circuit, which includes five townships in Panama City.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/chiriqui-has-most-virus-cases-as-panama-readies-for-3rd-wave

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Sunday lockdown and curfew return to Chiriqui,Veraguas

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Posted 12/05/2021

Total Sunday lockdown and a nightly curfew have been reimposed on Chiriquí and Veraguas due to the increase in cases of Covid-19. 

The measures will be evaluated every 15 days and the number of cases and positivity will be analyzed said Health Minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, on Tuesday, May 11.

The curfew will be from Friday, May 14. from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

Businesses in those provinces must close at 7:00 p.m.

To reinforce the measures, swab stands will also be established at the Enrique Malek International Airport and at the David transport terminal.

Sucre reiterated that citizen discipline must be maintained and emphasized that the guard should not be lowered in biosafety measures.

On, Monday May 17, wearing a mask and face shield and no talking on public transit across the country becomes mandatory.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/sunday-lockdown-and-curfew-return-to-chiriquiveraguas

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From: Panama-ACS@state.gov
Date: May 12, 2021 at 4:57:22 PM EST
Subject: Health Alert: Stricter COVID-19 Measures in Chiriqui and Veraguas (May 12, 2021)
Reply-To: Panama-ACS@state.gov
 



Seal with blue background

 

Event: Stricter COVID-19 Measures in Chiriqui and Veraguas

 On May 4, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) announced stricter curfew and lockdown measures for the provinces of Chiriqui and Veraguas due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

 ·         Effective May 14, curfew hours in Chiriqui and Veraguas will be from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Commercial operations will continue but close at 7:00 p.m. 

·         Effective May 16, Chiriqui and Veraguas will be under full lockdown from Saturday at 8:00 p.m. until Monday at 4:00 a.m. 

 Additionally, effective May 17, facial screens, as well as masks, will be mandatory on public transportation throughout Panama.

 The rest of Panama remains under nationwide curfew Monday through Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Additional movement and business restrictions vary by region. 

 The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.  

 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 when in public.

 The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws. 

 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 when in public. 

 The Embassy will continue to send messages, as needed, about larger changes that may affect U.S. citizens in Panama.  Minor changes, such as new health recommendations or reopening of a new sector of Panama's economy, will be placed on the Embassy’s COVID-19 Information page.  For all the details about changes made by the Government of Panama in response to the pandemic, please see the daily announcements from the Ministry of Health.   

 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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WHO warns against abandoning mask in high transmission areas

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Posted 14/05/2021

AFP - A day after the US said farewell to the mask the WHO said on Friday, that those vaccinated against covid-19 should keep the mask in regions where transmission of the virus is high

The United States, where the number of covid-19 cases fell sharply, announced on Thursday the lifting of the recommendation to wear a mask for vaccinated people. However, the health authorities recommend that vaccinated people continue to wear the mask in transport (airplanes, buses, trains ...), as well as in airports or stations.

When asked about this change, the WHO experts did not comment directly but stressed that it all depends on the epidemiological context of each country. They recalled that vaccines do not offer 100% protection. "Even in situations where vaccination coverage is high, if there is a lot of transmission, the mask is not removed," said Michael Ryan, director in charge of urgent health affairs at WHO, at a press conference.

WHO Scientific Director Soumya Swaminathan said data from countries expanding vaccinations show that vaccines "protect against infection at a rate of 70 to 80%." For the expert, "very few countries are in a position to abandon the measures." In most countries "we must continue to apply them." One can be infected, have mild or asymptomatic disease even after getting vaccinated, she added. The United States carries out a vast vaccination campaign

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/who-warns-against-abandoning-mask-in-high-transmission-areas

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Face shields and no talking on buses from Monday

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Posted 14/05/2021

Starting Monday, May 17, face shields will be mandatory on public transport as  Metro buses increase the maximum passenger occupancy to 80% of the design capacity. That is, 64 users on both buses, MiBus said.

The company explained that, in the orange buses, 35 people will be able to travel seated and 29 standing; while in the blue buses there may be 45 people seated and 19 standing.

MiBus reiterated the call for users to use alcohol or alcohol gel before, during and after using the transport services and, if you are standing, go back-to-back as much as possible.

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, said that the transport unit must have signs that inform the user that it is forbidden to talk, inside the bus and that the cell phone cannot be used to speak.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/face-shields-and-no-talking-on-buses-from-monday

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Curfew  renewal plan renews uncertainty – business chamber

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Posted 16/05/2021

The sudden announcement by the authorities regarding the curfew in Herrera and Chiriqui opens the door to uncertainty once again, which does not help the reactivation and generation of jobs in these regions and in the country in general and the quarantine in the provinces of Chiriquí and Veraguas does not adhere to the points stipulated in the contingency plan that had been announced last November.

