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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 a possible humanitarian flight on May 19th. Repeating some of the content from the below Embassy email:

"The last flight is now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more."

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 5/17/2020 11:49:41 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 17, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 17, 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 arranged for commercially-operated humanitarian flights for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who had expressed wishes to depart Panama.  The last flight is now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more. 

 

For now, please closely monitor Spirit’s website (www.Spirit.com) for any openings due to cancelations on the May 19 flight from Panama City, Panama (PTY) to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (FLL). 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airline and the same route.  All domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

If you have not already done so, please express your interest in consideration for future 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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Criminal hearing pending for wedding party flouting lockdown

wedding.jpg

Posted 17/05/2020

The organizers of  a wedding party in Paitilla who have already been paid  a $100,000  fine to the Ministry of Health  for breaching  regulations linked to the the Covid-19 pandemic  are now facing criminal prosecution.

Public Ministry sources reveal that the Judicial Branch has already been asked for an imputation hearing against the contracting parties, investigated for the events that occurred in the PH Manhattan Sky building reports La Prensa.

Article 308 of the Penal Code would apply, which states “whoever spreads a dangerous or contagious disease for people or infringes the sanitary measures adopted by the competent authorities to prevent the introduction or spread of a disease will be punished with imprisonment for four to six years. If it is a contagious disease, the penalty will be 10 to 15 years in prison. "

Once the hearing is set, the judicial office must make the respective summons. In this case there are no arrests says La Prensa 

 The $100,000  Minsa sanction was canceled in two payments.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/criminal-hearing-pending-for-wedding-party-flouting-lockdown

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OPINION: Respecting citizen rights

Posted 17/05/2020

The national government has deployed multiple initiatives aimed at alleviating the economic burden on Panamanians, and at encouraging the flow of investments to strengthen post-pandemic recovery. A set of rules have established income tax or cadastral incentives and moratoriums, and the dates for filing returns or complying with payment arrangements have been extended. All of this is welcome; however, the state administration can do much more. For example, pay all suppliers who have already provided different entities, but their accounts fell into expired terms.

Another measure would be the automatic return of taxpayers' credits for taxes paid in excess, and which the State takes considerable time to process. Perhaps the most responsible measure to fiscally stimulate the economy, and alleviate the cost of the pandemic, is nothing other than rationalizing public spending and defending every penny that belongs to Panamanians.

The population deserves that their sacrifices are respected and that their rights are defended – LA PRENSA, May 17

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-respecting-citizen-rights

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Limited exercise trips allowed from Monday

exercise.jpg

Posted 17/05/2020

As of Monday, May 18, people are authorized to leave their homes to exercise outdoors,  but on a short lease said the  Ministry of Health (Minsa) on Saturday, May 16. The training must be done near the perimeter of each address, individually,  and on the corresponding day (man/woman), according to the time and numbering of the ID or passport  They emphasize that people can only exercise using masks and keeping physical distance. The measure does not apply to Sundays , when full lockdown remains.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/limited-exercise-trips-allowed-from-monday

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Panama's continuing toll

covid-may-16.jpg

Posted 16/05/2020

As  the death toll from coronavirus continues to climb and the recorded  cases move close to 10,000 there is an increasing number of people flouting  quarantine and curfew rules, established  to help halt the spread of

During the last 24 hours, National Police arrested  710 citizens,  616 were men; 77 women and 17 minors.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/infections-deaths-curfew-flouters-rising-1

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

Quote
On 5/18/2020 9:26 AM, panama-acs@state.gov wrote:

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 18, 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 arranged for commercially-operated humanitarian flights for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who had expressed wishes to depart Panama.  The last flight is now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more. 

 

For now, please closely monitor Spirit’s website (www.Spirit.com) for any openings due to cancelations on the May 19 flight from Panama City, Panama (PTY) to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (FLL). 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airline and the same route.  All domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

If you have not already done so, please express your interest in consideration for future 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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Moderator comment: Below is an email received from the US Embassy in Panama City regarding future humanitarian flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 5/18/2020 4:42:42 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 18, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 18, 2020) 

 

Location: Panama 

 

Event:  Humanitarian Flights Require Approval by the Government of Panama 

 

The Embassy is aware that United airlines is offering tickets for a flight on May 27.  The Embassy has received no indication that this flight has been approved by the Panamanian government.  We will continue to notify U.S. citizens in Panama of all approved humanitarian flights as soon as those flights have been scheduled and approved. 

