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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.

What are “tags”? In information systems, a tag is a term, a keyword, or a key phrase (metadata) assigned to a piece of information. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the item's originator. As used by the CL administrators, a tag provides a quick snapshot of the subject matter, or in some instances the name of a person, a company, or an event. Tags are always displayed using lower case letters. A topic may have an unlimited number of tags.

The administrators endeavor to tag all relevant topics with the “covid-19” tag. If you see that we missed one, please bring it to our attention.

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

Message added by Moderator_02

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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City regarding possible US military evacuation/repatriation flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/2/2020 4:53:08 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 2, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 2, 2020)

 

Location: Panama

 

Event: Cancellation of April 4 and 5 Military Repatriation Flights

 

The two anticipated U.S. military air flights scheduled for April 4 and 5 have been cancelled.  The Embassy is not aware of any additional flights currently.  The Embassy is exploring other options for evacuation flights.

 

If you want to be considered for future repatriation flights from Panama City, it is imperative you contact PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov immediately to register your interest. 

 

There is no guarantee that there will be further opportunities for repatriation to the United States.  If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to shelter in place where you are.

 

Please enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Embassy Panama City security updates: https://step.state.gov/

 

Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama and the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 

Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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492 men arrested for "women's day" shopping

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Posted 02/04/2020

A total of 492 men were arrested on “women’s day”  the first day of the new quarantine rules that mandate limited shopping hours for women and men on alternate days, and for neither on Sunday.

Women can go shopping on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while men can to go outside on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The departure time is conditioned by the last number of the ID or passport.

Authorities also detained 58 women for failing to comply with the departure time also detained 39 minors.

To date, in Panama, there have been 1,317 positive cases of coronavirus, 32 deaths, 63 people in the Intensive Care Unit and 9 recovered.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/492-men-arrested-for-womens-day-shopping

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Panama with 1,317 virus cases, ICU at tipping point

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Posted 02/04/2020

Panama has reached the tipping point with the availability of intensive care beds as  the   number of confirmed cases of coronavirus increased by  136  to 1,317   with 32 deaths on Wednesday, April 1

There are 198 people hospitalized, of which 63 are in intensive care.

 In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex of the Social Security Fund,(CSS)  all  45 beds, all occupied, says the director, Enrique Lau Cortés.

Health Minister Rosario Turner warned that many people have not taken seriously that the coronavirus brings death and that where 50% of those who enter  ICU die

Until Wednesday there were 198 people hospitalized, 63 in intensive care, which puts pressure not only on doctors but on the entire health system. The high demand for medical supplies in the public health system has led the health authorities to and seek help from its allies in the private sector.

CSS director Lau Cortés stressed that they are receiving donations of biosafety equipment, such as masks, and they are making purchases.

However, he said that there is a shortage of mask No. 95 - the one that offers the best safety for health personnel - and that is why it is only being provided to health personnel who work directly with COVID-19 positive patients or those who administer tests for diagnosis.

Domingo Moreno, from the National Negotiating Medical Commission, reported that his members have informed him that they do not have protective equipment. "These are internal doctors and general medicine who could become infected," he said.

Officials from the Ministry of Health admit that protective equipment cannot be offered to all health personnel, but priority is given to those who directly care for patients or handle samples for examinations.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-with-1317-virus-cases-icu-at-tipping-point-1

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Panama: Basic Services Charges Suspended

In the third debate, the National Assembly approved the bill that considers the suspension of charges for electricity, fixed and mobile telephony and Internet services for four months.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This benefit will be available to self-employed workers, micro and small businesses, which have been affected in their income, as well as owners of restaurants, bars, casinos, public and private transport, affected by the pandemic, reported the Assembly.

See "Post-Quarantine Consumption Patterns"

The statement says that "... As it is a law of a social nature, the temporary suspension of payment for these services is retroactive to March 1, but it establishes that the service that is not paid in this period will be paid when the grace period expires on a pro-rata basis during the next three years."