According to Clément, it is clear that "this document has been left in an archived drawer," for which he insisted that it be communicated accurately and clearly which are the indicators that will be taken into account and that these are raised within an orderly contingency plan.

The president of the Chamber called on the authorities so that the measures established in this process are not contradictory to the detriment of a population that survived the covid-19 pandemic, and that

overturns its hopes that better days will come soon. “One of the most important obstacles to economic and employment recovery is uncertainty. Facing this and other challenges will depend on everyone's responsibility to generate the confidence necessary to carry out actions that are not only transparent but also consistent with the national reality, ”said the businessman.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/curfew-renewal-plan-renews-uncertainty-business-chamber

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No covid deaths in Panama for first time since pandemic began

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Health Minister Sucre

Posted 16/05/2021

Health, Minister Luis Francisco Sucre, announced Sunday, May 14 that in the last 24 hours there were no deaths due to Covid-19  The first time that no deaths have been recorded during the pandemic that has claimed the lives of  6,296 people.

 Sucre stressed that Panama has acquired 9 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus.

 Active cases this Sunday total 5,367.

In addition, 344 new positive cases were detected, for a cumulative total of 370,877.

On the other hand, 6,626 tests were applied with of positivity of 5.1% tels.

The hospitalized number has fallen to 341, of them 281 are in a ward and 60 in intensive care.

Sucre highlighted the work that, day by day, health personnel perform in hospitals and Covid-19 care centers to save the lives of positive patients.

However, he is concerned about the increase in cases in the provinces of Bocas del Toro and Coclé.

This Sunday it was reported that the Antón district, in Coclé, maintains a high percentage of active cases of Covid-19, which is why it tops the list of places with more than 10 infections per day.

Most of the cases are concentrated in the community of Bijagüal, in the municipal district of Antón, where until midweek, the figure remained at 70 sick people

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/no-covid-deaths-in-panama-for-first-time-since-pandemic-began

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Sent: 5/19/2021 6:16:51 PM
Subject: Health Alert: Modified COVID-19 Curfew and Panamanian Entry Requirements (May 19, 2021)

Seal with blue background

 

Event: Modified COVID-19 Curfew and Panamanian Entry Requirements

 

On May 18, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) announced modified curfew hours for the provinces of Chiriqui and Veraguas, and added curfews to three cities in the province of Coclé.

 

·         Effective May 21, curfew hours in Chiriqui and Veraguas will be from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

·         Effective May 22, Chiriqui and Veraguas will be under full lockdown from Saturday at 10:00 p.m. until Monday at 4:00 a.m.

·         Effective May 24, the cities of Penonomé, Anton, and La Pintada, in the province of Coclé, will begin observing a daily curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., Monday through Sunday.

·         Effective May 24, passengers who present a "Full Digital Vaccination Certificate" that proves the passenger received all required doses at least 14 days prior to their entry, AND a negative test properly registered in the IATA Travel Pass app 48 hours before entering the country will not be required to undergo home quarantine nor carry out COVID testing at the airport.

 

The rest of Panama remains under nationwide curfew Monday through Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Additional movement and business restrictions vary by region.

  

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws. 

 

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 when in public.

 

The Embassy will continue to send messages, as needed, about larger changes that may affect U.S. citizens in Panama.  Minor changes, such as new health recommendations or reopening of a new sector of Panama's economy, will be placed on the Embassy’s COVID-19 Information page.  For all the details about changes made by the Government of Panama in response to the pandemic, please see the daily announcements from the Ministry of Health.  

 

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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Panama closes border with Colombia

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Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes

Posted 20/05/2021

Panama announced on Wednesday, May 19, the temporary closure of its border with Colombia, hours after the neighboring country reopened the land, river, and sea borders that it had been closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.

“The Republic of Panama expresses its concern regarding the decision of the Government of the Republic of Colombia, contained in the Resolution of the Ministry of the Interior 0667 of May 19, 2021, by which they determine the opening of maritime, land, and river crossings on the common border,” said a statement by the Panamanian Foreign Ministry.

 According to the Ministry, this measure puts at risk "the significant progress made by all Panamanians to control the Covi-19 pandemic, as well as border security and control of the migratory flow. It indicated that it has been determined to temporarily suspend the entry into the national territory, by land, sea and river, of all persons from Colombia, as of May 20, 2021.

The Colombian government opened the steps with Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil "from zero hours (0500 GMT) on May 19, 2021,"

According to the  AFP agency, even with the virus circulating strongly, Colombia justified the reopening as a way to “advance in the measures that help the economic reactivation” of the border areas.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama-closes-border-with-colombia

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