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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

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

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------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/1/2020 11:41:50 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 1, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 1, 2020) 

  

Location: Panama 

  

Event: Planned Commercial Humanitarian Flight 

  

The Embassy has identified one upcoming humanitarian flight with seats available, operated by Spirit Airlines (flight number – NK6511), scheduled for June 3.  There are not many seats left, so if you desire to return to the United States, it is important to book immediately.  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 Washington, D.C. may be limited.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. 

 

The Embassy is aware that the Government of Panama has approved in-bound flights from the United States to Panama to provide Panamanian citizens and other qualified travelers the opportunity to travel to Panama.  Questions about qualifications necessary and approval for passengers on these flights should be directed to the Embassy of Panama, in Washington, D.C.  Airlines operating these flights, such as Copa Airlines, may occasionally be able to offer seats on the out-bound flights to some passengers.  Please contact the airline offering these seats for sale directly about those flights.  The U.S. Embassy in Panama will continue announcing all flights approved by the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as humanitarian flights to the United States. 

 

NOTE – Because there are a few seats still available for the June 3 Spirit flight, no additional humanitarian flights to the United States are planned at this time. We encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible to ensure you are able to return to the United States. U.S. citizens who choose not to depart on these flights should prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.    

  

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights are: 

 

·     June 3 United Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 12:30 p.m. for Houston, TX, to arrive at 4:39 p.m. 

·     June 3 Spirit Airlines, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at  

1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

·     June 10 Spirit Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

·     June 10 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 7:00 a.m. for Washington, D.C., to arrive 12:47 p.m. 

  

For additional information about this flight and to make reservations please contact Spirit Airlines directly.  The Embassy encourages you to check their website regularly for updates. 

  

Flights that have been marked as "Sold Out" may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines (United’s website at https://www.united.com/, Spirit’s website at https://www.spirit.com, or Copa’s website at https://www.copaair.com) for any openings. 

 

There are no guarantees for these flights 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.govso that we can assist you with the issuance of salvoconducto passes

  

The Embassy will continue its efforts to identify and seek approval for future humanitarian flights to the United States as long citizens indicate the desire to evacuate.   

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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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Quarantine lifted but Azuero off limits

azuero.jpg

Posted 01/06/2020

While most of the country celebrated the lifting of the quarantine on Monday, June 1  the  Azuero region reinforced the sanitary fences of Santa María and the Ocú Crossing.

The National Police, the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Fund, the National Civil Protection System, the National Customs Service and the Red Cross led by the governor of Herrera, Víctor Roca Cuan, arrived  at the facilities of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, at the entrance to Santa María

Roca Cuan said that those who try to go through both sanitary fences are being asked for proof that justifies their entry into the Azuero region.

"We are monitoring car by car, including public transportation," he said.

People who have an agricultural passport or who work in Herrera or Los Santos may enter the province, after certification of the companies in which they work.

“People who come without a valid justification or for tourism will be returned,” warned the governor adding that bus passengers  have to get off an have their temperatures taken

The head of the Herrera police area, Johnny Rangel,  said that in the first hours of Monday about a dozen  drivers who  could not justify entering the province were turned back

"There are people who come from other provinces and what we want is to guarantee the safety of people," he said.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/quarantine-lifted-but-azuero-off-limits

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Cifras no bajan debido a los focos de infección

El Minsa tiene identificados los diferentes corregimientos con ‘clusters’ que reportan más casos, pero aún no ha contemplado establecer cercos sanitarios.
 
Aleida Samaniego C.
02 jun 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/cifras-no-bajan-debido-a-los-focos-de-infeccion/

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As of late Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 - 13,837 infected, 344 deaths, 9,514 recoveries. 68,635 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama with an increase to 739 cases (from 722 the day prior).

tocumen.jpg

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.

alto boquete.jpg            bajo boquete.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David continues to increase in numbers of cases. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

divala.jpg            nuevo mexico.jpg

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

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Hardware stores reopen on Wednesday

hardware.jpg

Posted 02/06/2020

Hardware stores like Doit Center with  28 branches and Novey will be open for business on Wednesday, June 3. From 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday

"We have implemented strict hygiene and safety measures for your peace of mind when visiting us, requesting to pick up with your car or in our home deliveries," Novey published on its social networks.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/hardware-stores-reopen-on-wednesday

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Face masks now mandatory for all

mandatoryj.jpeg

Posted 02/06/2020

On Monday, June 1,  the start of the second stage towards the new normal Panama’s  Ministry of Health (Minsa issued a resolution making the use of masks mandatory as part of the effort to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

As  the second block of economic activities came into operation and  absolute quarantine  ended the movement of people on the streets surged

Although most commercial venues and public transport were already requiring the use of masks it was only a recommendation and there was no rule forcing people to wear them.