The document adds that "... The rule also states that when a natural or legal person engaged in a commercial act has been ordered to close temporarily and chooses to temporarily suspend the effects of the contract for a maximum of 90 days, the State will assume the payment of a joint and several bonuses to each worker."

 

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

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Wedding party flouting lockdown rules could face $100,000 fine.

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Posted 02/04/2020

A newly married couple who flouted  Panama.s  quarantine rules with a full-scale wedding celebration on Sunday, March 29, could face as much as a $100,000 fine

The Ministry of Health (Minsa)  is investigating the celebration at the PH Manhattan Sky on Ave Winston Churchill  Paitilla, on Sunday, March 29.

 “I want to make it very clear that the Minsa only gives permits to have the possibility of companies working when they have to do with health issues and with the cycle of supplies of medicines and food. Therefore, we have not authorized the realization of any wedding held in recent days in the Paitilla sector," said  Minister Rosario Turner at the daily  press conference   on Wednesday

The investigation was initially undertaken by the Metropolitan Health Region, and the file will now be transferred to the General Directorate of Public Health. Preliminary information we obtain is that they accept having failed the Ministry's health provisions  ”, Turner remarked.

" We have contacted the people related to this situation which has somehow violated the total quarantine,

The party was held in the social area of the Manhattan Sky, and local residents surprised when there were fireworks that night. In the videos circulating on social networks, the bride and groom can be seen dancing with a plurality of guests, some wearing masks and disposable gloves. Musicians, waiters and photographers were among those packing the social area.

A maximum of five people is allowed at weddings and funerals. Recently police obliged the sixth guest to leave a wedding in Casco Viejo

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/wedding-party-flouting-lockdown-rules-could-face-100000-fine

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7 foreigners among arrested surfers

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Posted 02/04/2020

PEDASÍ, Los Santos. Some  13 people. including seven foreigners were arrested  in the late afternoon of Wednesday, April 1, in Playa Venao, Pedasí district, for violating quarantine e laws

Miguel Batista, mayor of Pedasí, said that in the operation was carried out jointly by Police and health officials, and about 40 people were surprised on the beach, but most fled.

He said they were surfing and walking on the beach like on a normal summer day.

According to a justice of the peace, Nelly Vera, eight men and five women, were fined $ 100 each.

The mayor of Pedasí said that a minority of the population does not seem to understand that there is a national emergency and that there are decrees and restrictions that must be complied with.

The regional director of health for  Los Santos Ayvar Hernández said that thanks to the sanitary fence and all the controls scattered throughout the province, only one indigenous coronavirus case has been reported in a 43-year-old man residing in Sabana Grande, Los Santos.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/7-foreigners-among-arrested-surfers

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60-70% of Panamanians l could be infected if they dpn’t stay home

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Posted 02/04/2020

Everyone is susceptible to the new coronavirus, which could attack between 60 and 70 percent of the Panamanian population if the recommendations of the authorities are not followed, said, Jorge Victoria, coordinator of surveillance and control. of diseases of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

He has said that the response to the pandemic occurs in two ways of  collaboration, one is provided by the State preparing with

medical services and units and the other by the community, which must help prevent transmission from increasing, because if they continue to walk freely they will appear cases and the health system will collapse.

"This is where we have to resort to citizen awareness. As long as they stay in their homes we will not have more cases, "he stressed.

Victoria added that the behavior of coronavirus cases is the same as the rest of the world and we are entering an increase, so the cooperation of citizens is vital so that the system does not collapse.

He believes that the impact of the measures to minimize mobilization will be seen in 15 days.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/60-70-of-panamanians-l-could-be-infected-if-they-dpnt-stay-home

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6 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

Help others struggling to understand. 

I had two lessons today with Ngobe on the corners re: DONT PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR FACE.  I saw that a bunch.....

 It strikes me that the Ngobe ladies today really didn't fully know what needs to be done to prevent being sick. I worry for them. You could see some understood..others thought I was insane.  On another corner was a Ngobe gal, hand on the mouth, standing next to some Panamanian ladies .  The Local ladies understood already and that was obvious.  My next lesson was to them.  I said, listen ( Dios Primero) if you see something...help them to understand.  They need to know how to protect themselves and their family.  I care.  

