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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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New covid cases on downward path

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Posted 16/09/2021

Ministry of Health reported  373 new positive cases of Covid-19 and 6 deaths on Thursday, September 16.

The new infections were detected after performing 7,615 tests, which yielded a positivity of 4.8%.

 There are 304 hospitalized patients 232 of them are in the ward and 72 are in the intensive care unit.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/new-covid-cases-on-downward-path

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Listing of high-risk covid transition countries   

Posted 16/09/2021

Starting Thursday, September 16, the listing of 20 countries considered to be at high risk of transmission of Covid-19 comes into effect in Panama.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa), says the classification was developed taking into account the parameters of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The General Directorate of Health is based on the epidemiological analysis of the incidence of daily confirmed cases per million inhabitants in each of the countries included, as well as the circulation of the virus variants classified by the WHO, such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Lambda and Delta.

AMERICA

USA

Cuba

Guatemala

Costa Rica

French Guiana

Europe:

United Kingdom

Greece

Africa:

South Africa

The list of high-risk countries will be temporary until a new review, depending on the evolution of the pandemic and the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/listing-of-high-risk-covid-transition-countries

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EU endorses Panama vaccination certificate

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Posted 15/09/2021

Panama has become the first country in the region to get the approval of the European Union (EU) for the digital vaccination certificate, which is issued by the Government Innovation Authority, to the people who completed their immunization scheme against Covid-19.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Wednesday, September 15 that the EU carried out a review process of the characteristics of the Panamanian code to grant its authorization.

The Foreign Ministry emphasized that Panamanians will be able to present the certificate during their trips to EU member countries and it will be recognized as the equivalent of that international organization.

"We are the first country in the region to have this endorsement, allowing our vaccinated citizens and residents, with a complete vaccination scheme, to have the peace of mind of resuming their trips to Europe," said Chancellor Erika Mouynes.

According to the statement from the Ministry, the EU presented a procedure through which third countries could participate in a procedure, by invitation, in which Panama was included, to obtain their Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

The certificate may be used in the 27 member states of the European Union. Likewise, Panama will proceed with the recognition of the vaccination certificate issued by the EU, the statement said.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/eu-endorses-panama-vaccination-certificate

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Panama hopes to gain $125 million from tourist vaccination  plan

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Posted 18/09/2021

Tourists visiting Panama, for a minimum of two days after October 1 may be vaccinated against Covid-19 says the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP).

Interested tourists should process their requests only through hotels and travel agencies approved for the ATP program.

To qualify for the program, visitors must be at least 30 years old and book a minimum of two nights at a hotel in Panama.

Tourists will be able to choose between staying in Panama for the six weeks necessary to receive their second dose or returning at the time of their second appointment.

The ATP launched the “Vacutur Panama” program, which would make Panama the first country in Latin America to vaccinate unimmunized travelers against the virus.

According to ATP, it is estimated that with this initiative, promoted by the ATP, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Government Innovation Authority, the country's economy will receive an economic injection of $125 million.

Panama received the eighth and last batch of AstraZeneca on September 12 and consisted of 163,200 doses. In total, the country received a total of 1.2 million doses from that company bilaterally.

“This initiative from Panama is a show of solidarity and an effort to help expand global access to the vaccine especially for residents of neighboring countries that have a lower vaccination rate and provides another much-needed source of support for the tourism industry. "Said Iván Eskildsen, administrator of the ATP.

Tourists from high-risk countries must comply with a mandatory three-day quarantine and be responsible for all expenses during it.

This requirement also applies to those who have traveled through high-risk countries within the 15 days prior to their arrival in Panama.

The vaccination points will be located in shopping centers in the capital city and the Government's initiative coincides with the “Black Week” shopping promotion, from September 30 to October 10.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/panama-hopes-to-gain-125-million-from-tourist-vaccination-plan

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Covid deaths and ICU cases plunge

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Posted 18/09/2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) announced Saturday, September 18, only death and 255 new cases of Covid-19.

The new infections were detected after 7,254 tests were applied on Saturday which yielded a positivity of 3.5%

There are 4,059 active cases and recovered patients total of 452,809.