 

For now, the only approved, upcoming humanitarian flight is the May 19 flight with Spirit Airlines from Panama City, Panama (PTY) to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (FLL).  This flight is full, but we encourage U.S. citizens interested in immediate repatriation to closely monitor Spirit’s website (www.Spirit.com) for any openings due to cancelations. 

 

The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights and will announce those flights once they are scheduled and approved by the Panamanian government.  If you have not already done so, pleasexpresyouinteresiconsideratiofor future evacuatioflights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov .  If you have previously expressed your interest, you do NOT need to resubmit. 

 

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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As of late Monday, May 18th, 2020 - 9,726 infected, 279 deaths, 6,085 recoveries. 51,105 Covid-19 tests administered (9,726 positives, 1,793 control tests, 39,993 negatives). Caution: the numbers Minsa is reporting here do not add up correctly. Be careful with how you use or interpret them.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama, Alto Boquete remains at 14 confirmed cases, and Bajo Boquete remains at 3 confirmed cases.

The Minsa website does report the 14 cases in Alto Boquete, and the 3 cases in Bajo Boquete are recovered. That means no active coronavirus cases in the Boquete area.

tocumen.jpg          alto boquete.jpg          bajo boquete.jpg

We've added David, and the "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

david.jpg          nuevo mexico.jpg          divala.jpg

https://geosocial.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/2c6e932c690d467b85375af52b614472

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Gobierno se prepara para definir fecha del bloque 2

Redacción de La Prensa
19 may 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/gobierno-se-prepara-para-definir-fecha-del-bloque-2/

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Favorable conpliance with first steps to re-opening

turnr.jpg

Posted 18/05/2020

Minister of Health, Rosario Turner , was at the 5 de Mayo  Metro station on Monday morning  May 18  handing out masks to travelers and passers-by. Accompanied by officials, She  said that people are complying with the recommendations to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and "that is favorable."

The opening of companies that comprise the first block is for the moment going well and that they will continue with the tours to ensure  that businesses continue to comply with the health measures.

"Today's indicators indicate that the population is adapting to this new circumstance," she said.

The ministry is preparing for a new measurement of the first step to the new normal with the aim of establishing the opening date of companies that are in the second block.

Last week, the Minsa regulated the hours and operations of the retail trade, mechanical, sheet metal, electromechanical and refrigeration workshops

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/favorable-conpliance-with-first-steps-to-re-opening

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Four Santo Tomas doctors get virus from a-symptomatic patients

santo-tomas.jpg

Posted 18/05/2020

Four  surgery resident doctors at the Santo Tomás Hospital  contracted Covid-19 after contact with patients who had no symptoms of the virus reports The Ministry of Health (Minsa)

“The fact was verified when the doctors had contact with patients who had surgical emergencies and were not known to be positive for Covid-19 (they were asymptomatic).”

According to the Minsa, there were four to five patients who have the virus, but had no symptoms and transmitted the disease.

The health authorities highlighted that the testing  protocol was applied immediately with the rest of the patients and the medical and nursing staff. All those who tested positive were subjected to isolation and medical control.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/four-santo-tomas-doctors-get-virus-from-a-symptomatic-patients

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 5/19/2020 8:19:21 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 19, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 19, 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 arranged for commercially-operated humanitarian flights for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who had expressed wishes to depart Panama.  The last flight is now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more. 

 

For now, please closely monitor Spirit’s website (www.Spirit.com) for any openings due to cancelations on the May 19 flight from Panama City, Panama (PTY) to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (FLL). 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airline and the same route.  All domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

If you have not already done so, please express your interest in consideration for future 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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Safety and Health: Protocols for Companies

In order to reactivate economic activity in Panama, Ministry of Health authorities issued strict compliance guidelines for companies and workers.

Friday, May 15, 2020

The guide is aimed at producers, distributors, and consumers; microenterprises, medium-size companies, large companies, and their clients, who are required to comply with the standards established by the health authorities in order to mitigate the expansion of covid-19, the official document details.

