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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

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33 students back from China in quarantine center

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Posted 03/02/2020

Thirty-three Panamanian students who returned from China on Sunday, February 2 after completing their scholarship studies have been sent to a Ministry of Health observation center for 14 days says Health Minister. Rosario Turner.

 At a  Sunday evening press conference, Turner explained that the scholars from China will be at the center to monitor vital signs and temperature. control. "If anyone has symptoms of the virus, the test will be immediately enhanced," Psychological counseling will be available for those with stress symptoms.

The total number of scholarship students is 75. The young people who have returned had already completed their studies, and were only in China awaiting graduation; However, the Institute for Training and Use of Human Resources reported that on the 4th and 7th of this month the balance of the students will return.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/33-students-back-from-china-in-quarantine-center

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Police called as residents protest school use for coronavirus quarantine

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Posted 03/02/2020

National Police crowd control teams were called to Pacora, east of the capital city on Monday, February 3  as residents near the Father Guardia Jaén school protested the use of the facility to house and quarantine 33 students who returned to Panama from China, on Sunday.

Health authorities planned to keep them in quarantine and under observation in the gymnasium of the educational campus for 14 days. Residents of the nearby  Los Alamos neighborhood, fearing the students could be carrying the new coronavirus that has killed nearly 500 people in China and infected hundreds of thousands consider the students a danger to their health, and demand that they are removed from the site.

After the National Police arrived, to maintain order protesters said they will not clear the area until the students are removed reports TVN,

The  Ministry of Health Minsa) reiterated, that none of the young people who arrived in the country are ill or have symptoms of the coronavirus(2019-nCoV).

Health authorities will keep students isolated for 14 days in preventive monitoring. We have taken steps to have them together to prevent them from being stigmatized and protect their identity

He said that they can move freely within the school premises, which was inspected by the Deputy Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre.

Sucre said that the school was chosen because of its size since it will house all the young people from China.

The Minsa said the student monitoring process began from China and is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It complies with sanitary measures based on the international sanitary code and regulation, he said.

It was explained that before discharging the students they will have a laboratory test in which they take a sample of the secretions of the throat, called nasopharyngeal swab, which is performed by specialists of the Gorgas Memorial Institute for the diagnosis of infections viral respiratory

Parents of the students have written on social networks that their children were in the cities of Shanghai and Suzhou, which are not close to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/police-called-as-residents-protest-school-use-for-coronavirus-quarantine

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They are probably fine, although if even one is infected, the rest will likely get the virus, too.   The virus continues to spread at 20% per day, although some studies estimate only 100% per week. Of course, that assumes  that China is not understating their numbers.

Plug those numbers into an exponential growth calculator, and you get some mind-boggling numbers by the end of March.  Don't even think about July. We need to hope it mutates into a less virulent strain, because none of us seem to have any natural immunity to it.  So far,  it is very similar to what happened just over 100 years ago with the Spanish Flu.  There's not much we can do about it, and the overwhelming number of patients do recover.

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2 hours ago, Uncle Doug said:

They are probably fine, although if even one is infected, the rest will likely get the virus, too.   The virus continues to spread at 20% per day, although some studies estimate only 100% per week. Of course, that assumes  that China is not understating their numbers.

Plug those numbers into an exponential growth calculator, and you get some mind-boggling numbers by the end of March.  Don't even think about July. We need to hope it mutates into a less virulent strain, because none of us seem to have any natural immunity to it.  So far,  it is very similar to what happened just over 100 years ago with the Spanish Flu.  There's not much we can do about it, and the overwhelming number of patients do recover.

 

Health aspects aside, be prepared for a world wide financial crisis if China begins closing their seaports.

 

 

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A school gym is not a suitable confinement facility.  A school gymnasium is not equipped with  basics necessary to contain a virus if one were carried by a confined person.   I would think that the community has reason for concern . Panama  has to  come up with acceptable  basic public health protections.    (  Basic disease confinement as would be recommended by the WHO)  I would think the guidelines would be better  than camping potential cases like flood victims on cots in  a  school gym ( just guessing).

 As a nurse my mind is boggled.  

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“Ignorance and lack of sensitivity” forces relocation of quarantined students

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The students head for a newnlocation

Posted 04/02/2020

The  closure of  Pan-American Highway by Pacora residents protesting the use of a local campus to house students under health surveillance after returning from China forced health authorities to relocate them.