There are 302 hospitalized patients, 238 of them are in the ward, and 64 are in the intensive care unit.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/covid-deaths-and-icu-cases-plunge

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Covid cases down 18.5% and falling

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Posted 19/09/2021

The epidemiological week that ended Saturday (September 12 to 18) closed with 2,028 new cases of Covid-19, about 463 infections less than the previous week.

This represents a decrease of 18.5% in new cases. In addition, the statistics provided by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reflect that there were 37 deaths, six less than the previous one.

Public health specialist Jorge Luis Prosperi indicated that during the last 12 weeks the cases have decreased, but that we should not trust ourselves with the dangerous Delta variant.

58% of the total 9.2 million doses of vaccines purchased by the country have been applied.

The epidemiological week closed y with an average of 290 cases - in total, 2,28 - and six deaths a day due to Covid-19, according to the Minsa reports, between September 12 and 18.

Luis Prosperi, says the Covid-19 epidemic in Panama shows a clear trend of decreasing cases for 11 weeks.

"Although we maintain a successful vaccination program, we cannot claim victory because the dangerous Delta variant is circulating in our country, which forces us to redouble compliance with public health measures and advance with the mass vaccination that we are carrying out", the doctor pointed out.

Another indicator that Prosperi highlighted is that positivity clearly decreased, reporting 5% or less, which brings us closer to the goal established by the World Health Organization to control the epidemic.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/covid-cases-down-185-and-falling

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US to end restrictions for vaccinated air travelers

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Posted 20/09/2021

AFP,Washington -The United States announced on Monday that it will lift in November, for people vaccinated the entry restrictions into the country imposed 18 months ago by the Covid-19 pandemic, which particularly harmed travelers from Europe.

Jeffrey Zients, the coronavirus response coordinator for the government of President Joe Biden, told reporters that the measure will take effect "early November."

The easing of travel restrictions imposed in March 2020 by Donald Trump, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, marks a significant change by the Biden government and responds to significant demand from European allies at a time of tense diplomatic relations. .

In addition, the closure of borders affected millions of travelers, including those vaccinated, causing painful personal and family situations, as well as growing impatience, particularly among Europeans.

Currently, only US citizens, residents, and foreigners with special visas can enter the United States from most European countries.

Numerous safeguards

However, numerous safeguards will be maintained to prevent the spread of the virus, which has already killed more than 670,000 Americans, and which is increasing due to the Delta variant, after a sharp drop in the first months of the year.

It is not immediately clear if the new measure applies only to vaccines approved by the United States, or if it also includes those made by China or Russia. Zients said that will be determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

He added that restrictions on the movement of vehicles from Canada and Mexico will be maintained.

Zients said travelers will need to prove they are fully vaccinated before boarding planes bound for the United States, and also provide a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours in advance.

Americans who are not immunized may enter only if they exhibit a negative test performed within the previous 24 hours.

Masks will be mandatory on flights to the United States and airlines will provide the country's health authorities with contact tracing information.

"This new system follows the recommendations of science to keep Americans' international air travel safe," Zients said.

The announcement was quickly welcomed by the Airlines For Europe group, which considered that "this decision will give a much-needed boost to transatlantic traffic and tourism and will bring together families and friends."

While Biden was expected to reopen borders for the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom, the announcement covers the entire world.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/us-to-end-restrictions-for-vaccinated-air-travelers

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Pfizer covid vaccine safe for 5-yr olds - study

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Posted 20/09/2021

AFC - The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 is "safe" and "tolerated" by children aged 5 to 11 years, to whom the adapted dose generates a "robust" immune response, according to the results of a study announced Monday.

The vaccines administered to this group contain a lower dose, but generate a reaction "comparable" to that observed in patients between 16 and 25 years of age, they indicated in their statement.

They also stated that they will send this data to the authorities "as soon as possible."

This is the first clinical data for this age group.

The drug regulatory agencies of the European Union and the United States had licensed Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both based on messenger RNA technology, for 12 years.

Due to the spread of the delta variant, "since July, pediatric cases of Covid-19 had increased 240% in the United States, signaling the need for vaccination," said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer.

The doses of the drug in this group are 10 micrograms per injection, instead of the 30 given to older groups.

Its side effects are "generally comparable" to those seen in people ages 16 to 25, the labs noted.