Non compliance will lead to sanctions, not yet determined.

Minsa, has reported  13,837 confirmed cases and 344 deaths.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/face-masks-now-mandatory-for-all

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140 flouters  detained on first night of new curfew

curfew.jpg

Posted 02/06/2020

On the first day of the lifting of quarantine restrictions, June 1,  the  National Police detained 146   people for failing to comply with the overnight curfew -7:00 pm to 5:00 am. According to the Police report, 121 men, 8 women, and 11 minors were charged

Last weekend it was reported that during the 74 days of the absolute quarantine a total of 39, 936 people were arrested for not complying with the provision.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/140-flouters-detained-on-first-night-of-new-curfew

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Moderator comment: Also see http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/14130-panama-and-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/?do=findComment&comment=41716.

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Ministerio de Salud ordena el uso obligatorio de mascarillas en todo el país

Henry Cárdenas P.
02 jun 2020 - 02:45 PM

https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/ministerio-de-salud-ordena-el-uso-obligatorio-de-mascarillas-en-todo-el-pais/

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/3/2020 10:01:22 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 3, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 3, 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.  All upcoming flights are now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.    

 

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights to the United States are: 

 

·     June 10 Spirit Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

·     June 10 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 7:00 a.m. for Washington, D.C., to arrive 12:47 p.m. 

   

Flights that have been marked as "Sold Out" may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines (Spirit’s website at https://www.spirit.com, or Copa’s website at https://www.copaair.com) for any openings. 

 

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. 

   

Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama, including the suspension of international travel and other measures taken to combat COVID-19.  The Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov also provides the latest information.  

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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 the official Minsa Communique (No. 99) that mandates the use of face masks throughout all of Panama.

Quote

COMUNICADO N° 99

Miércoles, 3 de Junio de 2020

Uso de mascarillas será obligatorio en todo el país

El Ministerio de Salud (MINSA) informa que ya se encuentra publicado en Gaceta Oficial la disposición que establece el uso obligatorio de mascarillas en todo el país, por lo que se le recuerda a la población que como entidad regente en materia sanitaria se velará porque se cumpla esta norma.

Ejemplo de ello, es que este martes funcionarios de la Dirección Metropolitana de Salud inspeccionaron la Cinta Costera y Merca Panamá, donde se verificó que los asistentes usaran correctamente las mascarillas.

El MINSA recuerda a la población tomar conciencia sobre acatar estas medidas, que buscan preservar la salud de todos en el país, en especial la de los niños, adultos mayores y personas en riesgo.

Igualmente, el MINSA reitera a la población que están prohibidos, por ahora, los eventos públicos o privados que impliquen aglomeraciones de personas. Es decir, fiestas, conciertos, reuniones sociales, congresos, coloquios o similares.

La apertura de establecimientos o lugares, públicos o privados de esparcimiento y diversión como parrilladas, salas de fiestas y banquetes, casas club, bares, discotecas, lugares de ocio, entretenimiento, juegos de azar, apuestas, billares, bingos, casinos o locales de juegos de videos, locales de exhibiciones, manifestaciones folclóricas o artesanales, museos estará sujeta a indicadores como el comportamiento del virus y a la capacidad instalada del sistema sanitario.

Por otro lado, el Consejo Técnico Médico del Panamá recorrió este martes las instalaciones del hospital modular Panamá Solidario, donde brindaron algunas observaciones para el funcionamiento del hospital, las cuales serán tomadas en cuenta antes de la apertura del mismo.

Los miembros del Consejo Técnico Médico de Panamá, entre otras funciones se encargan de vigilar y aprobar la apertura de las instalaciones de salud en todo el país.

