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There are several topics associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This topic is the main or primary topic on this subject. The easiest way to find all topics related to coronavirus is to invoke a “tag display”. Simply click on the “ covid-19 ” tag (white characters on black background) that you see displayed near the top left of this topic.

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Significant pandemic milestones:

  • February 21st: Likely transfer of coronavirus from a teacher (who had traveled to Europe)  to Panama's first coronavirus death victim (Norato González); Click Here
  • March 3rd: Resolution passed raising national alert level regarding coronavirus epidemic; Click Here
  • March 8th: First confirmed coronavirus death (Norato González) in Panama; Click Here
  • March 9th: First confirmed case of coronavirus in Panama; not the date of case arrival in Panama, but the date the coroniavirus link was confirmed; Click Here
  • March 12th: President Cortizo declares a a national state of emergency; Click Here
  • March 15th: Certain business hours regulated, elective surgeries and routine medical consults suspended; Click Here
  • March 15th: Several provinces invoke a "dry law" (banning sales of alcoholic beverages) and implementing curfews; Chiriqui Province included; Click Here
  • March 15th: Foreigners banned from entering Panama; Click Here
  • March 17th: Countrywide curfew (9:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 22nd: All commercial flights into and out of Panama suspended; Click Here
  • March 23rd: Countrywide curfew (5:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 25th: Countrywide quarantine with restricted mobility mandated; sales of alcoholic beverages banned; Click Here
  • May 11th: Effective date of lifting the ban on the sales of alcoholic beverages; Click Here
  • May 13th: The gradual reopening of certain categories of business; Click Here
  • May 18th: People are authorized to leave their homes to exercise outdoors, but on a short lease; Click Here
  • June 1st: Quarantine lifted, but a 7:00PM to 5:00AM curfew is in effect; Click Here
  • June 3rd: Hardware stores reopen with limited hours; Click Here
  • June 6th and June 8th: Curfew/mobility restrictions elevated for Panama, Panama Oeste, and Veragaus regions; Click Here and Click Here
  • July 25th: Full weekend quarantine (lockdown) re-implemented for Panama; Click Here
  • July 27th: More restrictive mobility constraints including gender restrictions re-implemented, including Chiriqui Province; Click Here and Click Here

Message added by Moderator_02

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American woman carries coronavirus to Costa Rica


Panama steps up border checks

Posted 06/03/2020

A 49-year-old American woman is the first confirmed coronavirus case in  Costa Rica say health authorities while a 19-year-old woman returning to Colombia from Milan confirmed  Milan was confirmed with the virus, on Friday. March 6.

In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health said that the American woman entered the country on March 1 with her husband and is in the town of Puntarenas.

In Panama, the Ministry of Health has reinforced its preventive actions in view of the progress of the epidemic in the region.

Eight Latin American countries have been affected by the epidemic that has claimed the lives of some 3,400 people.

In a statement, the Colombian authorities said that the young woman came from the Italian city of Milan and that she went to health services to receive care after presenting the symptoms. Once the test was performed the result was positive.

According to a report from El Tiempo, the confirmed case occurred in Bogotá and that in previous days others had been ruled out in different parts of the country.

The Colombian government announced that after the positive result the preparation phase  is concluded and the coronavirus containment stage is immediately activated throughout the territory.

So far, more than 100,000 infected people are registered and the death toll exceeds 3, 0500.

China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran are the countries with the highest number of cases.

In Latin America, in addition to Colombia, and Costa Rica, cases have been confirmed in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.



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CORONAVIRUS: Latin America airlines ask government flexibility


Posted 06/03/2020

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) said in a statement that the impact of the coronavirus is not yet evidenced in figures, except for some routes that to Europe and Asia.

However, estimates presented by IATA calculate that in 2020 global passenger traffic will be reduced between 11% and 19% and the passenger transport industry will have losses between $63 billion and $113 billion in revenue, still evaluating cargo transport losses.

“ALTA calls on the governments of the region to work even more closely to guarantee the viability of the industry and the maintenance of the economies in the medium and long term through exceptional and temporary measures that allow operation and mobility of the passengers ”.

The union asks the authorities to maintain fluid contact with the airlines in order to effectively inform and coordinate any entry control measure or health form required by the different States.

they request “to make more flexible the rules for the allocation of slots (time blocks) in airports as an exceptional measure to ensure that low demand or flight cancellations do not affect the historical compliance of the airlines necessary for the planning of the following flight season ”.