They are partial results of a study carried out on 4,500 children between 6 months and 11 years old in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain.

The two companies expect to publish in the fourth quarter the results of the range between 2 and 5 years and 6 months to two years, which received injections of 3 micrograms.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/pfizer-covid-vaccine-safe-for-5-yr-olds-study

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CURFEW ENDS MONDAY IN SOME AREAS:
Green light for discos, bars, and spas

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Posted 22/09/2021

On Monday, September 27, the curfew that the country has endured for over a  year will be lifted in the regions of Panama North, Panama Metro, San Miguelito, and in the provinces of Veraguas, Herrera, Coclé, and Los Santos, the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre reported on Tuesday, September 21.

The decision was made due to the decrease in active cases of Covid-19, deaths, and the positivity index, Sucre said.

The curfew will also be, in the Capira district of  Panama Oeste province, and in the Chagres district in the Colón province.

He added that the measures already established in the other districts of the provinces of Panama Oeste, Chiriquí, Colón, and Panama East are maintained.

However, the curfew remains in force, from Monday to Sunday, from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. and the closing of shops will be at midnight, in places where the mobility restriction has not been lifted said the minister.

The Health Minister also announced that from next Monday, September 27, the use of courts for neighborhood leagues will be allowed, as long as biosafety measures are respected and rivers, spas, and beaches remain open, and moderate liquor consumption will be allowed.

People who attend theaters and cinemas will be allowed to share with their family bubble with a space chair between one and another group of families.

You can also attend bars and discos, but you must meet the 80% capacity for those vaccinated with the full scheme.

Sucre said that the authorities of the Ministry of Health and representatives of bars and discos have held several meetings in order to achieve an opening that respects biosafety standards at all times.

He added that it was agreed that customers will not be able to stand in the bars, the waiters must wear a mask and all those attending the premises must wear their mask.

He urged the population to maintain the use of a mask, alcoholic gel, a face shield when transporting passengers, hand washing, physical distancing, and the use of alcohol.

He assured that the authorities will maintain a strict vigilance and will be attentive to the fulfillment of the biosafety measures of both businessmen and users and clients.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/curfew-ends-monday-green-light-for-discos-bars-and-spas-1

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5.4 million  covid shots applied as Panama nears herd immunity

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Posted 25/09/2021

The Expanded Immunization Program (PAI), of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), reported that until Friday at least 5.4 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19 had been applied at the national level.

Of this total 4,695,956 doses of Pfizer and 747,079 of AstraZeneca have been placed.

The vaccination process began in January 2021 and the authorities hope to reach mass immunization between October and November.

Third doses
 The Ministry announced that as of  Monday, September 27, the application of third doses will begin in the province of Los Santos and it is likely that other interior regions will also begin this immunization phase.

It is reiterated that these doses will be given to patients receiving cancer treatment for tumors or blood cancer, those who have received organ transplants and are taking immunosuppressive treatments, those who have received a stem cell transplant in the last two years or are taking immunosuppressive medications, patients with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, those with advanced or untreated HIV infection, and those under active treatment with high doses of corticosteroids or other medications that can suppress their immune response.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/54-million-covid-shots-applied-as-panama-nears-herd-immunity

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Curfew lifted but too  soon to claim “mission accomplished”

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Posted 27/09/2021

The epidemiological indicators of the Covid-19 disease in Panama, reveal a notable decrease in cases, hospitalizations deaths, reproductive number of virus transmission (Rt), among other factors, leading Health Minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, to declare that the pandemic is under control, and from Monday the curfew is lifted in five provinces.

However, it's yet not time to declare “Mission accomplished.”  The Lancet magazine, reports that in order to have control of the pandemic, one case per 100,000 inhabitants must be registered. per day and in Panama, in the last epidemiological week (September 12 to 18) there were seven cases per 100,000 inhabitants per day.

Panama scientists and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) consider that it is very important to maintain public health measures that prove to be effective in curbing the spread of the virus, such as the use of masks, social distancing, and handwashing, even when vaccination coverage is high.

Paulino Vigil De Gracia of the National Research System of the National Secretariat of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Senacyt), indicated that there is no scientific evidence that the epidemic is controlled.

He said that the country is ending the third wave of the pandemic with very good results, but it is not to talk about control, since referring to normality or control in current conditions is very risky or dangerous.