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/3/2020 2:34:11 PM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 3, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 3, 2020)

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminder

 

On April 2, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 1,475 cases of COVID-19.

 

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

 

  • Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
  • Men:  Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturday 
  • Sunday:  Everyone must stay home 
  • Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos)

 

Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.

 

 

On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights.  There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.

 

 

The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama.  Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.   

 

On March 25, Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine.  The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to conduct essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gas and medicines, or dealing with a medical emergency, based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula.  U.S. Citizens in Panama should always carry their passports, and their Panamanian cedula if they have one.  The two-hour windows are as follows: 

 

·         Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am 

·         Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am 

·         Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am 

·         Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am  

·         Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm  

·         Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm  

·         Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm  

·         Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm  

·         Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm  

·         Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm  

·         There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

 

Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly.  Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.  

 

On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all international commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days. 

 

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  

 

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.  

 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.  

 

The Government of Panama has implemented enhanced quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these measures.  

 

Schools and universities are closed nation-wide.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.  

 

On March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice 

 

U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.  

 

Actions to Take:  

 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Decreto Ejecutivo N° 400 crea el Plan Panamá Solidario e indica quiénes aplican para esta ayuda

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El Plan Panamá Solidario empezó a ejecutarse con la entrega de bolsas de comidas y Vales Panamá. Lizsara Angulo

Teiga Castrellón

El presidente Laurentino Cortizo junto con su Gabinete indicaron el 18 de marzo sobre la creación del Plan Panamá Solidario con el que se ayudaría a aquellas personas, que se han visto afectadas por el cierre de establecimientos comerciales y que para salvaguardar sus vidas, por lo menos se les iba a garantizar una libreta con una cantidad de dinero para comprar sus comida y medicamentos.

Tras esta declaración se crea el Decreto Ejecutivo N° 400 del 27 de marzo del 2020, que legaliza el "Plan Panamá Solidario" a través del cual el Gobierno Nacional gestionará la ayuda a los panameños cuya economía se ha visto afectada por la llegada del coronavirus y las medidas de prevención implementadas en el país.

Este decreto explica que los apoyos que se ofrecerán a través de este Plan se harán mediante la entrega de Bolsas de Comida, Bono Solidario y Vale Digital, en base a la logística requerida para para la efectiva entrega y uso de los apoyos solidarios. Sin embargo, se podrá implementar otro tipo de apoyos solidarios, atendiendo circunstancias generadas por el desarrollo de la pandemia.

¿Quiénes aplican y a quiénes se exceptúa de entregarles esta ayuda?

Esta norma establece en su artículo 4 a qué personas se les ayudará, pero explícitamente no expresa que se ayudará a personas con contratos suspendidos o que hayan perdido sus empleos en esta crisis.

Los beneficiados con este Plan según el decreto son:

a. Personas en pobreza multidimensional

b. Familias vulnerables

c. Personas que vivan en zonas de difícil acceso

d. Personas dedicadas a actividades económicas por cuenta propia

Mientras que el artículo 5 indica que se exceptúan de esta ayuda a:

a. Servidores Públicos

b. Trabajadores asalariados activos

c. Jubilados y pensionados

d. Contribuyentes cuya última declaración de renta sea superior a B/.11,000.00

Se indica que el Ministerio de la Presidencia en coordinación con el Ministerio de Desarrollo Social, serán los responsables de la asignación del Bono Solidario, tomando en cuenta la condición socio económica, según sea el caso.

Mientras que la normativa señala que la Autoridad Nacional para la Innovación Gubernamental (AIG), será la responsable de implementar la aplicación y todos aquellos medios digitales por la cual se asignará, administrará y garantizará la efectiva recepción y manejo del apoyo solidario mediante lo que será identificado como Vale Digital, en coordinación con el Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, además de la colaboración del Tribunal Electoral, y aquellas que puedan incidir en el proyecto.

Esto es relacionado al uso de la cédula, que según se ha explicado se utilizará como una tarjeta de débito donde se le depositará a los panameños elegidos para la ayuda económica una determinada cantidad de dinero para la compra de comida y de medicamentos.