They also indicate that it is necessary to reduce costs in a general way to the industry to mitigate the affectation caused by this exceptional situation. "Among them, taxes and fees and charges throughout the airline production chain."



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On 3/7/2020 at 7:12 PM, Keith Woolford said:


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the referenced press release.


In relation to the suspected case reported in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) reports that together with the state security levels, it has been known that the person entered Panama without symptoms from this Central American country and, when this happened, in that country had no case report of COVID-19.

This is a 54-year-old male who entered through the Tocumen International Airport on Friday, February 21 and left the country on Saturday, the 22nd, towards Costa Rica. The MINSA informs that Panamanians who had contact with this foreigner have already been located and are in home isolation without respiratory symptoms.

All tests were done and so far they have not presented symptoms, however, by health protocol there is a follow-up process for everyone.

The evidence was sent to the Gorgas Memorial Institute, which has the ability to present the test results in three hours.

According to the Migration and airline reports, only two passengers on this flight entered Panama and stayed in the capital of the country, but during their stay on homeland they did not show any symptoms and then left for Costa Rica.

In addition, Panama has notified the National Liaison Center of the International Health Regulations, the name and country destination of each of the rest of the passengers and the crew so that the other countries adopt the corresponding sanitary measures.

Before confirming cases in Colombia and Costa Rica, MINSA has developed various strategies to intensify epidemiological surveillance in Panama, and we reiterate the importance of maintaining prevention measures such as handwashing with soap and water, as well as gel alcohol based.


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Costa Rica coronavirus case transited Panama


Posted 07/03/2020

One of the two confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Costa Rica transited through  Tocumen International Airport on February 22   said Health Minister Rosario Turner on Saturday.

 Despite this, Panama has not yet confirmed any cases and an investigation is being conducted on the traveler said, Turner.

Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to confirm the arrival of the virus on Friday, March 6, in a 49-year-old woman, an American tourist, who remains isolated in the capital San José. There is one other confirmed case and one suspected. Nine countries in Latin America have reported cases.


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Panama ready for first coronavirus  case - Cortizo


Posted 07/03/2020

Panama is preparing for the first patient infected with coronavirus in the country said  President Cortizo during a tour of the Ngäbe Buglé region on Saturday, March 7.

The epidemic has spread throughout the world, reaching 10 countries in the Latin American region, including Costa Rica and Colombia that are border nations with Panama.

 “What we have to do is prepare for when the time comes for patient one; be prepared as much as possible and that we continue life, ”said the president.

He argued that this will not be the first virus that arrives in the country and that if the percentage of influenza fatality is observed worldwide every year, it is much higher than the coronavirus.

“Don't be alarmed, life goes on. When it arrives we will inform; I will accompany Minister [of Health, Rosario Turner] at the press conference and we will tell the country. Hey ..! This is going to happen. ”

Cortizo acknowledged that the coronavirus will affect the economy of the country and that Panamanians will overcome this, as with other viruses.

Meanwhile , he said they will strengthen Panama's border with Costa Rica.

The Ministry of Health has reinforced sanitary prevention measures and reiterates that no cases have been reported to date in Panama.



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Panama couple on board coronavirus cruise ship


Posted 07/03/2020

A Panamanian couple both doctors are among the passengers confined on the Grand Princess cruise ship stranded in San Francisco ship,  where 21 people on board are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 coronavirus.

They are prominent  cardiologist Daniel Pichel and  his wife Helen an anesthetist  Both say they are in perfect health  and awaiting  for what the US authorities decide reports TVN News

According to the AFP agency, a total of 46 tests were applied among passengers and crew members who showed symptoms, Just 71 days ago a 71-year-old man who disembarked from the ship  died from the virus

[anamanians.jpgThe vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, said that there is a plan to take the ship to a safe harbor in the next few days. " 21 of those people aboard the ship were positive for coronavirus, 24 were negative and one was inconclusive," Pence told a news conference at the White House. of the total, two patients are passengers and 19 crew members.

The alarm on the ship spread when a 71-year-old man who was traveling on that same ship, on the previous route, died when he got Covid-19. Upon learning of this death, the test was applied to 62 people who made that tour and who remained on the ship. Of these, 21 tested positive: 19 are crew members and two are passengers, US Vice President Mike Pence reported Friday, March 6.