Paralelamente el MINSA comunica que el Instituto Nacional de Medicina Física y Rehabilitación (IMFRE) ha atendido a 80 pacientes adultos y 70 niños de fisiatría a través de la modalidad de tele consultas.

El IMFRE también atendió a 74 pacientes, a quienes se les dio tratamiento siquiátrico, toda vez que hasta el 26 de abril se atendieron 180 adultos y 166 niños en terapia física, mientras que hasta el 11 de mayo en terapia ocupacional se le brindó atención a 37 adultos y 67 niños.

Informe epidemiológico

Al corte de hoy martes 2 de junio, se reportan 9,514 pacientes recuperados, además de 258 casos nuevos para un total de 14,095 casos acumulados en todo el país.

En aislamiento domiciliario se reportan 3,838 personas, 352 fallecidos, mientras que hospitalizados se registran 391 pacientes, divididos en 314 en sala y 77 en cuidados intensivos.

Entre los corregimientos que se encuentran con mayor contagio del COVID-19 están Tocumen, Arraiján, 24 de Diciembre, Pacora, Vista Alegre, Curundú, Belisario Porras, Pedregal, Juan Díaz, Santiago, Calidonia, El Chorrillo, Las Cumbres, Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, Divalá, Ernesto Córdoba Campos, Arnulfo Arias, Las Mañanitas.

Por su parte la ministra de salud señaló “que de no seguir con las medidas de uso de mascarillas, lavado de mano nos veremos en la necesidad de establecer cercos sanitarios o en el peor de los casos regresar a una cuarentena, situación que para nadie es beneficioso”.

Le recordamos a la población que se mantiene habilitado el centro ambulatorio para donación de sangre en el Parque Omar, por lo que los interesados podrán obtener su cita enviando un mensaje al siguiente correo citasparqueomar@gmail.com

El Minsa reitera a la población seguir implementando las medidas como el distanciamiento físico, el lavado constante de manos y el uso correcto de mascarillas, las cuales son armas eficientes para erradicar el COVID-19.

Toda información oficial referente al COVID-19 en Panamá y las acciones  del Gobierno Nacional se comunican a través de las cuentas oficiales del MINSA en las principales redes sociales y en su página web (www.minsa.gob.pa y yomeinformopma.org)  también están disponibles en el centro de atención de llamadas 169 y el número de WhatsApp 69972539.

 

Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of Minsa Communique No. 99.

Quote

COMMUNIQUÉ N° 99

2020 June 3, Wednesday

Use of masks will be mandatory throughout the country

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) informs that the provision that establishes the mandatory use of masks throughout the country is already published in the Official Gazette, so the population is reminded that as the governing entity in health matters, it will be ensured that comply with this standard.

An example of this is that this Tuesday officials from the Metropolitan Health Directorate inspected the Coastal Belt and Merca Panamá, where it was verified that attendees correctly used the masks.

MINSA reminds the population to become aware of abiding by these measures, which seek to preserve the health of everyone in the country, especially that of children, the elderly and people at risk.

Likewise, MINSA reiterates to the population that, for now, public or private events involving crowds of people are prohibited. That is, parties, concerts, social gatherings, congresses, colloquia or the like.

The opening of establishments or places, public or private, for recreation and amusement such as barbecue, party and banquet halls, club houses, bars, discotheques, places of leisure, entertainment, gambling, betting, billiards, bingo, casinos or local video games, exhibition venues, folkloric or craft events, museums will be subject to indicators such as the behavior of the virus and the installed capacity of the health system.

On the other hand, the Technical Medical Council of Panama toured the facilities of the Panama Solidario modular hospital on Tuesday, where they provided some observations for the operation of the hospital, which will be taken into account before its opening.

The members of the Medical Technical Council of Panama, among other functions, are responsible for monitoring and approving the opening of health facilities throughout the country.

At the same time, MINSA communicates that the National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IMFRE) has attended 80 adult patients and 70 children from physiatry through the tele-consultation modality.

IMFRE also attended 74 patients, who were given psychiatric treatment, since until April 26 180 adults and 166 children were treated in physical therapy, while until May 11 in occupational therapy, attention was given to 37 adults and 67 children.

Epidemiological report

At the close of today, Tuesday, June 2, 9,514 recovered patients are reported, in addition to 258 new cases for a total of 14,095 accumulated cases throughout the country.