They had been under observation at the Father Fernando Guardia Jaén School,

The highway was blocked from 3 am preventing many drivers from getting to work and forcing Metro buses to return to the city.

 After 7:20 am, a contingent of vehicles including a bus carrying the students began to leave

Nadja Porcell, General Director of Health of the Health  Ministry told TVN News, that the situation in Pacora was unfortunate. She stressed that what was to be avoided was for people to enter into a state of fear. " The students  have no symptoms, they have arrived from cities in China and we follow all the recommendations that have been given internationally ."

She said that they were put in that place for observation  and after 14 days with no symptoms, they would return to their homes.

" That is a measure that has been taken based on the protocols that we have already consulted with all international organizations, " he said.

Porcell said that in Panama surveillance has intensified at the airport and other points of entry, due to new coronavirus.

She said that they wanted to ensure the privacy of the students who returned from China. " The truth is that the action of some people is regrettable ."

She explained that students are in observation and they meet with health personnel and have all the attention. If they were sick they would be taken to a special treatment center.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/ignorance-and-lack-of-sensitivity-forces-relocation-of-quarantined-students

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Coronavirus  sparks ignorance and xenophobia

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Posted 04/02/2020

The coronavirus has awakened the forces of ignorance and xenophobia. A worrying health situation that originated in China, is being confronted with the best tools of medicine, public health, and science. Very serious authorities and experts have denied again and again falsehoods distributed by social networks. 

Panama has taken responsible actions towards its population and there is permanent monitoring by the public health system of our country. Simple personal hygiene measures, such as washing your hands frequently and sneezing with your mouth covered, can help reduce the risk of contagion from any disease. Citizens should seek their information from reliable sources and means. We cannot let panic and manipulation take control of communication on this subject. In the recent past, Panama has successfully faced epidemics and health threats. At this time, what must prevail is wisdom. This is not a racial or national problem. It is a situation that could arise anywhere in the world. Let's not lose sight of the fact that coronavirus is a health risk that science already knows how to fight. - LA PRENSA, Feb.4

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/coronavirus-sparks-ignorance-and-xenophobia-1

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Coronavirus suspends Atlapa international shoe fashion fair

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Posted 04/02/2020

Shipping difficulties created by the coronavirus epidemic has caused the suspension of an exhibition of major brands of footwear set for next week at the Atlapa Conference Center in Panama.

 It was suspended due to difficulties in moving samples to be exhibited, many of them from Asia. The organizers of ExpoTrend Summer 2020 reported Monday that given the "delay, closure of flights and international cargo caused by the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus," most exhibitors "cannot receive the seasonal samples they would exhibit." at the event as  they come from Asia

.The exhibition was scheduled between February 10 and 12 with the presence of more than 60 brands and the participation of more than 300 wholesalers from Panama and several countries in the region. Among confirmed participants were s Ocean Pacific, Nike, Everlast, Beverly Hills Polo Club, GIMBO Kids, Discovery Expedition, DKNY, Perry Ellis, Ultra Soft and Nautica,

A new date will be announced within a month2020 ExpoTrend is a fashion and trends fair that seeks to create value relationships and generate connections between wholesale buyers and distributors around the world, said the Wendys Group, organizer of the event Although this exclusive sample for wholesalers was born designed only for the footwear sector, in the edition of this 2020 it has been extended to other categories of accessories, toys, and school supplies.

The Wendys Group had said that it expected ExpoTrend Summer 2020 to generate a turnover close to $5 million in wholesale transactions, about double what was negotiated in the third edition.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/coronavirus-suspends-atlapa-international-shoe-fashion-fair-1

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1 hour ago, Moderator_02 said:

 Let's not lose sight of the fact that coronavirus is a health risk that science already knows how to fight.

That is recklessly false.  Right now there are two cruise ships where all passengers are quarantined.  Given how rotovirus spreads in a cruise ship environment, those ships are not a good place to be, especially if you're not yet infected.

Science is trying to fight the virus by detecting and detaining sick travelers at transit points.  But infected patients do not show symptoms for several days but can spread the virus before they get symptoms. And it now appears that the virus has mutated a little, unfortunately into an even more virulent strain.  It's not that it's more deadly, but each infected person now on average infects over 3 others. It's now spreading faster than the Spanish Flu of 1918.  There was no way for science to fight that pandemic, and there is no way to fight this one.

A vaccine wil be developed, but not until it's far too late.  The economic consequences might well affect upcoming elections.