Y en su artículo 11 el decreto contempla sanciones para quienes hagan mal uso delos bonos,, las bolsas de comida o los Vales digitales.

 

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

Quote

Executive Decree No. 400 creates the Panama Solidarity Plan and indicates who applies for this aid

<<25af80ee-ae37-4405-ab95-12f224661dc6_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_0.jpg>>

The Panama Solidarity Plan began to be implemented with the delivery of food bags and Panama Vouchers. Lizsara Angulo

Teiga Castrellón • Apr 3, 2020 - 04:36 PM

President Laurentino Cortizo together with his Cabinet indicated on March 18 about the creation of the Panama Solidarity Plan which would help those people, who have been affected by the closure of commercial establishments and who, to save their lives, at least they were going to be guaranteed a notebook with a quantity of money to buy their food and medicine.

Following this declaration, Executive Decree No. 400 of March 27, 2020 is created, which legalizes the "Panama Solidarity Plan" through which the National Government will manage aid to Panamanians whose economy has been affected by the arrival of the coronavirus. and the prevention measures implemented in the country.

This decree explains that the supports that will be offered through this Plan will be made through the delivery of Food Bags, Solidarity Bonus and Digital Ticket, based on the logistics required for the effective delivery and use of solidarity supports. However, other types of solidarity support may be implemented, taking into account circumstances generated by the development of the pandemic.

Who applies and who is exempt from giving this help?

This rule establishes in article 4 who will be helped, but does not explicitly state that it will help people with suspended contracts or who have lost their jobs in this crisis.

The beneficiaries of this Plan according to the decree are:

a. People in multidimensional poverty

b. Vulnerable families

c. People who live in areas of difficult access

d. People engaged in economic activities on their own

While Article 5 indicates that the following are excepted from this aid:

a. Public servers

b. Active salaried workers

c. Retirees and pensioners

d. Taxpayers whose last income statement is greater than B / .11,000.00

It is indicated that the Ministry of the Presidency, in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development, will be responsible for the allocation of the Solidarity Bonus, taking into account the socio-economic condition, as the case may be.

While the regulations state that the National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG) will be responsible for implementing the application and all those digital means by which the effective reception and management of solidarity support will be assigned, administered and guaranteed, through what will be identified as Digital Vale, in coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in addition to the collaboration of the Electoral Tribunal, and those that may influence the project.

This is related to the use of the ID, which, as explained, will be used as a debit card where Panamanians elected for financial aid will be deposited a certain amount of money for the purchase of food and medicine.

And in its article 11 the decree contemplates sanctions for those who misuse the bonds, the food bags or the digital vouchers.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/04/03/decreto-ejecutivo-crea-panama-solidario/2743434.html

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Restaurants: Entrepreneurs Ask Government for Support

In response to the health crisis facing Panama, the sector's union requested government intervention to suspend rent collections and payment of employer's fees.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

On April 1, 2020, the Association of Restaurants and Related Industries of Panama (ARAP) sent a note to the Presidency of the Republic, in which they requested that given the crisis that has been generated by the outbreak of covid-19, they be granted a moratorium of 6 months or more.

See "Post-Quarantine Consumption Patterns"

In the document sent to President Laurentino Cortizo, they ask for intervention to achieve a six-month postponement of the payment of rent for commercial premises, and of electricity, water, telephone and Internet services.

Domingo de Obaldía, president of the Arap, told Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... As businessmen we have accepted the recommendations of a solidarity effort with the collaborators of the sector so that they are sent home with money, which we have done as far as we can, however, with the cessation of operations and the suspension of contracts we are concerned about our collaborators and their families."

The article adds that "... Employers also request a minimum bonus of $400.00 per month for food and medicine to be given to citizens whose contracts have been suspended."

According to reports from CentralAmericaData, it is estimated that when Central American economies relax their restrictive measures and begin to return to normal, demand for food outside the home will decrease by about 7% from the levels reported prior to the crisis.