The ship made a tour of Hawaii and Mexico. But when the Grand Princess had to disembark in Ensenada, Mexico, they were informed - without many explanations - that stop was canceled and that the next port would be San Francisco.



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Presidente confirma el primer caso de coronavirus en Panamá

La mujer está en su domicilio y presenta un ‘cuadro leve’ de COVID-19.


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School closed as teachers display respiratory symptoms


Posted 09/03/2020

Although no case of coronavirus has been reported in Panama Ministries of Health (Minsa) and Education (Meduca)   have ordered 9, the temporary closure of the Monsignor Francisco Beckman College, located in the North Panama sector, while investigating respiratory illnesses

In a brief statement, Minsa said that the decision to close the school was taken jointly and will continue until the investigations of the case are completed.

Eight teachers from the campus have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms, possibly due to pneumonia.

The director of the College passed away, after being hospitalized for a respiratory condition.

The authorities have reinforced prevention protocols in the face of the global epidemic of coronavirus and for this reason, the investigations, in this case, are being carried out.



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At last, a sensible comment instead of the wailing sky is falling crowd.

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2 hours ago, JohnF13 said:

At last, a sensible comment instead of the wailing sky is falling crowd.


I agree.  It appears that the Coronavirus won't have the impact as does the common flu that annually claims tens of thousands of lives back in my home country so I'm assuming the same here in Panama.


I recall that the H1N virus claimed 14,000 lives in my home country and at that time it wasn't politicized.


And we need to refrain from referring to the Coronavirus as the "Wuhan" virus since in today's day and age associating an illness with any geography is considered racist unlike in the past with Lyme disease (Lyme, Connecticut), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), H1N1 virus ("Swine" or "Mexican" flu), etc.


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El golpe económico del coronavirus a Panamá

Por Adelita Coriat

El virus está provocando inquietud en el mundo de las finanzas. El sector turismo es el primero en percibir el impacto. Según la OCDE, el Gobierno podría optar por la inyección de capital. Asimismo, la banca juega un papel crucial en estos tiempos


Si bien el Ministerio de Salud ha planificado una estrategia para contrarrestar el flagelo del coronavirus, el Gobierno aún no cuenta con un plan estructurado en materia económica para contener su impacto en el país.

El primer sector que ya siente el impacto del virus es el turístico, que no solo se traduce en la ocupación hotelera, sino en restaurantes, compras al por menor, presencia de visitantes en los centros comerciales o el servicio de transporte.

Annette Cárdenas, miembro del comité de turismo de la Cámara de Comercio, indicó a La Estrella de Panamá que reciben cancelaciones a diario. Aún nadie ha medido este impacto, pero lo que señala Cárdenas tiene que ver con las políticas de las empresas multinacionales que han cancelado congresos o reuniones en el mundo. “Han prohibido a sus ejecutivos viajar por temor a que contraigan el virus y las consecuencias legales que esto puede acarrear a las empresas. Lo anterior afectó de inmediato a Panamá, porque “los viajeros que venían a visitar a sus filiales están cancelando en forma masiva”, manifestó Cárdenas.

Aunque se consultó al Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas sobre “un posible plan de contingencia”, informaron que hoy (miércoles) responderían a las inquietudes con respecto al impacto del Covid-19 en el país.

Según el desarrollo del virus, el Gobierno podría optar por lo que han hecho otros países: inyectar capital al país. La OECD publicó la evaluación del impacto. En el peor escenario al que se avista esta pandemia, de acuerdo con Pascal Saint-Amans, director de la entidad que visitó Panamá y otorgó una entrevista a este diario, el impacto del virus disminuirá a la mitad el crecimiento mundial. “Los gobiernos deben gastar dinero, los bancos centrales deben inyectar flujo. Los bancos deben ayudar, deben suspender los pagos y no deben agregar una crisis financiera a la crisis económica, es muy importante y la situación es muy preocupante”, dijo Saint-Amans.

La Autoridad de Turismo de Panamá trasladó su posición al Ministerio de Salud, como único autorizado para expresarse sobre la situación del virus, aunque el diario insistió en saber sobre el flujo de turistas y el impacto que tendrá en el país.

Abaratar los precios de los pasajes de avión podría ser atractivo, al igual que ofertas en el sector hotelero, pero a nadie le gustaría mantenerse en cuarentena al llegar a un país, eso inhibe de viajar y se convierte en un efecto multiplicador, lo que provoca un cambio en el ritmo de la demanda hacia Panamá.

