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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

Message added by Moderator_02

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9 arrested  after lockdown poolside party

booze-partyj.jpeg

Posted 07/04/2020

Security Minister, Juan Pino, said that an investigation has been opened after police were called to a poolside party in the Patio Pinel sector, on Sunday, April 5, during a countrywide lockdown. Nine people were arrested It was the second part flouting the stay at home regulations. The previous incident was a wedding party in a Paitilla apartment block. The organizers of both events face heavy fines.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/9-arrested-after-lockdown-poolside-party

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Moderator comment: For related postings, see:

 

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OPINION: Deaths that might been avoided

wedding.jpg

Posted 07/04/2020

We begin the fourth week of response measures to COVID-19 in our country. The vast majority of citizens and foreigners residing in our land have strictly followed the measures implemented to reduce dangerous contagion.

However, from the weddings in Paitilla to the pools in Patio Pinel there is a culture of irreverence and disrespect for such delicate rules. We will never know the number of patients or deaths that would have been avoided if the population had fully complied with the sanitary restrictions from the beginning. Everyone's health depends on each fellow citizen, each neighbor, each stranger and each acquaintance. Today more than ever, comply with sanitary rules and regulations, curfews, total quarantine and controlled exit with the ID number only when necessary, they are actions of civic value and love for the homeland. The lives lost by the COVID-19 cannot be in vain. Stay at home.- LA PRENSA, Apl. 7

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-deaths-that-might-been-avoided

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'Abril será un mes crítico en la lucha contra el coronavirus', advierte presidente de Panamá

Cortizo pidió a la población entender que éste es el virus de la muerte, por lo que insistió en atender las recomendaciones de quedarse en casa 

Por Gustavo A. Aparicio O.

5e8d1edbd8383.r_d.1044-490.jpeg
Cortizo advirtió a políticos que o se alinean o se salen del programa, tras indicar que en el Plan Panamá Solidario no hay banderías políticas.Archivo| La Estrella de Panamá

El presidente de Panamá, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen advirtió la noche de este martes que en la batalla contra el coronavirus, abril “será un mes difícil, un mes complicado, un mes crítico”.

El mandatario, en un conversatorio virtual con periodistas locales manifestó que en Panamá aún no se ha llegado al pico de lo que le toca con respecto a casos de coronavirus.

“Estamos en ese proceso”, dijo, tras exigir a la población seguir las recomendaciones sanitarias.    

El mandatario no se atrevió a ofrecer una fecha estimada en torno al aplanamiento de la curva, contención o disminución del número de contagios en nuestro país. “La situación es muy cambiante, este mes va a ser un mes difícil, será un mes crítico”.

Al referirse a un eventual levantamiento de la cuarentena, aunque enfatizó que no hay fecha para ello, señaló que obviamente cuando se dé, deberá hacerse de una manera gradual, siguiendo las recomendaciones del equipo de salud.

Afirmó que el cien por ciento de las decisiones que se han tomado, todas desde el punto de vista salud han sido tomadas con el equipo salud, con profesionales de la más alta calidad en Panamá y personal de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS). “Escuchamos las evidencias científicas y rápidamente tomamos las acciones”, precisó.

'O se alinean o salen del programa'

El gobernante se refirió también al Plan Panamá Solidario que involucra la entrega de bolsa de comida y del Bono Solidario, con el cual se espera llegar a 1 millón 300 mil panameños.

En tal sentido, manifestó que la única bandera de este plan es la de Panamá, “no es la bandera de ningún partido político, ni la de ningún funcionario ni candidato electo ni autoridad. O se alinean o se salen del programa, hay un solo programa, no dos y la bandera es la de Panamá”, dijo.

“No quiero a nadie con ningún suéter político, de representantes, diputados, ni de alcaldes; quien haga eso queda excluido totalmente del plan”, advirtió.

Insistió en que no permitirá que se politice un plan de esta naturaleza que lo que busca llevar es un alivio. “Esto no va a durar un mes, dos meses, esto va a durar mucho más, y hay que administrar los recursos”, señaló.

También habló de desvincular o despedir a funcionarios, que a pesar de estar laborando y recibiendo su salario, han recibido o tomado los bonos y las bolsas de comida. “Desvincular es botar”, dijo. “Funcionarios, tenemos un trabajo, no estén agarrando ni las bolsas ni los bonos”, enfatizó.

Cortizo Cohen aunque manifestó que las cosas se han estado haciendo bien, fue enfático en señalar que eso no es suficiente “porque no hay nada escrito del comportamiento del coronavirus”.

Recordó que en el mundo ya han muerto más de 75 mil personas por el coronavirus y agregó que “desafortunadamente en nuestro país van a seguir muriendo personas”. “La gente debe entender que este es el virus de la muerte, es un virus invisible que nos ataca, es un virus que no se ve”, afirmó.