See "Panama: Business Restart, But with Restrictions"

The guide explains that "... Companies must comply with the following (5) points to be developed in the specific protocols by economic sector:

1. Organization of the Special Committee on Health and Hygiene for the prevention and care of COVID-19 in each public or private institution, company and economic sector.

a. Compliance with the protocols and guides issued by the Health Authority.

2. General prevention and control measures for workers, employers, clients, suppliers and visitors:

a. Frequent hand hygiene: Hand washing with soap and water and use of alcohol-based gel;
b. Use of masks; respiratory etiquette and other recommendations
c. Physical distance: at least 2 meters between people in public and work places;
d. Personal protective equipment according to the activity of those in the work place and the risks inherent to it.
e. Frequent cleaning and disinfection of areas and surfaces;
f. Proper waste management

3. Establish special schedules and restriction of the number of people in such a way that the measure of physical distance of 2 meters is kept, as well as other modalities such as teleworking (for such purposes use digital and technological means);

4. Monitoring of symptoms of employees and clients;

5. Stress management at work.
"

See "Guidelines for Returning to Normal in Post-Covid-19 Companies in Panama."


 

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

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Moderator comment: Highlighting in the below news article was added by the Moderator.

Quote

400 mil personas terminarían sin empleo al finalizar este año

El Ministerio de Trabajo confirmó las cifras que había calculado el sector privado. Panamá terminaría el año con una tasa de 20% de desempleo.
 
Elisabel Marivit Fermín
19 may 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/400-mil-personas-terminarian-sin-empleo-al-finalizar-este-ano/

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Personas contagiadas sin síntomas impulsan transmisión del virus

Aleida Samaniego C.
19 may 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/personas-contagiadas-sin-sintomas-impulsan-transmision-del-virus/

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Moderator comment: For the lead-in posting related to the below story, please Click Here.

Quote

Se duplican los casos de coronavirus en Chiriquí, en menos de diez días

Henry Cárdenas P.
19 may 2020 - 09:32 AM

https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/se-duplican-los-casos-de-coronavirus-en-chiriqui-en-menos-de-diez-dias/

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 5/19/2020 5:20:15 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 19, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 19, 2020) 

  

Location: Panama 

  

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flight 

  

The Embassy has identified an additional flight, operated by Copa Airlines (flight number – CM 4050), scheduled for May 25 The flight will have a limited number of seats available.  Any traveler with the appropriate passport/visa to permit entry into the United States who wishes to depart Panama is eligible to purchase a ticket.  Travelers should carefully plan their onward travel as hotel options in Miami may be limited. 

  

NOTE – Due to the expected high demand for this flight we encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to ensure you are able to travel and permit us to provide you with a salvoconducto promptly.  We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more, if you are unwilling or unable to take this flight. 

  

·      May 25, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 5:00 a.m. for Miami, FL, to arrive 9:15 a.m. 

 

We are in the process of notifying individuals who have already expressed interest in being evacuated from Panama about this flight. 

  

For additional information about this flight and to make reservations, please contact Copa Airlines directly at their call center number, +507 217-2672.  Copa anticipates ticket sales for this flight will commence Tuesday, May 19

  

There are no guarantees for this flight or the space available. 

  

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. 

  

The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights to the United States.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

  

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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OPINION: Time to move on smart lockdown  easing

lockdown.jpg

Posted 19/05/2020

Once the contagion is contained, as the authorities have successfully achieved, the country must begin to move to the next phase, without delay. It is unsustainable that Panama quarantines its population until the vaccine's disappearance. It is a fallacy that the country has to choose between public health and the economy. Progress can be made on both fronts if there is the right knowledge and strategy. 

We have to learn to live with the virus and that must be the focus of the authorities. The time to keep the population paralyzed and subjected to an incomparable confinement has passed, just as the model that segments freedom by day, gender and ID number has expired. The reopening plan must be transparent and smart. Instead of continuing to produce endless and absurd regulations -LA PRENSA, May 19

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-time-to-move-on-smart-lockdown-easing

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Calls grow to revise outdoor exercise rules

cinta-byke.jpg

Posted 19/05/2020

ADVISORS  to the Ministry of Health (Minsa),  coronavirus team, doctors,and lawyers are among those calling for a re-evaluation of the rules  permitting outdoor exercise during the pandemic.  