La línea de aviación Copa, el hub de las Américas con múltiples conexiones a Latinoamérica, Estados Unidos y Canadá, señaló a La Decana que el coronavirus está teniendo un significativo impacto negativo en la industria de aviación a nivel global, generando quizás una de las crisis más fuertes en los últimos 25 años. “Copa Airlines no escapa a esta realidad. En tal sentido, estamos monitoreando muy de cerca la evolución de esta situación y tomaremos las medidas necesarias para enfrentarlo de la mejor forma posible”, exponen. La acción de la empresa, que registra en la bolsa de Nueva York, cotizó ayer en 71.60, mostrando un bajón del 30%.

Copa no está sola en esta situación. La bolsa de Nueva York, Dow Jones es un vivo ejemplo del nerviosismo que reflejan los inversionistas a nivel mundial. Parece una montaña rusa, con altas alzas y bajones estrepitosos que contagian la incertidumbre del futuro económico a consecuencia del virus.

El lunes, el Minsa anunció el primer caso de Covid-19 en el istmo. Otros países, como China e Italia, se han visto obligados a aislar ciudades enteras para evitar la propagación del virus. Un escenario similar en Panamá podría ser nefasto y requeriría una mayor atención en el sector bancario.

La banca jugará un papel fundamental en la medida en que los ingresos de los deudores disminuyan y se les dificulte hacer frente a los pagos de hipotecas y préstamos. Al respecto, la Superintendencia de Bancos manifestó a este diario que “en los últimos años se han establecido algunas regulaciones para que los bancos no tengan algún tipo de problemas y otra serie de inconvenientes en momentos de estrés. Esto se relaciona a temas de capital, liquidez, provisiones dinámicas y otras relacionadas con productos que puedan tener algún riesgo”. Recientemente, agregó la entidad, “se implementó el LCR o rápida cobertura de liquidez que tiene que ver con la suficiencia de liquidez que tengan los bancos, pero en este momento hay un muy buen colchón de solvencia, el doble de lo requerido legalmente”.

Con respecto a la incapacidad de los clientes en cumplir sus compromisos, la Superintendencia de Bancos respondió “que existe una hoja de ruta desde hace tiempo para los efectos macroprudenciales, pero para los clientes siempre existe la posibilidad de ampliar el tiempo del crédito, reestructurar las tasas, eso de alguna manera ayuda porque en un plazo más largo ayuda al pago. En estos momentos la morosidad está en niveles bajos y habría que evaluar los cambios más adelante”.

Como primera nación afectada, China, la fábrica del mundo mermó su producción. La Cámara de Comercio observa que debido a que China es un país fabricante, si se detiene su producción por mucho tiempo se obtendrán menos bienes, impactando la demanda de materias primas. Las compañías están creando estrategias para enfrentar las afectaciones económicas.

Para Panamá, China ocupa el segundo origen de sus importaciones, aproximadamente $1,300 millones (2019), lo que representa 10% del total de las importaciones del país. El primer lugar lo ocupa Estados Unidos con $3,900 millones (30% de las importaciones de Panamá provienen de este país).

“De enero a septiembre de 2019 se recibieron remesas de China por $4.9 millones y se enviaron $52.3 millones. En 2018, $13.3 millones y se enviaron $64.6 millones”, indicó la Cámara de Comercio.

Por otro lado, Zona Libre de Colón importa de Asia unos $6,000 millones, de los cuales la mitad proviene de China. Esta zona comercial con China, aproximadamente es de $3,000 millones en importaciones, y con Estados Unidos $1,000 millones en reexportaciones.

De acuerdo con cifras de la Cámara de Comercio, la Zona Libre de Colón, para los meses de enero a diciembre 2019, presentó una disminución en su movimiento comercial de 10,3%. Las importaciones disminuyeron en 11,4% y las reexportaciones bajaron en 9,2%. En cuanto al peso de las importaciones, este aumentó 4,1% y el de las reexportaciones bajó en 2,0%.

Severo Sousa, presidente del Consejo Nacional de la Empresa Privada, explicó que hoy se reúne la mesa de reactivación económica, a la que se ha convocado a 16 sectores y se tomará en cuenta el tema del coronavirus. “Pudiéramos llegar a un escenario crítico en el que la gente pudiera quedar sin trabajo e incumplir con los pagos”, dijo sin intención de alarmar por la situación.