 

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

Quote

'April will be a critical month in the fight against the coronavirus', warns the president of Panama

Cortizo asked the population to understand that this is the death virus, so he insisted on attending to the recommendations to stay home

By Gustavo A. Aparicio O.
Updated 04/07/2020 19:48

<<5e8d1edchel383.r_d.1044-490.jpeg>>
Cortizo warned politicians that they either align or exit the program, after indicating that there are no political flags in the Panama Solidarity Plan. Archive | The Panama Star

Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen warned Tuesday night that in the battle against the coronavirus, April "will be a difficult month, a complicated month, a critical month."

The president, in a virtual conversation with local journalists, stated that in Panama the peak of his turn with respect to coronavirus cases has not yet been reached.

"We are in that process," he said, after demanding that the population follow the health recommendations.

The president did not dare to offer an estimated date around the flattening of the curve, containment or decrease in the number of infections in our country. "The situation is very changing, this month is going to be a difficult month, it will be a critical month."

Referring to an eventual removal of the quarantine, although he emphasized that there is no date for it, he pointed out that obviously when it occurs, it should be done gradually, following the recommendations of the health team.

He affirmed that one hundred percent of the decisions that have been made, all from the health point of view, have been made with the health team, with professionals of the highest quality in Panama and personnel from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) . "We listen to the scientific evidence and quickly take action," he said.

'Either line up or exit the program'

The governor also referred to the Panama Solidarity Plan that involves the delivery of a food bag and the Solidarity Bonus, with which it is expected to reach 1,300,000 Panamanians.

In this sense, he stated that the only flag of this plan is that of Panama, “it is not the flag of any political party, nor that of any official or elected candidate or authority. Either they align themselves or they leave the program, there is only one program, not two and the flag is that of Panama, ”he said.

"I do not want anyone with any political sweater, representatives, deputies, or mayors; Whoever does that is totally excluded from the plan, ”he warned.

He insisted that he will not allow a plan of this nature to be politicized that what he seeks to bring is relief. "This is not going to last a month, two months, this is going to last much longer, and you have to manage resources," he said.

He also spoke of dismissing or firing officials, who despite being working and receiving their wages, have received or taken the bonuses and food bags. "Unlinking is bouncing," he said. "Officials, we have a job, they are not grabbing the bags or the bonds," he emphasized.

Cortizo Cohen, although he stated that things have been done well, was emphatic in pointing out that this is not enough "because there is nothing written about the behavior of the coronavirus."

He recalled that more than 75,000 people have died in the world from the coronavirus and added that "unfortunately in our country people are going to continue dying." "People must understand that this is the virus of death, it is an invisible virus that attacks us, it is a virus that cannot be seen," he said.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200407/abril-sera-mes-critico-lucha-coronavirus-advierte-presidente-panama

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Utilización de mascarilla causa debate de salud

Aleida Samaniego C. 
08 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM 
La Organización Mundial de la Salud y los Centros de Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) tienen opiniones encontradas. La primera plantea que se debe priorizar su uso de mascarillas para los trabajadores de salud, enfermos y los cuidadores de enfermos, porque se están agotando. Sin embargo, los CDC sostienen que hay estudios que muestran que una persona asintomática o preasintomática puede propagar el virus y, por ello, recomienda su uso generalizado en sitios como supermercados.
 
La ministra Rosario Turner afirma que, a medida que se conoce el comportamiento del virus, los sistemas sanitarios van tomando las decisiones.

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/utilizacion-de-mascarilla-causa-debate-de-salud/

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Cubrebocas, entre recomendación y obligatoriedad

Urania Cecilia Molina
08 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/cubrebocas-entre-recomendacion-y-obligatoriedad/

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Moderator comment: Reference to Tigo Millicom Panama in the below article means the parent (holding) company of CableOnda and Movistar. Click Here for more information about the acquisition of CableOnda, etc.

Quote

Cuarentena dispara el consumo de internet

Los panameños intentan seguir con muchas de sus actividades a través del servicio de internet. Las empresas de telecomunicaciones no descansan.
Elisabel Marivit Fermín 
07 abr 2020 - 08:42 PM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/economia/cuarentena-dispara-el-consumo-de-internet/

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3 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

CDC and WHO differ on mask use

Hi Alison the nurse here, 

SIMPLE.wear a mask !!!!!!!!!     Listen, if they want to debate........fine, debate away. 

NO QUESTION: Put something over your  face and stay away  from the unmasked.     Best maybe to learn the correct use..there's lots of instructions available. It's NOT rocket science.  