In home isolation, 3,838 people were reported, 352 deceased, while 391 patients were hospitalized, divided into 314 in the ward and 77 in intensive care.

Among the towns that are most contagious of COVID-19 are Tocumen, Arraiján, December 24, Pacora, Vista Alegre, Curundú, Belisario Porras, Pedregal, Juan Díaz, Santiago, Calidonia, El Chorrillo, Las Cumbres, Juan Demóstenes Arosemena , Divalá, Ernesto Córdoba Campos, Arnulfo Arias, Las Mañanitas.

For her part, the Minister of Health pointed out that “if we do not continue with the measures for the use of masks, handwashing, we will see the need to establish sanitary fences or, in the worst case, return to quarantine, a situation that is not for anyone. beneficial".

We remind the population that the ambulatory blood donation center in Parque Omar remains enabled, so those interested can obtain their appointment by sending a message to the following email citaparqueomar@gmail.com

The Minsa reiterates to the population to continue implementing measures such as physical distancing, constant handwashing and the correct use of masks, which are efficient weapons to eradicate COVID-19.

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) as well. They are available at the call center 169 and the WhatsApp number 69972539.

 

http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticia/comunicado-ndeg-99

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As of late Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 - 13,837* infected, 344* deaths, 9,514* recoveries. 68,635 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

*Note: Use caution when citing these statistics. It appears that some numbers have been updated from the day prior, but not all of them. Just check out the next two postings with higher numbers of cases and deaths being reported.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama with an increase to 760 cases (from 739 the day prior).

tocumen.jpg

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.

alto boquete.jpg            bajo boquete.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David continues to increase in numbers of cases, now reporting 188 cases. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

divala.jpg            nuevo mexico.jpg

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

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Over 14,000 Covid cases, 352 deaths as quarantine ends

virus.jpg

Posted 03/06/2020

The number of people who have been infected with  COVI-19 in Panama rose to 14,095 on Tuesday, June 2 with  258 new cases. The number of deaths climbed to 352.

The average rate of new infections  is  250 and with the lifting of quarantine, some health authorities foresee a rise in new cases unless the population abides by the bio-security guidelines.

It is necessary for each of us to put that little grain of sand, we have three tools, stay at home, wash our hands and alcohol gel, and the obligatory use of masks," said Lourdes Moreno, director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health.

On the 85th day of the confirmation of the first coronavirus case in the country, 3,842

people are in home isolation, 598 in hotels, 391 hospitalized, and 77 in intensive care.

Accumulated cases are in the age ranges: 20 to 39 years (6,229), from 40 to 59 years (4,560), and from 60 to 79 years (1,574).

Deaths are concentrated in the age ranges of 40 to 59 years (69), 60 to 79 years (164), and over 80 years of age (87).

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/over-14000-covid-cases-352-deaths-as-quarantine-ends

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Virus cases surge to 14,609 and 357 deaths

virus.jpg

Posted 03/06/2020

For the first time since the arrival of COVID_19  in Panama At the close of Wednesday, June 3, new cases exceeded 500  and the death total climbed to 357.

The total of  confirmed infections is 14,609 of which 9,519 (65.2%) have recovered, according to the country's Epidemiological Surveillance System.

Of the 514 new cases found this Wednesday, 43% correspond to clusters identified in Panama City, the Ministry of Health clarified in its daily report.

Meanwhile, it was reported that 4,331 people are in home isolation (590 in hotels), 402 are hospitalized divided into 327 in the ward and 75 in intensive care.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/virus-cases-surge-to-14609-and-357-deaths

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Establecerán cerco sanitario en sectores de Bocas del Toro y Chiriquí Grande, anunció Turner

85b6344e-0ddd-492c-be8a-996d7ea228a9_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_1003778.jpg

Establecerán nuevos cercos sanitarios y medidas de restricción de movilidad. Foto ilustrativa/TR

Linda Batista

La ministra de salud, Rosario Turner, dio a conocer en el Noticiero de Telemetro Reporta que, como parte de una normalidad asimétrica se establecerá un cerco sanitario en sectores de Bocas del Toro y áreas de Chiriquí Grande a fin de mitigar los casos de COVID-19 en estos sectores. 