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- China scholarship students quarantined in Panama Pacifico

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Posted 05/02/2020

Panama’s Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, met on Wednesday, February 5, with representatives of the Panama Pacific Economic Area (Panama Pacifico)  to discuss the government decision to accommodate the young Panamanians who were, recently, studying in China, where the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV has killed over 500 people.

“The National Government made the decision to accommodate young people temporarily at the base of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), based on the community offering security, well-being and as a sign of responsible coordination between international, state and private companies. ”, The Ministry said in a statement.

The students had originally been lodged in a school in Pacora but were moved after resident protests closed highways.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/china-scholarship-students-quarantined-in-panama-pacifico-1

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Coronavirus  delays new convention center showcase opening

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Posted 05/02/2020

Expocomer, the " Showcase of World Trade " that normally open in March and had been heralded as the first international event at the  new Amador Convention Center will now run from June 3 to 6

"We are very proud that Expocomer 20202will be the first international event to be inaugurated at the new Panama Convention Center," said Jorge Juan de la Guardia, president of the Chamber of Commerce (Cciap). He added that, as a responsible guild, and given the global health situation with the coronavirus, "The Chamber has decided to postpone the commercial exhibition, which has always been developed in March, to the month of June ."

 A press release said that Panama has a lot to offer to exhibitors, buyers and visitors who meet every year both at fair activities organized by the Chamber, as well as at other meetings held in the country. Jorge García Icaza, president of the Organizing Committee said that for 20 years CCIAP had stated that Atlapa had run out of space for Expocomer to expand.

"Now, with the opening of this new center, events can be bigger and it is a fundamental piece for hotels in the city, because it will attract a large flow of visitors, improve hotel occupancy and other economic agents in the country,"

The 2020 event y has 700 modules occupied that will concentrate entrepreneurs from Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Taiwan, and Turkey. The countries that participate in the multisectoral fair will be distributed in 16,000 square meters that will house different countries distributed by pavilions, in which businessmen, buyers, and visitors will appreciate
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/coronavirus-delays-new-convention-center-showcase-opening

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Moderator comment: Technically speaking, this article does not meet the requirements for posting here on CL because it is not directly related to life here in Panama, and especially in the Chiriqui highlands. However, given the subject matter and the significance of this global health issue, we are making an exception.

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The Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm on the Wuhan coronavirus has died

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/06/asia/li-wenliang-coronavirus-whistleblower-doctor-dies-intl/index.html

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Postponing the Trade convention until June because of the coronavirus is a bit strange.  There is every reason to think that the outbreak will be much worse by then because nobody is suggesting that it will be eliminated or contained this year.  If China is self-reporting a 15% increase in cases over yesterday, there is no reason to think it is less than that.  There is some hope that a vaccine might be developed, but getting it manufactured and distributed worldwide  is a formidable task.

The odds are much higher that all of us will catch it, be miserable for 9 -20 days, but survive it just fine.  Of course, mutations could impact all this, hopefully for the better.

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Maybe the June time is just a “place holder” for Trade convention opening? 
 

i agree this coronavirus situation seems to be worse every day.  Keeping the hand sanitizer handy & happy no cruise scheduled in our near future.

Be safe ‼️

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Has anyone heard what the mortality rate is after confirmation that a patient has the virus?

Here is an excellent NY Times reference article.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/asia/china-coronavirus-contain.html?action=click&auth=login-google&context=storyline_guide&module=styln-coronavirus&pgtype=Article&region=MID_MAIN_CONTENT&state=default&variant=show

OK I looked up the mortality rate  and apparently it is moderately contagious and is liken to SARS.  Droplet transmission ( sneezes ...and as well hand contact with sneezed droplets you may contact with your hand and bring to the face)

Best advice right now is take your vitamins, stay healthy and wash your hands.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

Li Wenliang pictured in an intensive care bed after contracting the virus. He died on Thursday.

Well, apparently he was resurrected.  Multiple news sources now report that he is only in critical condition at the moment and earlier reports were premature. 

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Latest report is they tried desperately to save him but he did in fact pass away and was pronounced dead at 3 am Feb 7th.  34 yr old , so young.  What a shame. Apparently ( like the virus itself ) , China's government  tried to suppress the news of the death when it had occurred earlier that night.    

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Doctor who raised  early coronavirus alarm  dies

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Posted 06/02/2020

Li Wenliang, one of the Chinese doctors who warned of the appearance of the new coronavirus, died on Thursday, February 6, in the city of Wuhan, in central China.