Vigil De Gracia remarked that even with total control of the pandemic there will be outbreaks of Covid-19, and possibly it will be endemic, such as influenza (some periods of the year where there are more new cases).

Faced with the flexibility of commercial activities, the infectologist, pediatrician and clinical researcher Xavier Sáez-Llorens reminded the population that the virus is still there, that the Delta variant is on the rise and that 85% or 90% of the vaccinated population.

Genomic sequencing reports from the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (Icges) show that the circulation of the Delta lineage was identified in 20% of sequenced cases in August, and in July it was 6.7%. In a matter of weeks, it is expected to be the dominant one.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/curfew-lifted-but-too-soon-to-claim-mission-accomplished

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US lowers covid advisory bar for Panama bound travelers

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Posted 27/09/2021

The United States has lowered the travel advisory bar for citizens traveling to Panama from level 4 to level 3.

 Level 4 indicates that it is not advisable to travel due to the high incidence of coronavirus.

Level  3 says that Panama maintains a "high level of Covid-19," but the risk of contracting the respiratory virus and developing severe symptoms may be less if it is fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA.

"Today they lowered to 'level 3' in the alert to travelers from the US, which sends the correct signal about the work of  Panama in the control of the pandemic to generate greater mobility of tourists and reactivate the economy," said Panama Foreign Minister, Erika Mouynes on her Twitter account.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/us-lowers-covid-advisory-bar-for-panama-bound-travelers

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Infectologist threatened by anti-vaxers

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Posted 28/09/2021

Renowned infectologist and pediatrician Xavier Sáez Llorens, an advisor to the government during the first covid-19 wave has been threatened with physical violence if the anti-covid vaccination for children is approved.

 “Dangerous times of pandemic: I have just been sent a video of a young adult threatening to harm me if covid vaccines in children are approved. I have been warning about this for many months. The Ministry of Health has remained silent in the face of so much misinformation that threatens public health and keeps ineffective drugs in its kits; the Medical College has not spoken out about colleagues who have turned away from ethical and scientific medicine; and some media, defending a misunderstood freedom of expression, have become a showcase for people falsifying evidence and fabricating malicious stories about Covid, ”said Sáez Llorens.

"I am not from the government, nor an advisor for a year, I do not have decision-making power, I do not sell or promote specific vaccines , I do not have any commercial relationship with pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines," he clarified.

However, he said that the threats will not silence him.

“Because of my medical vocation, training as a pediatrician and infectologist, and more than 20 years researching vaccines, I have given my disinterested opinion for 18 months, for the benefit of those who want to follow it. Nor do I think vaccination should be mandatory. I will continue to provide reliable and updated information, despite more threats, slander, complaints, and insults that I receive, ”said Sáez Llorens.

Because a percentage of adults do not want to be vaccinated, Dr. Sáez Llorens has stated that they will have to resort to vaccinating children under twelve years of age, at the time this is approved, in order to reach 85%-90%herd immunity, which is necessary to control the pandemic.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/infectologist-threatened-by-anti-vaxers

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30 medical associations reject attacks on members

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Posted 29/09/2021

A group of 30 Panama medical associations has rejected the  accusations  threats and legal measures that have been carried out against recognized members of the union who during the  pandemic "have made efforts to maintain first-hand scientific knowledge."

The unions, in a statement, also spoke out, on Tuesday, September 29, in favor of the health authorities, who are conducting investigations into the source of statements on social networks that urge non-compliance with the measures of use of the mask and placement of vaccines against Covid-19 , established in the country to contain the spread of the disease.

In addition, they urged the population to maintain minimum hygiene measures, continue washing hands, and use of face shields when traveling in public transport and masks, in order to stop the transmission of the virus, measures that, added to vaccination, have been shown to reduce Sars-CoV-2 infection and are necessary for the economic reactivation of the country.

The pronouncement comes after the Metropolitan Prosecutor's Office admitted a complaint against Ortega Barría (vaccine advisor to the Ministry of Health and National Secretary of Science, Technology, and Innovation) and Sandoval (former president of the Panamanian Association of Intensive Care Physicians) presented by Dr. Marta Roa.