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CORONAVIRUS arrives in Panama


Posted 10/03/2020

A 40-year-old Panamanian woman returning from Spain is the first case of coronavirus Covid-19 disease confirmed in Panama, said  Health Minister Rosario Turner at  a press conference called within an hour of the confirmation on Monday evening March 9.

,President  Laurentino Nito Cortizo confirmed the information through his Twitter account.

According to Minister Turner, the patient arrived in the country in the afternoon of last Sunday, from, Spain .  on Iberia flight 6339.

Although when she arrived she had some fever and a cough, it was not until Monday morning when he went to the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex that she was treated, according to the protocols established since January, Turner said.

Positive confirmation of the  new coronavirus was provided to by the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies at about 7:00 pm The minister's press conference was held shortly after 8:30 pm.

According to Turner, the woman has a "mild" picture of the disease and therefore was sent to her home, whose location did not specify.

The minister admitted that the patient was not screened at Tocumen International Airport, because until yesterday Spain was not included among the nations to apply such tests.

She said that since last night, when they received confirmation from Gorgas, they started an operation to locate and test people traveling with the patient, as well as those who had some contact with her at the Tocumen airport, at her residence and at the hospital.

She said that only two people have direct contact with the patient, to whom the tests would be applied on  Tuesday and health authorities move from a containment phase to mitigation of the virus.

The minister called on the population to remain calm and avoid going to emergency rooms of the hospital centers, except those people who,  suffer from some kind of discomfort.

She called on citizens to comply with basic hygiene measures and avoid crowds and urged medical staff to strictly abide by established protocols and to act with professional ethics.

Events and schools
Regarding the celebration of the San José de David Fair, scheduled for  March 12 -22, she indicated that they evaluate whether it is necessary to cancel the event and, depending on the impact of the virus in the country, measures will be taken in schools.

The Minister said that they will inform the country about newly reported contagions during daily press conferences every day in the afternoon.

"We are prepared to face and deal with Covid-19," President Cortizo wrote on Twitter


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Metro redoubles  disinfection against virus spread


Posted 10/03/2020

Panama Metro will redouble its cleaning protocols in trains and facilities This, following the guidelines and recommendations of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) for the prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of the measures adopted, the Metro has proceeded to change the cleaning products (disinfectants) for those recommended by the Minsa and has reinforced the cleaning of the trains twice a day.

In addition, it will now have cleaning crews at each terminal station on lines 1 and 2.and  will intensify the cleaning of the contact surfaces (handles, reloading machines, turnstiles, etc.) in the stations and the rest of the facilities.

In a press release, the Metro explained that the personnel in charge of cleaning its facilities has also received induction by qualified personnel on how to protect themselves when performing the work.

Some of these actions included that Metro personnel working in the operative part were trained by the Minsa to know about prevention measures and how to act in front of people who may have symptoms of respiratory diseases or suspected cases of Covid-19.

Likewise, the network has arranged for alcoholic gel units in staff work areas. Internally, the Metro has reinforced the prevention measures with the rest of the collaborators, the information has been placed in informative murals so that these recommendations are taken into account.

These actions and the future they implement will be announced through the screens and audios on trains, social networks of the Metro.



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HEALTHWATCH: Protecting yourself from Covid-19


Posted 10/03/2020

COVID-19 is primarily spread by respiratory droplets transmitted via close contact (within 6 feet) with an infected person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist, says there are some simple ways to protect yourself from coronavirus.

"The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from getting infected, No. 1, is to wash your hands. Really as simple as that sounds, that is the most effective way to prevent illness and infection. The second thing is if you do have symptoms, to practice what we call 'respiratory etiquette.' That means coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or into a tissue, and then wash your hands well afterward. We know viral particles that end up on your fingers and hands can be transmitted to other people, and, so, that's one way to protect yourself and your family," says Dr. Rajapakse.

She recommends washing hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds, frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and anytime you cough or sneeze. If you don't have access to soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub is a suitable alternative.

Stay home if you're sick.

"The other main thing that we would encourage people is to stay home if you're feeling ill with cough and fever especially. This avoids exposing people at school or at work to infection and illness," says Dr. Rajapakse.



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Price controls could follow anti-virus hygiene products gouging


Posted 10/03/2020

As shoppers reacting to the news of Panama’s first coronavirus case crowded into supermarkets and stores on Tuesday, March 10 to stock up on alcohol-based cleaning products and gels, the Consumer Protection Authority (ACODECO)  warned against price gouging. 