On Monday, May 18, it was allowed, for the first time since the imposition of absolute quarantine in Panama which has one of the most strict confinements on the continent

The first exercisers were seen on  the streets, in the morning hours. As the day passed, and heat  and humidity increased, the number shrank

"Many countries with excellent public health systems have balanced the risk/benefit of allowing their citizens to go out and exercise" - said cardiologist Jorge Motta, former director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute.

In the other countries, with the exception of El Salvador and Peru, it is allowed to carry out outdoor exercises as long as it is individually and taking measures of social distancing.

The decision adopted in Panama restricts permission to leave to a time slot that must coincide with the last number of the ID and is limited to the two hours previously authorized to do all kinds of errands, three times a week.

People over 60 are allowed to go out from 11 am to 1 pm, an inclement time to exercise outdoors. However, the other option is not to exercise, something extremely dangerous for the population after almost two months of home confinement.

"One of the suggestions of the world's doctors in this health crisis is exercise" - lawyer Zoila Correa wrote in a tweet.

“Couldn't you consider permitting exercise daily from 5 am to 9 am? This schedule not only contributes to mental and physical health, and to clearing the home lockdown but at that time no one is going to socialize, congregate or have drinks ”- said lawyer Fernando Berguido who believes, allowing individual exercises early in the morning would not only be healthy but productive. "I think it would be a relatively easy measure to enforce, simple, but with a huge impact on the mood of the population." He wrote.

Dr. Xavier Saez-Llorens, one of the medical advisers to the Ministry of Health in the COVID-19 crisis, replied that he agreed with the suggestion.

Scores of citizens have expressed through social networks their discomfort at the confinement and the imposed schedules.

Complaints about exercising in the sun and the humidity increase among those who can only go out after 10 in the morning. "I can't imagine anyone running at 11 am or 1pm with the heat in Panama" - said Kerem Perez.

Dr. Motta said s that he has to leave at 12 in the day "when he could perfectly and with very low risk exercise at six or seven in the morning."

Citizens also indicate that it is impossible, in two hours, to go to the market, pharmacy, run errands, take the children out, and, in addition, manage to exercise.

"I do not know if for those of us who have to buy the days we have to go out, give the time for the line to enter the supermarket, the line of sausages, the line for the butcher, buy the other things and come to the house to do exercises" - said Ricardo Bustamante.

Dr Motta, who also has a master's degree in Public Health, questions the rationale for the existing restrictions. "This restriction is typical of policies that try to become evidence, and not an evidence-based policy."

Pediatrician Pedro Vargas also believes  the measure should be  adapted and to include children so that they can go out with their parents. "The Minsa has the capacity for good sense but is under pressure  from  Other levels of the State, without sanitary training and perhaps  with a trace of due obedience, should not be allowed to demarcate  it  from what has been scientifically proven and appropriate for people. ”

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/calls-grow-to-revise-outdoor-exercise-rules

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Moderator comment: This and the next news article discuss what seems to be a fairly significant impediment to the free flow of commerce into and out of Panama, and a time when supply sources for critical food and medical supplies are needed.

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Food and medicine shortages to follow  Costa Rica border reatrictions

border.jpg

Posted 19/05/2020

Border restrictions imposed by Costa Rica to avoid the increase  in  coronavirus transmissions will mean an early shortage of food, medicines and hygiene products.

The warning came  from The Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America and the Caribbean (Fecaexca) on Tuesday May 19

The "unilateral" sanitary measure imposed by the neighboring country prevents the passage of 1,659 trucks  stranded in Costa Rica and perishable products are about to be lost said  Fecaexca at a press conference virtual.

Roberto Tribaldos, president of the Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX), said that the sanitary alternatives proposed by Costa Rica are not viable because they are paralyzing the borders of the region, and will trigger a shortage of food and medicines.

Panama imports from the region, medicines, animal feed, flour, bread, fertilizers, packaging, supplies for the preparation of sauces, condiments and food,  said Tribaldos.

He said that the Panamanian company Open Blue, dedicated to cobia farming, has  126 metric tons of fish food on the border with Costa Rica.