On social networks during the weekend a video circulated with threats against the infectologist and pediatrician Sáez-Llorens.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/30-medical-associations-reject-attacks-on-members

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YouTube moves against anti-vaccine disinformation

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Posted 29/09/2021

AFP - YouTube announced on Wednesday a tightening of its policy against anti-vaccine content and indicated that its measures will not be limited to disinformation videos about immunizers against Covid-19.

"Videos with content that falsely claim that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, that say that vaccines do not reduce the transmission of diseases or make people contract diseases, or that contain erroneous information about the substances used, will be deleted." the platform said in a statement.

YouTube said the measure covers content according to which approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility or that they can mark those who receive them.

Misleading or lying videos about older vaccines such as rubella or hepatitis B could also be removed from the site.

In contrast, "content on vaccination policies, new vaccine trials as well as historical successes or failures of vaccines" are still allowed as long as they respect YouTube standards.

The platform has already taken measures against misinformation about the anticovid vaccines and said it had deleted more than 130 videos that violated its regulations in a year.

On Tuesday, it suspended the German accounts of Russian public television RT for spreading "false information about Covid-19."

Moscow considered the sanction a censorship and threatened to block YouTube.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/youtube-moves-against-anti-vaccine-disinformation

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President and  Health Minister condemn “vaccine terrorism”

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Posted 30/09/2021

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre,   closely followed by President Cortizo has condemned “vaccine terrorism”. Sucre said on Thursday, September 29, “If you don’t want the vaccine [against Covid-19] don’t take it but you cannot attack or insult those who do agree with it.”  He was referring to the criticisms and legal measures that have been taken against doctors Eduardo Ortega-Barría , Xavier Sáez-Llorens, and Julio Sandoval.

Sucre made it clear that the Government is not forcing anyone to be vaccinated since "we have been respectful of each other's decision." However, if [the anti-vaxers] ask to be respected, they must also respect them, Sucre said.

"We are not going to allow misinformation or lie to cause terror among those who want to vaccinate," he said. "We cannot support vaccine terrorism.”

Sucre said that although he cannot interfere with the actions of the Public Ministry, in his opinion there is no place for any type of complaint against the scientists and authorities that support the anti-covid vaccine.

"I know the efforts of doctors and scientists who feel threatened, I know their work [...] Doctor Ortega does not deserve to be in what he is, but this is a democratic country," said President Laurentino Cortizo when pronouncing on the issue.

For Cortizo, this issue that has occurred "is unnecessary." “The vaccine works, we don't get our heads mixed up. Getting vaccinated is the smart thing to do and it's what you have to do, "he added and. announced that 70% of Panamanians had been vaccinated.

The legal proceedings were started by Dr  Marta Roa who was roundly criticized after posting a video on social networks recommending against the vaccine although she had been vaccinated herself because of her work as a doctor.

Thirty medical associations have denounced the move.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/president-and-health-minister-condemn-vaccine-terrorism

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Fall in number of covid patients in intensive care

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Posted 01/10/2021

There were three deaths and 252 new covid cases on the last day of September as the number of patients in  ICU continues to fall.

Nationwide there are 255 hospitalized patients of which 201 are in the ward and 54 are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) announced  Thursday, that the province of Veraguas joined Coclé, Herrera, Los Santos, and the Ngäbe Buglé region, does not report patients with Covid-19 admitted to the ICU.

Since the pandemic began in Panama, in March 2020, it is the first time that the Hospital Doctor Luis “Chicho” Fábrega, in the city of Santiago, has not had covid patients in the ICU.

The Expanded Program on Immunization reported that 5,501,067 vaccines against Covid-19 have been applied in the country.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/fall-in-number-of-covid-patients-in-intensive-care

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Cortizo  okays booster vaccine jab for 55s

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Posted 01/10/2021

President Laurentino Cortizo announced on Friday, October 1, that he will proceed to approve the recommendation to apply a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to all those over 55 years of age.

He said that the "vaccine experts" recommended the application of the booster dose for immunosuppressed people, health personnel and for all those over 55 years of age.

"My decision will be to approve that recommendation ... Panama is going to go with that third dose for people over 55 years old," he said on a tour of Arraiján.