WEAR A MASK  (scarf) .............................Alison

  • Upvote 1

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Hundreds of people in Panama are identified/arrested on a daily basis for not following MINSA quarantine rules. Are these individuals Panamanians or gringos? If they are gringos threatening lives of others by this behavior, does this establish a reason to force them out of Panama?

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/8/2020 2:34:46 PM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 8, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 8, 2020)

 

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminders

 

On April 7, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 2,249 cases of COVID-19.

 

MINSA reminds citizens and residents of Panama that staying at home, not touching your face, and washing your hands frequently are the best means of prevention against COVID-19.  It also recommends the use of masks, even homemade ones, when in public.

 

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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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City regarding possible future commercial humanitarian flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 4/8/2020 2:42:26 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 8, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (April 7, 2020)

 

Location: Panama

 

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flight

 

At present the Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States. As the COVID-19 situation develops, our ability to provide such assistance may become more limited or even unavailable.  There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future.  If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to remain where you are for the foreseeable future.

 

The Embassy has arranged one commercially-operated humanitarian flight for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who wishes to depart Panama.  There are no other planned flights.  If you are interested in leaving Panama, we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, or be prepared to remain here for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more.

 

There is one flight operated by Spirit Airlines (NK 6501) scheduled for April 11 with a limited number of seats available, and dates and times may change.  We are in the process of notifying individuals who have already expressed interest in being evacuated from Panama about this flight.

 

·         April 11, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m.

 

For additional information about the flight and to make reservations please contact Spirit Airlines directly.  Spirit anticipates ticket sales for this flight will commence Sunday, April 5.  The Embassy encourages you to check their website regularly for updates.

 

The Embassy encourages interested U.S. citizens and LPRs to purchase early and forward your purchase confirmation email to the Embassy immediately at PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov so that we can assist you with the issuance of salvoconducto passes.

 

If you have not already done so, please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.  If you have previously expressed your interest you do NOT need to resubmit.

 

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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3 hours ago, Marcelyn said:

Hundreds of people in Panama are identified/arrested on a daily basis for not following MINSA quarantine rules. Are these individuals Panamanians or gringos? If they are gringos threatening lives of others by this behavior, does this establish a reason to force them out of Panama?

Doubt it.  Just being handcuffed behind your back and tossed into a paddy wagon with 20 other idiots  might be a deterant.   ( like if one coughs...)

  • Upvote 1

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              WEEKLY PROGRAM (Programa Seminal) ...nothing to do with body fluids. 

 I would assume this is public assistance for the poor.  I post this so we might pass the information on to those poor families we might know a/o employ

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1 hour ago, Brundageba said:

Doubt it.  Just being handcuffed behind your back and tossed into a paddy wagon with 20 other idiots  might be a deterant.   ( like if one coughs...)

Those arrested are sent over to the Justice of the Peace. I understand that there is a $50 fine or community work for the first offense.

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10 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

The president, in a virtual conversation with local journalists, stated that in Panama the peak of his turn with respect to coronavirus cases has not yet been reached.

"We are in that process," he said, after demanding that the population follow the health recommendations.

Keep screwing up and I'll only let you out on your birthday !

Image may contain: 1 person, suit, possible text that says 'Sigan jodiendo y solo los dejo salir el día de su cumpleaños'

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Perhaps a good “community service” project would be making these offenders work in centers (hospital, etc.) caring for coronavirus individuals.

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41 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Nobody out on Saturday or Sunday. Total lockdown.

 

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the referenced Tweet by President Cortizo. This executive decision has also been reported on local TV news programs.

Quote

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen reported through his twitter that “for the health security of the country and to preserve the life of Panamanians, on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 no one will be able to go out into the streets to comply with the quarantine total"

 

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Moderator comment: Below is a Tweet by Minsa that was published at 7:30PM, Wednesday, April 8th, 2020, about the extension of the "absolute" (total) quarantine now including Saturday, April 11th.

If you wish to follow this Twitter account, the name is Ministerio de Salud de Panamá, @MINSAPma.

Quote

 

 

Moderator comment: Below are the four pages of graphics extracted from the above Tweet.

cortizo 1.jpg

cortizo 2.jpg

cortizo 3.jpg

cortizo 4.jpg

 

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above Tweet of Minsa Communique #44.

Quote

COMMUNIQUE # 44

Absolute quarantine for Saturday 11 and Sunday 12

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen reported through his twitter account that "for the country's health security and to preserve the life of the people of Panama, on Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th no one will be able to go out into the streets to comply with total quarantine."

The Minister of Security, Juan Pino, explained that the measure would take effect from 00:00 on Saturday 11 and will run until Sunday, April 12. Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Rosario Turner said that she hopes that Good Friday will be a day of true recollection.

In the last 24 hours, 589 people are reported to have violated the quarantine, including 46 minors.