 The entity’s director Jorge Quintero, said that if traders speculate on the prices of hygiene items, they could recommend to the Executive to apply price controls to the items.

The statements came after Panama woke up Tuesday to the confirmation of the first positive case of coronavirus announced by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) , on Monday night.  Supermarkets and pharmacies had long lines and crowds of people.

Quintero and the director of Free Competition of the institution, Marcos Carrizo, say that Acodeco foresaw the situation of an increase in demand for hygiene and cleaning products as a result of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Quintero said that they have carried out monitoring in different pharmacies and establishments that sell products such as masks and alcohol gel, to identify if there is any type of hoarding in their warehouses as a result of the increase in demand. He assures, however, that this is not the case, and that the shortage that exists is "typical of the situation."

He calls on the population, not to panic and buy "only what is necessary." Their message to merchants is that they understand that it is a "world situation from which Panama has not escaped." He advises that prices not be increased



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New  health security measures for flights in and out of Panama


Posted 10/03/2020

With the arrival of the coronavirus in Panama, security measures on flights to and from the country have been expanded  as well as the check-up of passengers arriving at Tocumen International Airport and other air terminals in the national territory reports La Prensa

As an aviation hub in the region, an average of 45,432 passengers pass through Tocumen daily as almost 400 aircraft takeoff and land.

"We are not asking you to make a diagnosis, but to say which passengers had a cough and fever during the flight," said Minister of Health Turner, at a meeting she held with the airlines, to discuss increasing controls.

The minister told the airlines the possibility of aircraft crew-carrying thermometers with infrared measurement to check the temperature of travelers in case of symptoms of fever and dry cough during the journey.

The president of the Association of Air Lines of Panama (ALAP), Fredy Rodríguez, said that it was agreed with the minister to work on the form that passengers and airlines must fill out so that it is the same as suggested by the International Association of Air Transportation (IATA).

"We are working with the Minsa to standardize the form and use the standard that IATA uses, and when it is ready it will be available," Rodriguez said.



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School closures follow  one death and 7 confirmed coronavirus cases


Norato González, Panama's first coronavirus victim

Posted 11/03/2020

Coronavirus has killed one person  and there are seven more confirmed cases in the country, two of the, in intensive care and 66 under surveillance said Panama’s Minister of Health, Rosario Turner at a  Tuesday, March 10  evening press conference.

Schools in one sector have been closed, events drawing crowds and elective surgeries canceled.

the deceased was the director of the Monsignor Francisco Beckman College, Norato González  who suffered from diabetes, had been affected by bacterial pneumonia that was later associated with Covid-19.

He died on March 8, the same day a 40-year-old Panamanian  woman returning from Spain was confirmed  as the country’s first case.

Of the other sick people, two. - teachers from Beckman School- are in intensive care- The rest of the patients remain in their homes, in stable condition.

Another  66 people are under surveillance, all linked to the eight confirmed cases.

The Ministry of Health ordered classes in public and private schools suspended, from March 11 until April 7, in northern and central Panama, and in San Miguelito

The Ministry also ordered the suspension of fairs, horse racing, concerts, sports activities and any other event that involves the gathering of people.

Turner said that the Gorgas Memorial Institute has reagents for up to 1,500 tests on people suspected of being infected and instructions have already been issued to acquire another batch of reagents.

Call for calm
The director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau, said there at least 150 units to care for patients who require assisted breathing because of the virus.

He asked the population to remain calm since 70% of those with the disease are mild cases  25% moderately and only 5% reach a critical situation.

The World Health Organization on  Monday that, of over  80,000 cases confirmed coronavirus in China, 70% have recovered and been released.

The Ministry reported that they are monitoring eight direct contacts of the woman on the Iberia flight.

42 people who had contact with a 55-year-old Panamanian, who was in France, Madrid, the United States and Cuba;  are under follow-up.

a 29-year-old Panamanian who traveled to Colorado, the United States, and Cuba, had direct contact with one person.

Another 45-year-old Panamanian from Spain has had contact with four people.

A 49-year-old Panamanian with no travel history, but maintained contact with 17 people. It is a case similar to that of the deceased teacher r, who also had no travel history outside the country.

The Minsa said that patient number six is a 59-year-old Panamanian who traveled to Puerto Rico and New York.

The seventh case is a 35-year-old Panamanian who traveled to the United States.