On September 22, the Ministry of Health began applying a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to moderately and severely immunosuppressed patients in hospital.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/cortizo-okays-booster-vaccine-jab-for-55s

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Panama to give immunocompromised people third COVID-19 vaccine shot

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Posted September 28, 2021 in News from Panama

Panama will offer a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to moderate and severely immunocompromised people starting this week, Health Minister Luis Sucre said on Tuesday.

The decision follows similar moves by other Latin American countries such as Ecuador and Chile, which are already giving a booster vaccine dose to people at risk, for instance those with immunodeficiencies or the elderly.

Among those eligible to get an extra shot during the first phase of the Panamanian plan are people undergoing cancer treatment and transplants, as well as those who received stem cells in the last two years or suffer from an advanced or untreated HIV infection.

“The additional dose aims to improve the immune response” of immunosuppressed patients, Sucre said, explaining the campaign would be carried out in national and regional hospitals in the Central American nation of 4.2 million people.

Panama has administered 5.3 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine and authorities say it is close to herd immunity.

Sucre said the pandemic is under control after several weeks of sustained drops in daily infections.

The Ministry of Health reported 341 new infections on Tuesday, taking its total number of infections to 464,781.

Reporting by Elida Moreno in Panama City Writing by Drazen Jorgic Editing by Karishma Singh
 

https://panamaadvisoryinternationalgroup.com/blog/news-from-panama/panama-give-immunocompromised-people-third-covid-19-vaccine-shot/

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Over 250 scientists reject attack on medical trio

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Posted 02/10/2021

Science Panama, a non-profit organization of over 250 scientists from different fields has issued a  statement sympathizing with the three doctors who have dedicated time and knowledge to the service of the community to face  Covid-19.

The body rejected the attacks and complaints against doctors Eduardo Ortega-Barría, national secretary of Science, Technology, and Innovation ( Senacyt) Julio Sandoval, a specialist in intensive care, and Xavier Sáez-Llorens, a distinguished researcher from Senacyt's National Research System.

It calls on the population to verify the source of the information that reaches them, in order to thus make correct decisions, based on scientific information.

The organization emphasizes that debates are healthy to the extent that they are based on verifiable data and not on personal opinions and says that in these times when information flows at unprecedented speeds, it is necessary to draw the attention of the population to a large amount of misinformation that circulates in relation to vaccines in media (traditional and digital) and that significantly impact health.

The rejection of Ciencia Panamá for the criticism, accusations, and legal measures against Panamanian doctors follows a September 28 pronouncement by some 30 medical organizations condemning the actions.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/over-250-scientists-reject-attack-on-medical-trio

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Back to school OK without Minsa prior approval

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Posted 03/10/2021

Schools and universities can schedule their gradual return to the classroom without prior approval from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reports La Prensa.

In a September 28, resolution, of the Minsa published in the Official Gazette, the need to update the health guide for the prevention of Covid-19 is proposed, which must be met for the opening of educational centers that will teach classes in a blended way.

"The corresponding Health Region will coordinate with the Ministry of Education and the National Council for University Evaluation and Accreditation of Panama (Coneupa), as appropriate, the inspections it deems necessary to monitor compliance with biosafety measures and will not be a condition prior to opening. They may be carried out when the health authority deems it pertinent and they will make the corresponding recommendations and actions .”

In April the government regulated the return to classes in a blended way and the Minsa was responsible for approving the health guides and protocols of each educational center, which was also subject to the epidemiological situation.

About 2,500 schools are teaching blended classes nationwide.

Now, it will be the authority of each academic unit to establish its plan to return to the classroom, with its respective health guide, and the Health authorities will carry out the necessary surveillance to comply with these preventive biosafety actions.

Before the resolutions, nearly 800 schools were awaiting approval to return to the classroom.

The resolution argues that the update of the guide to return to classrooms is due to a decrease in cases of the new coronavirus and the vaccination process.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/back-to-school-ok-without-minsa-prior-approval

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Los Santos reports 97.% vaccinated

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Posted 06/10/2021

Los Santos has progressed from being the most affected by Covid-19 to the most vaccinated against the disease with 97.5% of the target population receiving two jabs reports the regional director of Health of Ayvar Hernández.

"Of the population 12 years and older we have 97.5% covered with the two doses already," said Hernández, who announced that since last week the third dose are being applied to those people who have a compromised immune system.