Pino said that given the relaxation, more coercive measures are being evaluated, such as taking away the driver's license for three months from drivers who violate the provisions.

During the press conference, the minister explained that given the situation that arose in Minera Panama, the vice minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, and the doctor, Nadja Parcell, met with company executives to evaluate actions.

The MINSA informs all the companies that are dedicated to selling products online and that are not covered by Executive Decree 507 that they will not be able to continue offering their services, except for those that have a safe-conduct.

Minister Turner today toured the facilities of the Gorgas Commemorative Institute and met with the director of the institution, Juan Miguel Pascale. Mariana will arrive in the country with a cargo plane with 1,600 COVID-19 tests.

The tests will be distributed in the Anita Moreno hospitals in Los Santos; Luis "Chicho" Fabrega, from Veraguas; Nicolas A. Solano, in Panama Oeste; and the Children's Hospital and the metropolitan area.

The director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau Cortes, reported that the decision was made to decontaminate the Bolfvar Building, where part of the institution operates.

He also reported that the CSS has acquired new equipment to make hematology tests faster and with 16% less cost. At the same time, four new doctors have been appointed.

The lfarhu director, Bernando Meneses, highlighted the massive display of volunteerism, since more than 600 young people have responded to the call of the National Government to participate in the delivery of the food rafts and the solidarity bona.

As of 4:00 pm today, 27,339 food rafts have been prepared at the Atlapa collection center, of which 16,852 were dispatched throughout the country; while in Chiriquí 2,118 rafts have been prepared of which 2,050 were dispatched.

Epidemiological report

As of today, April 8, 135 new positive cases are reported, for a total of 2,528, and 16 have been recovered. 2,154 people are in home isolation, while there are 194 patients hospitalized in the ward, 101 in intensive care, and 63 deceased.

All official information regarding COVID-19 in Panama and the actions of the National Government are communicated through the official accounts of MINSA on the main social networks and on its website (www.minsa.gob.pa and yomeinformopma.org), Also available are the 169 call center and the WhatsApp number 6997-2539.

Panama, April 8, 2020 Time: 7:30 p.m.

 

 

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Moderator comment: For additional information about Deputy Zulay Rodríguez, Click Here.

Quote

Deputy attacks hand out request for airlines

zulay.jpg

Posted 08/04/2020

Ruling party (PRD) deputy Zulay Rodríguez lashed out on Twitter after the International Air Transport Association asked for support from the Government to face the impact of COVID-19.

"Now what are the airlines trying to do, that we sacrifice public funds for a rescue plan. You have benefited from the HUB in Tocumen and with the money from the state, an exclusive terminal for COPA has been built for you. Leave the scoundrel and ask PANAMOTTA", she wrote

Rodríguez told La Critica that in the last 15 years, COPA has had a prosperous business for and through three governments, the State-supported them by investing millions that have not been invested with the people "and now they are asking for a fiscal sacrifice in this moment?.

She said it is incredible that the airline of  Stanley Motta one of the richest men in Latin America, is asking for this.

"In less than 15 days after Tocumen SA has closed the gentlemen want compensation when the world is ending, and the  Panamanian people for the people who are unemployed, do not have a direct response," said the deputy.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/deputy-attacks-hand-out-request-for-airlines

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23 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

 

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President condemns partyers flouting lockdown

party.jpg

Police clean up after party crowd fled

Posted 08/04/2020

As the number of people detained for flouting lockdown decrees zoomed past  7,000  and the death toll from COVID-19   climbed to over 60  President Lprentino Cortizo joined in the criticism of street curfew offenders and those partying at home.

 Speaking on TVN, President Laurentino Cortizo said: "What is not understood about staying in our houses?" after reiterating that this is a "highly contagious’ virus, and condemning a   rooftop party at Patio Pinel in Santa Ana and an upscale wedding celebration with musicians and caterers in PH Manhattan Sky, on  Calle Winston Churchill. In  Paitilla with videos pf both events circulating on social media.

Executive sources affirmed that it is analyzing the presentation of bills before the National Assembly to criminalize disobedience to isolation and to the curfews decreed.

On  Tuesday, April  7  The Minister of Public Security, Juan Pino, reported that in the previous 24 hours 797 people were detained for defying mobility restrictions in the midst of the pandemic. That is, 108 more than those who arrested  Sunday. Most of those who disobeyed the order live in Panama Central.

Pino, said that, together with the Public Ministry, they are conducting an investigation into the Santa Ana event on the same day as the wedding party the day of absolute lockdown decreed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He said that none of those who participated were captured on the day of the activity. Because someone warned the 20 odd partiers that the National Police were on the way.

"They had an early warning," said Pino, adding that  "there is enough evidence", so they are working with the Public Ministry to locate those responsible.