Covid-19: How are the outlook for food sector companies in Panama changing?

We prepared for our clients the report "Information System: Impact Analysis of Covid-19 on Business" which answers these and other questions in times of uncertainty.

Click here to request access to this report.

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

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Shortage of intensive care specialists in coronavirus fight

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Posted 03/04/2020

The  latest major challenge for Panama’s healthcare authorities in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is the shortage of intensive care specialists.

There are only 50 in the whole of the country who directly treat patients with Convid -19 in critical condition many of them facing exhaustion and the shortage adds to the problems caused by breaches of the “absolute” quarantine and the shortage of beds and key medical supplies.

Julio Sandoval, a member of the government commission charged with preventing the spread of the virus, stressed that beyond the high demand for beds and ventilators in intensive care, what worries them is the issue of human resources.

Sandoval said that since Wednesday a group of anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and cardiovascular surgeons began multidisciplinary visits, both at the Social Security Fund and at the Santo Tomás Hospital, together with the intensivists, in the management of seriously ill patients in intensive care.

In total, they hope to gather some 400 specialists to attend in intensive care units.

In addition to these, they will be supported by pulmonologists, internists and dialectologists for the management of patients who are in hospital wards after leaving intensive care.

According to the doctor, during their basic training, pulmonologists –for example– are very familiar with mechanical ventilation, so it would be easy to refresh the concepts of these specialists, so this induction or preparation process could take between 24 and 48 hours.

Domingo Moreno coordinator of the National Negotiating Medical Commission, said it is necessary to continue training emergency doctors and residents, who are in the wards when there are no specialists, " adding that Panama must be seen in the mirror of Italy, where even medical students ended up attending to patients.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/shortage-of-intensive-care-specialists-in-coronavirus-fight

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Lockdown violators bring Panama nearer abyss

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A Senafront member on frontline duty against violators is among the latest victims of COVID-19

Posted 03/04/2020

Official figures already recognize that there are more than one million people infected with COVID-19 in the world. In Panama, the pandemic situation is causing a depletion of health personnel, especially in the intensive care units (ICU) of public hospitals. To the fatigue and stress of the personnel, it is necessary to add that the ICUs are close to their maximum capacity to attend patients and only several hundred ventilators to serve the demand.

 This information makes it clear that the only ones who can stop infections are ourselves. Each citizen who unnecessarily leaves their home, each person who fails to comply with sanitary regulations or who is diagnosed as a COVID-19 positive who breaks their quarantine is bringing other Panamanians closer to the abyss.

 There is no right to expect heroic doctors and nurses to care for us, even at the cost of their own health, if we do not help stop the spread. The best medicine is prevention. The way to end this pandemic is by assuming our individual responsibility. Complaints and tears will not correct our irresponsibility - LA PRENSA, Apl. 3

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/lockdown-violators-bring-panama-nearer-abyss

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Senafront  agent among COVID-19 victims

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Posted 03/04/2020

COVID-19 has claimed the life of National Border Service (Senafront), corporal, Abel Ábrego said   Panama President Laurentino  Cortizo on Twitter on Friday, April 3.

Earlier a National Police officer and a Fire Service major were listed among the victims of the virus which to date has infected nearly 1,500 people and caused  37 deaths.

The president said that Ábrego died "serving the country with honor in this fight against COVID-19."

Senafront and Air and Sea (Senan) personnel were called in last week to beef up police forces monitoring lockdown compliance and looting.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/senafront-agent-among-covid-19-victims

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April a “hard month” as COVID-19 cases hit 1,475 with 37 deaths

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Posted 03/04/2020

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed to  1,475  with 37 deaths  on Thursday, April 2  Panama infectologist, Xavier Sáez Llorens, warned that " April is going to be a very hard month where we are going to get worse and we hope that with the  control measures  in the third week we will see an exit light ."

Ministry of Health (Minsa)  epidemiologist   Lourdes  Moreno clarified that in the 37 deaths it has been determined that despite the other pathologies suffered by the patients, in the end, their deaths were caused by the virus.