Además, indicó que se incrementarán las medidas para reducir el tiempo de movilidad en áreas donde no se cumplen con las recomendaciones sanitarias. "Queremos hacerlo con la menor afectación social posible y sin perjudicar la reactivación económica", sostuvo. 

Agregó que las demás medidas de control que se establecerán, se anunciarán durante el día, sin embargo aclaró que no se habla de cuarentena total, pero sí regresar a un control mayor del tiempo de movilidad, incluso los fines de semana.

Esto, luego que una gran cantidad de personas salieran a ejercitarse sin cumplir las medidas sanitarias a la Cinta Costera, y se registraran largas filas en supermercados, tras el levantamiento de la cuarentena y la reapertura del segundo bloque de actividades económicas, el pasado 1 de junio. Además del aumento de casos y del RT en 23 corregimientos del país.

"Solos no podemos, necesitamos de la comunidad antes de que colapse el sistema sanitario", acotó. 

A la fecha, Panamá acumula 14,609 casos de COVID-19 en total y 354 decesos; además, registró 514 casos en un solo día, lo que sería la cifra más alta de casos diarios sumados.

 

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

Quote

They will establish a sanitary fence in sectors of Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí Grande, Turner announced

<<85b6344e-0ddd-492c-be8a-996d7ea228a9_16-9-aspect-ratio_default_1003778.jpg>>

They will establish new sanitary fences and mobility restriction measures. Illustrative photo / TR

Linda Batista • Jun 4 2020 - 07:29 AM

The health minister, Rosario Turner, announced in the Telemetro Reporta Newsletter that, as part of an asymmetric normality, a sanitary fence will be established in sectors of Bocas del Toro and areas of Chiriquí Grande in order to mitigate cases of COVID- 19 in these sectors.

In addition, he indicated that measures will be increased to reduce mobility time in areas where sanitary recommendations are not met. "We want to do it with the least possible social impact and without harming the economic reactivation," he said.

He added that the other control measures that will be established will be announced during the day, however he clarified that there is no talk of a total quarantine, but rather a return to greater control of mobility time, even on weekends.

This, after a large number of people went out to exercise without complying with the sanitary measures of the Cinta Costera, and long lines were registered in supermarkets, after the quarantine was lifted and the second block of economic activities reopened, on the 1st of June. In addition to the increase in cases and RT in 23 townships in the country.

"We alone cannot, we need the community before the health system collapses," he said.

To date, Panama accumulates 14,609 cases of COVID-19 in total and 354 deaths; In addition, it registered 514 cases in a single day, which would be the highest number of daily cases added.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/06/04/estableceran-cerco-sanitario-en-sectores-de-bocas-del-toro-y-chiriqui-grande-anuncio-turner/2921923.html

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/4/2020 10:19:01 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 4, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 4, 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.  All upcoming flights are now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.    

 

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights to the United States are: 

 

·     June 10 Spirit Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

·     June 10 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 7:00 a.m. for Washington, D.C., to arrive 12:47 p.m. 

   

Flights that have been marked as "Sold Out" may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines (Spirit’s website at https://www.spirit.com, or Copa’s website at https://www.copaair.com) for any openings. 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airlines and the same routes.  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, including the suspension of international travel and other measures taken to combat COVID-19.  The Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov also provides the latest information.  

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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 Thursday, June 4th, 2020 - 15,044 infected, 363 deaths, 9,619 recoveries. 72,697 Covid-19 tests administered to date.

minsa.jpg

Tocumen remains the "hotspot" in Panama.

tocumen.jpg

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.

alto boquete.jpg            bajo boquete.jpg

The "Chiriqui hotspot" of Nuevo Méjico/Divalá, which is just west of David continues to increase in numbers of cases, now reporting 188 cases. Click Here for more information about Nuevo Méjico and Divalá.

divala.jpg             nuevo mexico.jpg

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

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Ban on travel to the interior remains in force

interior.jpg

Posted 04/06/2020

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reiterated on  Thursday, June 4 that people who without a pass cannot travel to the interior of the country by car or public transport from the Albrook Transport Terminal, in Ancón.

Israel Cedeño, director of the metropolitan region of Minsa said that since June 1 we have gone from a quarantine modality to a curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that does not mean that people can travel inland.