Videos and photos of the party showed a group of at least 20 people dancing, singing and with drinks in hand. There was a plastic pool and a grill loaded with meat meats.

Investigation of the wedding party with videos showing women in long gowns and well-dressed men are also underway.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/president-condemns-partyers-flouting-lockdown

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Anuncian cuarentena absoluta para este sábado y domingo, analizan quitar licencias a conductores

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Por Redacción de TVN Noticias
08/04/2020 - 6:36 PM

El ministro de Seguridad Pública, Juan Pino anunció que para este sábado 11 y domingo 12 de abril se establecerá cuarentena absoluta a nivel nacional. Por lo tanto, nadie podrá salir de sus casas, salvo las excepciones establecidas en el Decreto Ejecutivo 507. 

También aseguró que están analizando tomar medidas más fuertes contra aquellos conductores que violen la cuarentena establecida para hacerle frente a la pandemia de COVID-19 en el país. 

" Se les quitará la licencia de conducir por tres meses y el vehículo será removido con grúa", destacó Pino.

Durante las últimas 24 horas, un total de 589 personas fueron retenidas en el país por incumplir el Decreto Ejecutivo.

De esta cifra, 483 son hombres, 60 mujeres y 46 menores de edad.

Las autoridades de Salud del país han manifestado su preocupación por una parte de la población que no está acatando las medidas para mitigar la propagación del COVID-19.

Por su parte, la Policía Nacional asegura que seguirán con los respectivos operativos.

 

 

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

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They announce absolute quarantine for this Saturday and Sunday, they analyze to remove licenses to drivers

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By Drafting of TVN News
04/08/2020 - 6:36 PM

The Minister of Public Security, Juan Pino announced that for this Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, absolute quarantine will be established at the national level. Therefore, no one will be able to leave their homes, except for the exceptions established in Executive Decree 507.

He also assured that they are analyzing to take stronger measures against those drivers who violate the established quarantine to face the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

"Their driver's license will be taken away for three months and the vehicle will be removed with a crane," said Pino.

During the last 24 hours, a total of 589 people were detained in the country for breaching the Executive Decree.

Of this number, 483 are men, 60 women and 46 minors.

The country's Health authorities have expressed concern about a part of the population that is not complying with measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

For its part, the National Police assures that they will continue with the respective operations.

https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Autoridades-anuncian-cuarentena-licencias-conductores_0_5551694851.html

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On 3/29/2020 at 7:35 AM, Moderator_02 said:

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article. (Also, personal opinion is that Panama did the "right thing" in allowing passage of the Zaandam.)

https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/gobierno-nacional-autoriza-paso-del-crucero-zaandam-por-el-canal-de-panama/

 

Quote

'La impotencia ajena me mataba'

El piloto panameño Rainiero Salas, que cruzó por el Canal una de las embarcaciones con pasajeros con síntomas de Covid-19, lo hizo como un “acto de humanidad”

Por Nubia Aparicio S.

5e8e75dc06fef.r_d.954-311.jpeg
Rainiero Salas, un piloto humanitario.Nubia Aparicio| La Estrella Panamá

Lo más seguro es que más de un cineasta ya estará pensando en hacer una película sobre la pesadilla vivida por los pasajeros y tripulantes del crucero MS Zaandam, y, por supuesto, unos de los personajes serán los pilotos panameños que se atrevieron a cruzar por la vía interoceánica, tanto al barco al que le habían prohibido atracar en varios países, así como a su gemelo que vino a auxiliarlo.

El viaje, que comenzó como una maravillosa aventura a bordo del crucero, terminó convertido en un trágico drama para las 1,800 personas, entre pasajeros y tripulantes, que se encontraban en el buque.

Zaandam, propiedad de Holland America Line, zarpó de Buenos Aires el 7 de marzo hacia San Antonio en la costa central de Chile, pero mientras avanzaba en busca de un puerto donde atracar, se encontró con el cierre de fronteras en varios países ante la pandemia del coronavirus.

El crucero no pudo ingresar a ningún puerto y permaneció varado por varios días en aguas panameñas, ante la negativa de las autoridades para permitirle cruzar, tras reportar dos casos de coronavirus y cuatro muertes dentro del barco.

El 22 de marzo se agravó la situación a bordo, pues se informó que 56 pasajeros y 85 tripulantes afirmaban sentirse mal y tener fiebre o tos.

Para auxiliar al Zaandam, Panamá autorizó la llegada del buque Rotterdam, una embarcación que zarpó desde San Diego con personal médico y test de prueba para el coronavirus.

Cerca de 400 personas del Zaandam fueron trasladadas a dicho crucero. El paso de este grupo de personas, sin síntomas de coronavirus, fue un intento por evitar la propagación del virus en todos los pasajeros.