The estimated population to be vaccinated in the Santeño territory is 82,405people and 97.5% reflects that at least 80,000 have the complete vaccination cycle.

People were aware of the need for the vaccine," emphasized the official, while recalling this was demonstrated because it was one of the provinces that were most affected by the third wave of the pandemic, in July.

He added that after the application of the second dose, a marked decrease in cases can be seen, after they had about 1,230 active cases and that today only 38 are reflected.

Hernández stressed that in addition to the 38 active cases of the new coronavirus, they do not register hospitalized patients in the ward or intensive care.

Starting Wednesday, immunization continues in the 7-2 circuit (Los Santos, Macaracas and Tonosí) with the placement of first and second doses.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/los-santos-reports-97-vaccinated

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8-week covid decline in all age groups

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Posted 07/10/2021

All age groups in Panama show a progressive decrease in the incidence of Covid-19. says to the latest report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

According to the report, released on October 5, that decrease has been present for eight weeks.

In descending order, the groups with the greatest reduction are under 20 years of age with 76.7% and the group from 20 to 39 with 76.2%.

While the reduction in the group aged 40 to 59 is 71.2%, in the group aged 60 to 79 it is 64.6% and the group aged 80 and over is 58.1%.

On the other hand, in the third wave of the pandemic in Panama, the highest number of deaths was reported in epidemiological week 30, reaching 73 and in the last three weeks they have gradually decreased, thus in epidemiological week 37  reported a decrease of 27.4% from number 35 to  30.

Another point that was highlighted in the report of the international organization is that only four provinces have incidence rates of active cases above the national average (72.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants).

In this sense, the province of Colón has an incidence of 182.4 per 100,000 inhabitants; Chiriquí with 114.4; Panama with 74.7 and Herrera with 72.9 cases.

While "the remaining eight provinces have a low incidence rate of active cases, between 3.0 and 63.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants," says the PAHO report.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/8-week-covid-decline-in-all-age-groups

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Panama  remains on UK  Covid-19 red list

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Posted 07/10/2021

AFP - Panama is one of seven countries left on the UK Government’s "red list" of restrictions on international travel due to Covid-19, after it withdrew  47 from the list on Thursday, October 7.  

 The remaining seven are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

As of 03:00 GMT on October 11, trips to England from Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will continue to be exclusively limited to British citizens and residents.

They will still have to perform 10 days of mandatory quarantine in hotels designated by the government, but paid out of pocket, at  $2,400 per person.

Among the 47 countries and territories that will be freed from this restriction next Monday are all the rest of the region, from Argentina to Mexico, passing through Brazil or Cuba.

"We are facilitating the reunion of families and loved ones by significantly reducing the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to increased vaccination efforts around the world," said Transportation Minister Grant Shapps.

Likewise, people fully vaccinated under a national program recognized by the United Kingdom arriving from these origins will no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test before boarding or perform two costly PCR tests upon arrival in England.

Those who are not vaccinated or the program in their country has not been recognized by London, will continue to have to isolate themselves at home for 10 days and perform the two mandatory PCRs.

As part of a simplification of international travel under strong pressure from the tourism and air sectors, hard hit by the pandemic, the United Kingdom regularly recognizes the vaccinations carried out in more parts of the world.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/panama-remains-on-uk-covid-19-red-list

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Outbreak of covid-19 in women’s prisons

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Posted 08/10/2021

Figures published by the Penitentiary System on Friday, October 8, there are 108 active cases of covid-19 at the Women's Rehabilitation Center (Cefere).

On September 24, the entity registered 64 active cases, then on October 1, 87 and now, seven days later, the number reached 108.

It was reported that coordination with the Ministry of Health was carried out to provide the required attention to women deprived of liberty.

Currently, the number of active cases in the country's prisons reaches 136; 15 are reported in La Joya, 12 in Chiriquí, and 1 in the Pacora Custody Center.

Inmates who are positive are isolated and followed up.

On the other hand, the Penitentiary System reported Friday that 11,559 prisoners have at least one dose against the coronavirus, which represents 61% of the prison population.

It is specified that 5,757 already have the complete vaccination scheme.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/outbreak-of-covid-19-in-womens-prisons

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