"We must continue in our homes and not move to the provinces unless the person has a safe-conduct for humanitarian purposes issued by the Ministry of Health," said Cedeño.

The Ministry Minsa sent a note to the administrators of the Albrook  terminal, which prompted a meeting of transport operators seeking clarification

Since Monday, when stage  2 of economic activities was launched and the absolute quarantine was ended, long  highways leading to the interior have been jammed and  long lines of travelers have been seen in the terminal, looking for a ticket to go to various provinces of the interior

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/ban-on-travel-to-the-interior-remains-in-force

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Salud aprieta ante aumento de casos

El Ministerio de Salud amplió el toque de queda en Panamá y Panamá Oeste y además estableció cercos sanitarios en varios distritos de Bocas del Toro.
 
Ohigginis Arcia Jaramillo
04 jun 2020 - 10:07 PM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/salud-aprieta-ante-aumento-de-casos/

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Moderator comment: This posting is being edited as of early June 8th to include the URL for the Sertracen website for scheduling of appointments for driver license applications and renewals:

https://citas.sertracen.com.pa/Citas/public/cita.jsf

Quote

Sertracen reabrirá sus oficinas el 8 de junio

sertracen.jpg

Anghy De Gracia

El Servicio de Tránsito Centroamericano, S.A, (Sertracen) anunció que reabrirá sus puertas a partir del próximo 8 de junio, de lunes a viernes en horario de 8:00 a.m. a 2:00 p.m. y los sábados de 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m., con previa cita.

 

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

Quote

Sertracen will reopen its offices on June 8

<<sertracen.jpg>>

Anghy De Gracia • Jun 5, 2020 - 01:14 PM

The Servicio de Tránsito Centroamericano, S.A, (Sertracen) announced that it will reopen its doors from June 8, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m., by appointment.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/06/05/sertracen-reabrira-sus-oficinas-el-8-de-junio/2926096.html

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

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/5/2020 9:38:50 AM
Subject: Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 5, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 5, 2020)  

    

Event:  COVID-19 Situation – Extended Curfew in Panama Oeste and Panama Provinces  

  

On June 4, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 15,044 cases of COVID-19.  

  

This weekend the curfew will be extended for Panama Oeste and Panama provinces.  On Saturday, June 6 curfew will begin at 5 p.m. and will last until Monday, June 8 at 5 a.m.  Curfew for all other provinces remains from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning.  

  

MINSA also announced on June 4 that a health cordon has been declared in the district of Chiriqui Grande, and in the communities of Pantanal and Finca 1 in Changuinola, and Solución in Bocas del Toro.  

  

On June 2, 2020, the Government of Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) published a resolution stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.  Any individual not wearing a mask is subject to possible detention and fine.  

  

The Government of Panama still maintains security checkpoints on the roads and prohibits most interprovincial travel.   

  

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 requires the use of masks, even homemade ones, when in public.  

  

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.  

  

Starting June 1, the Government of Panama ended the quarantine with movement restrictions based on ID number and gender.  The quarantine and two-hour movement windows were replaced by a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, Monday through Sunday.  Children are also free to move about from 4 pm to 7 pm, accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caretaker.  The use of masks and social distancing are still required.  This new flexibility does not permit social group activities, cultural events, festivals, visits to the beach, contact sports, or any other activity that violates social distancing.  

  

Also on June 1, the second economic block opened. The sectors included in that block are: public construction, mining of non-metals, and industry.  Religious sites, parks, social areas, and sporting areas are also allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity.  For more details about the Government of Panama’s plan to gradually reopen the economy, see the infographic in this tweet from MINSA or go to the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page (see link below).  The Government of Panama will evaluate every two weeks, but the date for opening additional business blocks remains unknown. 

 

On May 15, the Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights for an additional 30 days until June 22.  The previous exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines remain in place. 

 

On April 21, the Municipal Council of the City of Panama passed a new decree stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.  Panamanian National Police and Municipal Police will enforce the decree which extends throughout the metropolitan area of Panama City. 

   

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

  

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. 

 

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

  

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. 

 

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. 

  

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. 

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

  

Actions to Take:   

 

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 concerning humanitarian flights.