5e8e75dd4d107.jpeg
'La impotencia ajena me mataba'

Mientras todo eso sucedía, gente de Panamá y del mundo estaba a la expectativa de lo que sucedería con el Zaandam y su gemelo.

Finalmente, en un acto de ayuda humanitaria, el sábado 28 de marzo, ambas embarcaciones fueron autorizadas para cruzar el Canal de Panamá.

Uno de los pilotos a quien le tocó la riesgosa tarea, fue a Rainiero Salas, a quien no fue fácil convencer para que hablara de su experiencia. Y es que el piloto expresa que no buscaba protagonismo... “tenía un sentimiento de impotencia ajena y lo hice por un acto de humanidad”.

Y lo hizo, pese a que lo ha calificado como el tránsito más riesgoso que ha realizado, pues estuvo en peligro de ser contagiado de una peste que está arrasando con gente en el mundo entero.

El Canal de Panamá es el único lugar donde uno de sus pilotos asume la responsabilidad total de la navegación del barco, durante el tiempo de tránsito, que puede ser de entre 10 y 14 horas.

¿Cómo fue que se decidió que fuera usted el piloto que pasara por el Canal de Panamá uno de los cruceros que llevaba tanta gente que había estado expuesta al coronavirus?

Le había dado seguimiento a la noticia sobre la llegada de ambos cruceros y sabía que existía la posibilidad de que transitaran por el Canal de Panamá. Era obvio que si les permitían el tránsito sería bajo restricciones muy específicas. Una vez me enteré de que la Autoridad del Canal de Panamá y el Ministerio de Salud dieron el visto bueno para que los cruceros transitaran, me puse en contacto con los capitanes Gabriel Alemán y Álvaro Moreno (secretario general y sub-secretario general de la Unión de Prácticos del Canal de Panamá) y me ofrecí de voluntario para dirigir la misión humanitaria en cualquiera de los buques.

¿Qué lo hizo tomar la decisión de transitar uno de esos buques, a sabiendas de que su manejo constituía un gran riesgo para su salud?

La situación por la que pasaban los pasajeros y tripulantes del Zaandam era realmente inhumana y desesperante. Solo de pensar que se encontraban prácticamente a la deriva, sin puerto que los recibiera, me hacía sentir incómodo y con un sentimiento de impotencia ajena. También estaba seguro de que si nuestras autoridades les permitían cruzar, tomarían las precauciones necesarias para mitigar al máximo las probabilidades de contagio.

¿Cuál fue el papel de las autoridades de Salud en todo ese proceso?

El equipo del Minsa y del Senafront nos suministró todo el equipo de bioseguridad necesario para protegernos de un posible contagio. Nos enseñaron la manera correcta de ponernos y quitarnos el equipo. Incluso, nos explicaron el procedimiento de cómo beber agua para reducir las probabilidades de infección. Previeron situaciones que pudieran ocurrir a bordo y nos dieron sus sugerencias de cómo atenderlas. En fin, fueron piezas clave para que el tránsito de ambos buques fuera un éxito. Desde que llegué, me di cuenta de que me había puesto en manos de profesionales cuyo único interés era mi salud y la del resto del país.

¿Podríamos decir que ese es el tránsito más riesgoso que le ha tocado realizar?

Una de las particularidades de este trabajo es que ningún tránsito es igual a otro, inclusive cuando a uno le toca transitar el mismo buque dos veces. Sin embargo, las consideraciones que uno toma al maniobrar buques son prácticamente todas de carácter operacional. En este caso, se le agregaba el ingrediente de una posible infección que ha estado haciendo estragos alrededor del mundo. Solo eso era suficiente para agregarle un nivel de riesgo mayor que cualquiera de mis otros tránsitos por el Canal. Adicionalmente se tomaron decisiones operacionales para evitar exponer a más empleados del Canal a la infección, como, por ejemplo, no utilizar los pasabarcos del Canal y no amarrar los remolcadores, ambos recursos clave para realizar una operación segura y expedita por el Canal de Panamá.

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'La impotencia ajena me mataba'

¿Cuál fue la reacción de las personas que estaban en el barco cuando vieron que usted lo abordó?

La ACP y el Minsa habían acordado con la tripulación de ambos buques que los prácticos no iban a interactuar con nadie, excepto con el personal estrictamente necesario para la navegación de los buques con la intención de reducir nuestra exposición al virus. El capitán del crucero Rotterdam rápidamente expresó su agradecimiento en nombre de los pasajeros y de toda la tripulación por mi llegada.

¿Cómo fue el tránsito? Sabemos que son de 8 a 10 horas el tiempo que demora pasar un barco por el Canal...

El tránsito fue expedito. La ACP se aseguró que tuviéramos las esclusas disponibles y pudimos hacer muy buen tiempo de tránsito. Aún así fue un tránsito agotador física y emocionalmente, debido a las condiciones en las cuales lo ejecutamos.