Javier Visuetti, of Open Blue, said that if the border measure continues, the farming of 500,000 fish would be at risk.

The company imports 350 metric tons of pelletized food from the neighboring country each month.

Panama has more than 135 containers stranded in Costa Rica, without counting the paralysis of the Paso Canoas border crossing, Tribaldo said.

Fecaexca members also allege that these provisions are causing neighboring countries such as Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua to proceed to implement reciprocity measures that will affect the regional integration scheme and limit intra-regional trade.

For his part, Ramón Martínez, Minister of Commerce and Industries (MICI), “demanded” his counterparts in Costa Rica resolve the border situation immediately. According to the official, these measures "affect the supply chain, which of course worsens the condition of the economic sectors involved."

Clearly, "the decrees adopted by Costa Rica violate the agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures of the World Trade Organization, which also support the regional integration process," said Martínez.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/food-and-medicine-shortages-to-follow-costa-rica-border-reatrictions

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Empresas recurren a vía marítima para sortear cierre fronterizo con Costa Rica

Aet Elisa Tejera C.
20 may 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/economia/empresas-recurren-a-via-maritima-para-sortear-cierre-fronterizo-con-costa-rica/

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Beware purchase of fast coronavirus tests

fast-test-cpvid19.jpg

Posted 19/05/2020

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) has detected the unauthorized distribution and sale of IgM /LG Covid-19 rapid tests in Panama

According to the Ministry, these are home tests that some clinics are offering. At the same time, he indicated that the only official entity for conducting tests to determine if a person has Covid-19 is the Gorgas Institute, which performs them nationwide.

Gorgas Director  Juan Miguel Pascale, that those that are offered some clinics, recently, are rapid tests that detect antibodies.

"The problem with these tests is that people think they can determine if they have an acute infection and for this, the antibody tests don't work," he said.

He added that "they do not work because the individual will not have antibodies for at least one week after having the Covid-19 infection. If the person is tested on the second day of symptoms, it is very likely that the test will come back negative, but they are infected and do not take the necessary measures such as staying home. And I could develop symptoms thinking it's a common cold, "added Pascale.

In a statement, the Minsa said hat the tests are part of the tools used by health teams in this emergency period, and "in no way can they be considered on their own as a diagnosis to rule out Covid-19 infection and their use should be limited to medical institutions and laboratories. "

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/beware-purchase-of-fast-coronavirus-tests

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

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------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 5/20/2020 12:02:14 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 20, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 20, 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 arranged for commercially-operated humanitarian flights for any U.S. citizen or other qualified traveler able to enter the United States who had expressed wishes to depart Panama.  The latest flight is now full.  We encourage you to be prepared to remain in Panama for the next 30-60 days, or perhaps more. 

 

For now, continue checking with Copa customer service (+507-217-2672) for any openings due to cancelations on the May 25 flight from Panama City, Panama (PTY) to Miami, FL, USA (MIA). 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights to the United States.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

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

   

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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7 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

High noon jogging or bike riding (or walking) is rough on us older age group mid-day folks.  But damn I need some sun and fresh air !~!!  We have been walking the dog in the middle of the dark night and one night we had to jump behind a bush because a policeman came down the street !  I've done some crazy illegal things in my youth but who'dda thought I'd be breaking the law with some highly illegal dog walking at 75 years old at 3 am !...you know...risking being cuffed and carried off and all............

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As of late Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 - 9,977 infected, 281 deaths, 6,194 recoveries. 52,641 Covid-19 tests administered (9,977 positives, 1,843 control tests, 40,821 negatives). Caution: the numbers Minsa is reporting here do not add up correctly. Be careful with how you use or interpret them.

minsa.jpg

 

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama with 564 cases.

Alto Boquete remains at 14 confirmed cases, and Bajo Boquete remains at 3 confirmed cases. Minsa reports the 14 cases in Alto Boquete, and the 3 cases in Bajo Boquete are recovered. That means no active coronavirus cases in the Boquete area.

tocumen.jpg          alto boquete.jpg          bajo boquete.jpg

We've added David, and the "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá. A total of 132 cases in that area.

nuevo mexico.jpg

https://geosocial.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/2c6e932c690d467b85375af52b614472

 

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