Quote
------ Original Message ------
To:
Sent: 6/5/2020 9:51:26 AM
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 5, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Message for U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (June 5, 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.  All upcoming flights are now full.  There are no other planned flights.   We encourage you to prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely and shelter in place.    

 

The currently authorized, upcoming humanitarian flights to the United States are: 

 

·     June 10 Spirit Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:00 p.m. for Fort Lauderdale, FL, to arrive 5:00 p.m. 

·     June 10 Copa Airlines (SOLD OUT), departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 7:00 a.m. for Washington, D.C., to arrive 12:47 p.m. 

   

Flights that have been marked as "Sold Out" may have openings due to cancelations.  Continue checking directly with the airlines (Spirit’s website at https://www.spirit.com, or Copa’s website at https://www.copaair.com) for any openings. 

 

NOTE – The Embassy is continuing its efforts to identify future flights.  However, it is most likely that they will be with the same airlines and the same routes.  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, including the suspension of international travel and other measures taken to combat COVID-19.  The Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov also provides the latest information.  

 

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates. 

 

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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‘Si la población no sigue las instrucciones, nos van a hacer retrotraer las medidas’, ministra Rosario Turner

José González Pinilla
05 jun 2020 - 10:14 AM

https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/si-la-poblacion-no-sigue-las-instrucciones-nos-van-a-hacer-retrotraer-las-medidas-ministra-rosario-turner/

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Oxford University coronavirus  vaccine in production

oxford.jpg

Posted 05/06/2020

The British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca said on Friday that results are expected in September on the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine in which it is working with the University of Oxford.

"In September we should know whether or not we have an effective vaccine," company chief executive Pascal Soriot told the BBC.

The University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English speaking world r whose project is funded by the British government, has partnered with this pharmaceutical company to manufacture and distribute the vaccine it is developing worldwide.

Human clinical trials started in late April in the UK and should be done this month in Brazil, which is now "the epicenter of the epidemic," Soriot said. To save time, it was decided not to wait for the results before starting production.

"We are starting to produce this vaccine now, it has to be ready by the time we have the results," Soriot said.

Financial risk
This strategy represents a "financial risk" but "is the only way to have a vaccine available" quickly as soon as its efficacy is confirmed, he added.

AstraZeneca has signed agreements to establish parallel supply chains, including one with the Serum Institute of India for the delivery of one billion doses to low- and middle-income countries, in order to double production capacity to two billion doses.

On Thursday, the group announced a $750 million agreement with two specialized international organizations, CEPI and GAVI, for the manufacture and distribution of 300 million doses, with delivery starting at the end of the year.

A total of ten covid-19 vaccine projects have reached the clinical trial phase worldwide.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/oxford-university-coronavirus-vaccine-in-production

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The facts and values of face masks

masks-1.jpg

Posted 05/06/2020

Despite disagreement among scientists, people in Britain will soon have to wear cloth face coverings on public transport. The policy could be extended to places such as shops where social distancing is difficult writes Trish Greenhalgh in The Guardian. They are already mandatory in Panama.

Passions run high on this issue. I have some sympathy with the person who demanded that scientists should be locked in a room and not let out till they agree the facts. Except that this debate is as much about values as facts.

One of my colleagues is a philosopher of science. On day one of his course, he sends his students out to “go and get a fact, and bring it back to class”. When they return, he invites them, one by one, to carefully present and defend their fact against critique from fellow students. How was it sourced? How was it measured? Does it stand firm now that it has been plucked from its context? No fact ever survives in the form that the student presents it. The lesson is that being rigorous and systematic in producing a fact does not make that fact absolute.

Take randomised controlled trials, for example. Surely it’s good science to take a sample of people during a pandemic, randomly allocate half of them to wear cloth face coverings, and look for a statistically significant difference in how many develop the disease?

Let’s unpack the quest for that particular fact. First, let’s design the intervention. As laboratory studies have shown, fabric materials are good at stopping large viral-laden droplets on their way out, but they’re not very good at stopping tiny airborne viral particles on the way in. So the intervention we need to test is something called source control: the effectiveness of my cloth mask in protecting you; yours in protecting me.

Let’s therefore test, in all members of the general public (population), the impact of cloth face coverings (intervention) compared to no coverings (control) in public places (setting) for preventing infection in other members of the public (outcome).