¿Qué significó esa experiencia para usted?

No puedo negar que tuve algo de preocupación al inicio del tránsito. Creo que eso es normal bajo las circunstancias en las que me encontraba. Sin embargo, una vez que iniciamos el tránsito me pude concentrar principalmente en la maniobra. La experiencia a bordo fue tensa por todo lo que conllevaba. Y al finalizar, solo experimenté satisfacción, no solo desde el punto de vista profesional, sino, principalmente, desde el punto de vista humano. Me siento bien al saber que ayudé a que todas esas personas estuviesen un poco más cerca de sus hogares, junto a sus familias en estos momentos difíciles, así como los que necesitaban atención médica la pudieran recibir lo antes posible.

¿Qué dice su familia de su decisión?

Estuvieron todos muy preocupados, pero al mismo tiempo conscientes de la situación inhumana que vivían esas personas a bordo de los buques, y me apoyaron en mi decisión.

¿Qué ha sucedido en los días posteriores al tránsito? Imagino que está en cuarentena total...

Me habían advertido desde un inicio que una vez terminara el tránsito, debía permanecer en cuarentena total para asegurarnos de que no hubiese sido contagiado; y eso es lo que ha sucedido desde entonces, estoy en cuarentena. Para esa parte estaba preparado.

Confieso que no estaba preparado para que se revelaran nuestros nombres; eso era lo acordado porque nuestra intención no era ser la noticia. Una vez nuestros rostros salieron en un video, se acabó el anonimato. Durante los siguientes días, mi celular explotó con mensajes de agradecimiento y de buenos deseos de parte de familiares, amigos, conocidos, desconocidos y hasta del extranjero. Reitero mi agradecimiento a todos los que me han escrito y enviado sus mensajes que me han hecho sentir aún más honrado de mi profesión.

¿Qué mensaje le da a la ciudadanía?

Darle la mano al prójimo, siempre es un buen mensaje, pero a los panameños, de eso nos sobra. El panameño es solidario.

Pero el principal mensaje que quisiera dar a la ciudadanía es que estamos en muy buenas manos con nuestras autoridades y profesionales de la Salud. Hagamos caso de las instrucciones y recomendaciones que estas autoridades nos están dando, para que podamos salir de esta crisis lo antes posible y de la manera menos traumática.

 

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

Quote

'The impotence of others killed me'

The Panamanian pilot Rainiero Salas, who crossed one of the boats with passengers with symptoms of Covid-19 through the Canal, did so as an "act of humanity"

By Nubia Aparicio S.
Updated 04/09/2020 00:00

<<5e8e75dc06fef.r_d.954-311.jpeg>>
Rainiero Salas, a humanitarian pilot.Nubia Aparicio | The Panama Star

Most likely, more than one filmmaker will already be thinking of making a movie about the nightmare lived by the passengers and crew of the cruise ship MS Zaandam, and, of course, one of the characters will be the Panamanian pilots who dared to cross the interoceanic route, both the ship that had been prohibited from docking in various countries, as well as its twin who came to help him.

The trip, which started as a wonderful adventure aboard the cruise ship, ended up turning into a tragic drama for the 1,800 people, between passengers and crew, who were on the ship.

Zaandam, owned by Holland America Line, set sail from Buenos Aires on March 7 for San Antonio on the central coast of Chile, but as he went in search of a port to dock, he found the closure of borders in several countries due to the pandemic of the coronavirus.

The cruise ship could not enter any port and remained stranded for several days in Panamanian waters, given the authorities' refusal to allow it to cross, after reporting two cases of coronavirus and four deaths inside the ship.

On March 22 the situation on board worsened, as it was reported that 56 passengers and 85 crew members claimed to feel bad and have a fever or cough.

To assist Zaandam, Panama authorized the arrival of the ship Rotterdam, a vessel that sailed from San Diego with medical personnel and test tests for the coronavirus.

About 400 people from Zaandam were transferred to said cruise. The passage of this group of people, without symptoms of coronavirus, was an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus in all passengers.

<<5e8e75dd4d107.jpeg>>
'The impotence of others killed me'

While all this was happening, people from Panama and the world were waiting for what would happen with Zaandam and its twin.

Finally, in an act of humanitarian aid, on Saturday, March 28, both vessels were authorized to cross the Panama Canal.

One of the pilots who had the risky task, was Rainiero Salas, who was not easy to convince to talk about his experience. And it is that the pilot expresses that he did not seek prominence ... "I had a feeling of helplessness and I did it for an act of humanity".

And he did it, despite the fact that he has described it as the riskiest transit he has ever made, since he was in danger of being infected with a plague that is sweeping people around the world.