Moreno said that of those infected,  260 are over 60 years of age and represent 17.6% of the number of cases and 70% of deaths, 26 of the total of 37.

Meanwhile, the highest number of cases (1,143 is the  20-59 age group, between 20 and 59

There are 1,207 people, in-home isolation and  221 patients,  hospitalized including  69 in intensive care.

To date, 7,941 tests have been performed and 81.4% have proved negative.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/april-a-hard-month-as-covid-19-cases-hit-1475-with-37-deaths

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78 women prisoners get release to ease virus threat

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Posted 03/04/2020

Panama’s Ministry of Government (Mingob)  has made public a list of 78 women  in state prisons  whose sentences will be  reduced  and who will ll be released  in the coming days  as part of the COVID-19   program

Their release is in accordance the Constitution that allows the President to decree pardons for political crimes, and reduction of sentence and to grant conditional freedom for common crimes he Ministry of Government said the list included as those who suffer from chronic diseases, who are 60 years of age or older or pregnant, who have complied with the requirements of good conduct. , readjustment. prison regulations and completed two-thirds of the sentence.

It is one of the measures that the Penitentiary System is adopting to minimize the risks of COVID19 transmission in prisons to safeguard the life and health of the prison population.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/78-women-prisoners-get-release-to-ease-virus-threat

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Woman with COVID-19  gives birth in CSS hospital

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Posted 03/04/2020

A woman who tested positive for COVID-19   gave birth by cesarean section at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex on Tuesday, April 2.    The hospital said " everything went very well " adding that there are five more pregnant women with the virus.

On March 28, the director of the CSS, Enrique Lau, announced that the delivery room of the Hl Complex was closed, after three nurses from the area tested positive for COVID-19  so patients  went to the Susana Jones hospital

On April 2, Lau  said that the delivery room of the Complex was quickly recovered, and reactivated.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/woman-with-covid-19-gives-birth-in-css-hospital

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Repunte de abril pone a prueba débil sistema sanitario en interior del país

Las autoridades sanitarias anunciaron ayer que hay 1,673 casos acumulados, de los cuales 72 están en cuidados intensivos. Además, 41 personas fallecieron.
 
Ohigginis Arcia Jaramillo 
04 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/repunte-de-abril-pone-a-prueba-debil-sistema-sanitario-en-interior-del-pais/

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Virus llega a todo el interior, donde hay falta de personal

El Covid-19 ya está en la comarca Ngäbe Buglé, última región del país en la que no se habían reportado casos. Mientras, en provincias como Veraguas y Chiriquí, el número de casos se eleva.
 
Ohigginis Arcia Jaramillo 
04 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/virus-llega-a-todo-el-interior-donde-hay-falta-de-personal/

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Panamá suma 41 defunciones y 1,673 casos positivos por COVID-19

El Gobierno recomendó el uso de las mascarillas, luego de 25 días desde que se registró el primer caso de COVID-19 y empezará su distribución

Por Ismael Gordón Guerrel

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Una unidad de taxi en la ciudad de Panamá a la espera de pasajeros. Erick Marciscano | La Estrella de Panamá
 

Cuatro fallecidos y 198 casos nuevos de COVID-19 reportó Panamá en las 24 horas. Ya suma 1,673 casos positivos y 41 muertos. Las autoridades de Salud de Panamá informaron este viernes 3 de abril que un total de 1,406 pacientes están en aislamiento domiciliario y 141 en sala, mientras que 72 se encuentran en cuidados intensivos.

Las autoridades detallaron que de las 13 personas recuperadas (tres de ellos registrados este viernes), hay ocho mujeres y cinco hombres.

En Panamá se han realizado 8,694 pruebas, de las cuales 7,021 son negativas y el 19.2% positivas.

El Gobierno de Panamá recomendó el uso de las mascarillas, luego de 25 días de que se registrara el primer caso de COVID-19 y anunció que empezará su distribución.

También dará flexibilidad a padres de niños con asperger u otra condición de autismo para que puedan dar paseos de unos 30 minutos y no perjudicarlos con el límite de circulación.