There have never been any such trials. Why not? Because such a trial would be impossible. Which people, exactly, would you randomise? Everyone who lives in a particular street? Everyone who catches a particular bus? To be included in a randomized trial, people have to give informed consent and agree to comply with the intervention. If only a small proportion agrees, how many streets or bus-loads or squares-full of people would you need to invite in order to get enough to generate your “fact”?

How would you test the hypothesis that my mask protects you? This is problematic because, instead of just following up with one individual who is already signed up to the study (me), you’d somehow need to identify a fraction of all the people I came into contact with as I went about my life, and test each of them to see if they developed the disease. But none of those other people (random street-dwellers or bus passengers or square-crossers) agreed to be in the trial in the first place. You simply can’t study them like laboratory animals (though someone has done a randomized controlled trial to show that face coverings are highly effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in hamsters).

In order to “do science” on the effectiveness of face coverings in the real world, you would either have to define some kind of closed system to be your sampling frame, say a school or home environment or compromise and study the effect of mask-wearing on the wearer rather than on other people. And that’s what scientists have done.

I’ve reviewed all the published randomized trials on masks and face coverings for the general public in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. The trials consist of studies of mask-wearing in closed systems and of masks to protect the wearer, usually at specific mass events (notably, pilgrimages to the Hajj). Furthermore, all these studies were done some time ago when the prevailing diseases were colds and flu. None looked at prevention of Covid-19.

What did these not-terribly-relevant trials show? Masks seemed to provide some protection for the wearer, but effects were small and usually not statistically significant (perhaps because studies were just too small to produce a clear answer). Masks given in the home, for example, to protect the parents of a child with flu from catching it themselves, didn’t have much effect – but then they weren’t worn much (for a variety of reasons including “child did not like parent wearing a mask”).

These findings are facts of a sort. I’d love to discuss them with my philosopher colleague’s students. But the bottom line is we have no directly relevant facts from randomized controlled trials of source control in Covid-19. What now? Demand that policy should not change until the much-desired randomized trial exists? Or suck it and see? Here’s where values come in.

Drug testing
Randomized trials were developed to test drugs. As we know from thalidomide, new drugs can cause terrible harm. Scientists arguing for caution in the masking debate are almost all medically trained and view the principle “do no harm” (by which they mean, never give a new drug to any patient before it’s been tested in a randomized trial) as overriding.

In public health, however, interventions are usually introduced pragmatically and evaluated as before-and-after natural experiments. There are no randomized controlled trials in community settings, for example, of handwashing, social distancing, closing schools, quarantining, closing borders or contact tracing. Public health scientists value natural experiments highly because they view the trade-off between real-world achievability and experimental ideals as worthwhile.

Like dozens of other countries, England is about to have a natural experiment of face coverings in public places. Still, the scientists will continue to argue. If transmission rates of Covid-19 fall as predicted, public health experts – and I count myself among them – will say this has produced a “fact” that face coverings are effective source control. And triallists will say that in the absence of a trial (which they will continue to demand), this is not a fact because there’s no robust evidence that the association is causal. Whether we can agree on “the facts” or not, we’ll hopefully welcome the positive outcomes, as I predict that transmission of Covid-19 will fall and that any harms will be relatively minor and worth the trade-off.

Trish Greenhalgh is a professor of primary care health sciences at Oxford University

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/media-watch/the-facts-and-values-of-face-masks

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Follow virus guidelines or  clock goes back  - Health Minister

turnerj.jpeg

Posted 05/06/2020

"If the population does not follow the instructions, we  are going to take the measures back to where we do not want to go,"  said Panama Health Minister Rosario Turner Turner said while handing out masks During a tour of Curundú, one of the areas  with  the biggest pockets of coronavirus

She said that there are 23 districts in with the largest number of Covid-19 cases. "We are fighting the virus. Be part of this great battle, actively, following the instructions of the Ministry. We can have all kinds of differences, including policies, but on this issue, it is a matter of country, of nation, and we can manage to do it differently, ” she said.

“I repeat again the first two blocks [towards the new normal are not the opening of the country but a measure of balance between health, economic and social aspects," Turner said.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/follow-virus-guidelines-or-clock-goes-back-health-minister

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