According to Chinese media reports in English, Wenliang died of the coronavirus.

He was one of the first doctors who warned, in the city of Wuhan, about the appearance of a strange disease, so he warned the Chinese authorities, who accused him of spreading false news.

According to the BBC, Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at the Central Hospital in Wuhan City, used social media to warn his colleagues to be careful of a mysterious new disease.

Wenliang recommended to his colleagues to wear protective clothing to avoid getting the strange disease that had appeared in the area.

He was visited by Chinese security agents, who allegedly made him sign a document, accusing him of spreading false news.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/doctor-who-raised-early-coronavirus-alarm-dies

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President visits quarantined  China students

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Posted 06/02/2020

Panama  President, Laurentino Cortizo on Thursday, February 6, visited  40 scholarship students recently evacuated from China because of the coronavirus outbreak and now quarantined the  Howard headquarters of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc)  in Panama Pacifico.

The president who was accompanied by the Ministry of Health officials was not wearing a mask told media, that the young people are in good spirits, good health and well attended.

A smaller group of students is reported to be at a center in Las Cumbres and the arrival of other students is expected to complete a total of 75, who were learning Mandarin in China. They will remain in quarantine until February 20.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/president-visits-quarantined-china-students

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Moderator comment: This is a another posting that is being treated as an exception to our posting guidelines, given the worldwide impact of this health issue.

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Coronavirus deaths surpass SARS fatalities; at least 811 have died

Deaths from the novel coronavirus have now surpassed that of SARS in the early 2000s, with more than 800 dead so far, according to multiple reports.

Hubei province in China reported 81 deaths Saturday, which pushed the death toll for the virus to 811 -- past that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which broke out on the mainland in 2002 and 2003.

The SARS outbreak killed at least 774, with 8,096 infections globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The coronavirus, by comparison, has already infected at least 37,198 and has taken the lives of at least 811 people on China's mainland, as of Saturday night.

The first death outside of China was recorded in the Philippines on Sunday. The 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was hospitalized last week with a fever, cough and sore throat, and died after developing severe pneumonia, according to the Philippines health department.

Hong Kong reported its first death on Tuesday in a 39-year-old man who traveled from Wuhan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the number of cases will keep growing as tests are pending on thousands of suspected cases.

There is no vaccine to protect against the virus, although the National Institutes of Health in Maryland had confirmed to Fox News that they were in the “early stages” of developing one.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. There aren't many preemptive steps that can be taken to avoid infection, other than practicing basic sanitary measures on a regular basis.

Fox News' David Aaro and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/coronavirus-deaths-surpass-sars-death-hundreds-killed

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It's really hard to know for sure what is going on in China.   The anecdotal reports are terrible, but they are very hard to verify. The reported numbers of the infection growth rate have slowly dropped from over 20%/day to about 10%, although that is still very alarming given the logarithmic nature of those numbers.

From the time the virus was first detected and concerns raised, but before China imposed the quarantine on the city of Wuhan, over 5 million people left the city.  They mostly traveled within China, but that's why there out outbreaks all over China now, and less so internationally.

We need international observers from the World Health Organization on the ground in China. Some experts think the numbers of those infected is probably 10 times what is being reported.  Certainly some mild cases are not being reported, but China also has an incentive to try to keep the public from panicking and not going to the workplace.  

Unfortunately, I don't see how it matters too much whether the number of infected is 3,700, or 370,000. We have no way of containing it until a vaccine is developed, produced, and distributed.   The measures already taken have almost certainly slowed the rate of new infections but you can be sure that the number tomorrow will be higher with no end in sight.

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Agree with you. China probably clamping down on freedom of the press.

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Coronavirus threat halts Panama national soccer Thailand fixture

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Posted 10/02/2020

Panama’s national soccer team has canceled a fixture in  Thailand as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

The team coach , Argentina's Américo Rubén 'Tolo' Gallego, said on Monday, February 10. "We are  not going to travel (to Thailand) and)  and  take unnecessary risks for the life of any of us

They are studying the possibility of meeting the Asian team at the end of next March.

"There is another rival from the area here with whom we are going to play," added Gallego,

The reds will prepare to face Nicaragua on February and for another friendly visitor match against Guatemala, on March 4.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/events/coronavirus-threat-halts-panama-national-soccer-thailand-fixture-1

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