Lourdes Moreno, jefa de epidemiología del Minsa, señaló que el mayor número de casos se encuentra entre el rango de personas de 20 a 59 años; mientras que la mayor cantidad de defunciones está en los mayores de 60 años, que representa el 68% del total de víctimas fatales.

El 83% de los fallecidos han tenido morbilidad o padecimientos previos, y el 17% no presentaron otros problemas de salud.

Las autoridades de Salud detallaron que las las regiones más afectadas siguen siendo Panamá Metro (749), Panamá Oeste (355), San Miguelito (185) y Panamá Norte (140).

Hasta las horas del mediodía de este viernes, unas 20 muestras de hisopado por sospechas de COVID-19 fueron tomadas en los estacionamientos del centro de convenciones de Amador a personas que obtuvieron una cita a través de la línea 169 o por el programa R.O.S.A.

El coordinador de Operaciones del Ministerio de Salud, Rolando Luque, detalló que este laboratorio móvil tiene la capacidad para tomar de 160 a 200 muestras, lo que dependerá de la demanda de llamadas a la línea 169.

En cuanto a la factibilidad, Luque especificó que "las personas van a ir cómodamente en su vehículo, se le harán unas preguntas previas al llegar al sitio, se ingresa al formato digital y entonces se procede a la toma de muestra que no demora más de tres minutos".

 

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

Quote

Panama adds 41 deaths and 1,673 positive cases due to COVID-19

The Government recommended the use of the masks, after 25 days since the first case of COVID-19 was registered and its distribution will begin

By Ismael Gordón Guerrel
Updated 04/03/2020 18:56

<<5e87c1a23d130.jpeg>>
A taxi unit in Panama City waiting for passengers. Erick Marciscano | The Panama Star

Four deaths and 198 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by Panama within 24 hours. It already has 1,673 positive cases and 41 deaths. The Panamanian Health authorities reported this Friday, April 3, that a total of 1,406 patients are in home isolation and 141 in the ward, while 72 are in intensive care.

Authorities detailed that of the 13 people recovered (three of them registered this Friday), there are eight women and five men.

In Panama 8,694 tests have been carried out, of which 7,021 are negative and 19.2% positive.

The Government of Panama recommended the use of the masks, after 25 days after the first case of COVID-19 was registered and announced that its distribution will begin.

It will also give parents of children with aspergers or other autism conditions flexibility so that they can take walks of about 30 minutes and not harm them with the circulation limit.

Lourdes Moreno, head of epidemiology at the Minsa, pointed out that the highest number of cases is found among the range of people between 20 and 59 years old; while the highest number of deaths is in those over 60, which represents 68% of the total number of fatalities.

83% of the deceased have had morbidity or previous illnesses, and 17% had no other health problems.

The Health authorities detailed that the most affected regions continue to be Panamá Metro (749), Panamá Oeste (355), San Miguelito (185) and Panamá Norte (140).

As of midday this Friday, some 20 swab samples for suspected COVID-19 were taken in the parking lots of the Amador convention center from people who obtained an appointment through line 169 or through the R.O.S.A.program.

The coordinator of Operations of the Ministry of Health, Rolando Luque, explained that this mobile laboratory has the capacity to take from 160 to 200 samples, which will depend on the demand for calls to line 169.

Regarding feasibility, Luque specified that "people are going to go comfortably in their vehicle, they will be asked a few questions prior to arriving at the site, they enter the digital format and then proceed to the sampling that does not take more than three minutes".

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200403/panama-suma-41-defunciones-1-673-casos-positivos-covid-19

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/4/2020 11:52:22 AM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 4, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 4, 2020)

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminders

 

On April 3, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 1,673 cases of COVID-19.

 

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

 

  • Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
  • Men:  Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturday 
  • Sunday:  Everyone must stay home 
  • Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos)

 

Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.

 

On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights.  There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.

 

The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama.  Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

 

Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.   