The Panama Canal is the only place where one of its pilots assumes full responsibility for the navigation of the ship, during the transit time, which can be between 10 and 14 hours.

How was it decided that you were the pilot that passed through the Panama Canal one of the cruises that carried so many people who had been exposed to the coronavirus?

He had followed up on the news about the arrival of both cruises and knew that there was a possibility that they would transit through the Panama Canal. It was obvious that if they were allowed to transit it would be under very specific restrictions. Once I found out that the Panama Canal Authority and the Ministry of Health gave the go-ahead for the cruises to transit, I contacted Captains Gabriel Alemán and Álvaro Moreno (Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Union of the Panama Canal Pilots) and I volunteered to direct the humanitarian mission on any of the ships.

What made you decide to transit one of these ships, knowing that its management constituted a great risk to your health?

The situation the Zaandam passengers and crew were going through was really inhuman and desperate. Just thinking that they were practically adrift, with no port to receive them, made me feel uncomfortable and with a feeling of helplessness. He was also sure that if our authorities allowed them to cross, they would take the necessary precautions to minimize the probability of contagion.

What was the role of the Health authorities in all this process?

The Minsa and Senafront team provided us with all the necessary biosafety equipment to protect us from possible contagion. They showed us the correct way to put on and take off the equipment. They even explained the procedure of how to drink water to reduce the chances of infection. They anticipated situations that might occur on board and gave us their suggestions on how to deal with them. In short, they were key pieces in making the transit of both ships a success. Since I arrived, I realized that I had put myself in the hands of professionals whose only interest was my health and that of the rest of the country.

Could we say that this is the riskiest transit you have had to make?

One of the peculiarities of this work is that no traffic is the same as another, even when one has to travel the same ship twice. However, the considerations one takes when maneuvering ships are practically all operational. In this case, the ingredient of a possible infection that has been raging around the world was added. That alone was enough to add a higher level of risk to it than any of my other transits through the Canal. Additionally, operational decisions were made to avoid exposing more Canal employees to infection, such as, for example, not using the Canal's boat fenders and not tying up the tugs, both key resources to carry out a safe and expedited operation through the Panama Canal.

<<5e8e75de92e5b.jpeg>>
'The impotence of others killed me'

What was the reaction of the people who were on the boat when they saw that you boarded it?

The ACP and the Minsa had agreed with the crew of both ships that the pilots were not going to interact with anyone, except with the personnel strictly necessary for the navigation of the ships with the intention of reducing our exposure to the virus. The captain of the Rotterdam cruise ship quickly expressed his thanks on behalf of the passengers and the entire crew for my arrival.

How was the traffic? We know that the time it takes for a ship to pass through the Canal is 8 to 10 hours ...

The transit was smooth. The ACP made sure that we had the locks available and we were able to make very good transit time. Still it was a physically and emotionally exhausting transit, due to the conditions in which we executed it.

What did that experience mean to you?

I cannot deny that I had some concern at the beginning of the transit. I think that's normal under the circumstances I was in. However, once we started the transit I was able to concentrate mainly on the maneuver. The experience on board was tense for all that it entailed. And at the end, I only experienced satisfaction, not only from the professional point of view, but, mainly, from the human point of view. I feel good to know that I helped all these people to be a little closer to their homes, with their families in these difficult times, as well as those who needed medical attention could receive it as soon as possible.

What does your family say about your decision?

They were all very concerned, but at the same time aware of the inhumane situation that these people lived on board the ships, and they supported me in my decision.

What has happened in the days after the transit? I imagine he is in total quarantine ...

I had been warned from the start that once the transit ended, I should remain in total quarantine to ensure that it had not been infected; and that's what has happened since then, I'm in quarantine. For that part I was prepared.

I confess that I was not prepared for our names to be revealed; That was what was agreed because our intention was not to be the news. Once our faces were in a video, anonymity was over. During the following days, my cell phone exploded with messages of thanks and good wishes from family, friends, acquaintances, strangers and even from abroad. I reiterate my thanks to all who have written and sent me their messages that have made me feel even more honored in my profession.

What message do you give to citizens?

Shaking hands with others is always a good message, but we Panamanians have plenty of that. The Panamanian is supportive.

But the main message that I would like to give to citizens is that we are in very good hands with our authorities and Health professionals. Let us heed the instructions and recommendations that these authorities are giving us, so that we can get out of this crisis as soon as possible and in the least traumatic way.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200409/impotencia-me-mataba

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Panamá: Mayor tasa de fallecidos del Covid-19 en América Latina ¿Por qué?

Las autoridades reportaron anoche 2,528 casos confirmados acumulados, de los cuales 63 pacientes fallecieron.

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/por-que-es-alta-la-cifra-de-casos-y-fallecimientos/

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