 

On March 25, Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine.  The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to conduct essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gas and medicines, or dealing with a medical emergency, based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula.  U.S. Citizens in Panama should always carry their passports, and their Panamanian cedula if they have one.  The two-hour windows are as follows: 

 

·         Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am 

·         Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am 

·         Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am 

·         Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am  

·         Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm  

·         Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm  

·         Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm  

·         Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm  

·         Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm  

·         Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm  

·         There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

 

Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly.  Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.  

 

On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all international commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days. 

 

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  

 

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.  

 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.  

 

The Government of Panama has implemented enhanced quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these measures.  

 

Schools and universities are closed nation-wide.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.  

 

On March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.  

 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice 

 

U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.  

 

Actions to Take:  

 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

 

Assistance:  

 

U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 
Clayton, Panama 
+507 317-5000 
Panama-ACS@state.gov  
https://pa.usembassy.gov/ 
 

State Department – Consular Affairs 
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444  

 

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Lockdown flouted as virus infects 1,673, kills 71

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Posted 04/04/2020

Panama’s death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic climbed to 41 on Friday. April  3 with  72  people on life support in hospital intensive care units as the number of confirmed cases surged to 1,673 and projected to pass 2,000  by Easter weekend, which President Trump predicted would be celebrated with packed churches.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people continued to ignore measures to protect lives as they flouted lockdown rules with  536 people arrested in the last 24 hours.

130 people were caught violating the quarantine in Panamá Oeste, 104 in Panamá Metro and 100 in San Miguelito. The three regions with the highest cases of patients with COVID-19.

In these three regions alone, there are 1,269 cases out of the 1,673 confirmed throughout the country.

The Minister of Public Security, Juan Pino, said that the indiscipline continues and not only puts their own lives at risk but others even their own families.

“There is a global pandemic, the virus is contagious and can be deadly. We need the collaboration and solidarity of all; This Sunday we have a goal: the national stay at home, day “ he said during Friday’s press conference.

83% of deaths had a risk factor such as age, cardiovascular or lung problems.

While 203 citizens are hospitalized, 141 are in wards and another 72 are fighting for their lives in intensive care.

But not everything is bad news, because Lourdes Moreno, the head of epidemiology at MINSA, announced that 13 patients had defeated the virus.

Health Minister  Rosario Turner, again recommended the use of masks and continued compliance with the Stay at home program.

He also mentioned that some 295 people are being observed in hotels in the country.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/lockdown-flouted-as-virus-infects-1673-kills-71-1

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Probe into abuse of aid for poor program

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VOLUNTEERS deliver Solisarity Panama food packages

Posted 04/04/2020

Public Ministry officials have opened an investigation into the alleged irregular use of “Panama Solidarity”  food vouchers intended for use by the country’s most disadvantaged.

According to a  Ministry Twitter account, the investigation began after the circulation on social networks of a video where a man is seen shopping in a Colon supermarket.

The case will be handled by the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.

The vouchers were created along with bags of food for Panamanians with limited economic resources who have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

According to the authorities, each person will receive $80 in bonds to be used in the purchase of food and medicine.

In the video, a purchase was allegedly made in a store for an amount greater than $80.

Earlier in the week President Cortizo warned that anyone employee found abusing the program would be fired and prosecuted.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/probe-into-abuse-of-aid-for-poor-program

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OPINION: Retribution for theft from the most  needy

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Posted 04/04/2020

The Panama Solidarity Plan is one of the pillars of the State's response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This health threat has exposed the weaknesses of the social protection network that the country should have to attend to the most vulnerable.

The legacy of past governments, which were unable to carry out a complete Population and Housing Census, and the lack of updated maps and social diagnoses, forces the distribution of welfare vouchers and food bags, using representatives of the corregimiento and other local authority representatives as distributors..

Unfortunately, the urgency of the need makes the economic response urgent and, therefore, it is not possible to design an impeccable distribution system. The warning of the President, that whoever takes advantage of these assets, or it distributes them inadequately, will be dismissed and sent to the Public Ministry, is an important reminder that even in times of crisis, citizens must be vigilant of the forms and uses of public spending. Lack of virtue in public life must be punished without contemplation – LA PRENSA, Apr.4

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-retribution-for-theft-from-the-most-needy

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