Earlier, the Social Security Fund (CSS) decided to suspend until further notice elective surgeries in the main centers of the capital city.



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WHO Calls Coronavirus a Pandemic as Nations Brace for Pain

March 11, 2020

(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared, urging governments to step up containment efforts as the number of worldwide cases topped 120,000 and deaths exceeded 4,300.

The United Nations body had previously stopped short of such a designation as the illness spread from China, with major outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Italy, where deaths due to the virus surged past 800 on Wednesday. The infection is now gaining ground across Europe and the U.S.

“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing. “Those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters and those clusters becoming community transmission.”

The new coronavirus is the cause of the first pandemic since 2009, when a novel influenza strain swept across the world, infecting millions of people.

There’s no strict numerical definition of a pandemic, and the WHO had previously avoided the label even as the outbreak accelerated. The agency generally looks at how widely cases are spreading around the globe along with the deadliness of the disease and the effectiveness of containment measures. The virus has already reached more than 100 countries.

What It Means If the Coronavirus Is Called a Pandemic: QuickTake

Countries need to take a close look at their domestic efforts to respond to the virus, said Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, in the briefing. Those in western Europe should look at their control programs and assess whether they’re doing enough to suppress transmission and push the virus back, he said.

“Iran and Italy are in the front line right now,” he said. Other countries will feel the same pain soon, he said.

Confirmed cases in Italy rose by more than a fifth to 12,462 on Wednesday, with 827 deaths.

Coronavirus Is Breaking Out All Over. Can We Call It a Pandemic?

The WHO in January called the outbreak an international health emergency and later raised its assessment of the global risk to its highest level. Tedros has previously expressed frustration with what he described as a lax response to the crisis by certain countries that weren’t named. At Wednesday’s briefing he called again for a more aggressive response, saying countries “should double down.”

Success in Asia against the virus by applying rigorous public health measures, including aggressively tracking down infected people, show that health authorities have the tools they need to fight the virus, WHO officials said.

“It’s not a matter of tools, it’s a matter of will,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization’s emerging diseases unit. “It’s a matter of how do we use our best efforts to drive this down.”

(Updates with Italian deaths in the second paragraph)

--With assistance from Jerrold Colten.

To contact the reporters on this story: Naomi Kresge in Berlin at nkresge@bloomberg.net;Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at epfanner1@bloomberg.net, John Lauerman, James Paton



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Instability, Confusion and Economic Deceleration

Faced with the advance of the coronavirus epidemic, businessmen in the region are asking citizens to follow only official recommendations to avoid giving way to disorienting versions that only contribute to generate instability and uncertainty.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In Central America, two countries have registered people infected with the virus. Costa Rica was the first to report cases of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) and so far the nation has registered nine infected people. Panama made its first case official on 9 March.

See "Coronavirus: What are the Impacts for the Region?"

Faced with this situation, the Panamanian business sector has issued a statement urging the country's businesspeople and workers to remain calm and replicate the "Health and Labor Promotion, Prevention and Control Measures to Prepare for Possible Cases of COVID-19," adopted jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development.

The statement from the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) states that "... Only compliance with such recommendations, which include paying attention only to official information, will avoid giving way to disorienting versions that only contribute to promote instability and confusion."

In this context, a global economic slowdown is predicted. An article in Martesfinanciero.com explains that "... the transport of goods, very dependent on Chinese trade, is impacted by this phenomenon that has affected the activity of the ports and the demand for raw materials from China."

Also see "Coronavirus: Every Crisis Brings an Opportunity"

The text adds that "... In addition to the immediate logistical problems, there is a slowdown in Chinese demand in the short and medium term, since China alone accounts for about 35% of dry bulk imports by sea in the world."

The current emergency opens the debate about the opportunities for countries like Panama, because as a logistic center in the region, it must prepare itself to have the capacity to guarantee the supply of goods to neighboring countries in the future.

See the CCIAP press release and the article "Coronavirus makes global logistics gear shake."



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Teachers  call for nationwide school closures to fight pandemic

Posted 11/03/2020

While the World Health Organization (WHO)  was declaring the  Coronavirus outbreak a  pandemic on Wednesday, March 11. The Association of Panama Teachers  on Wednesday March 11 called on health authorities to suspend classes throughout the country.

In a press conference, teachers lamented the death of  Norato González of the Monsignor Francisco Beckman School associated with the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

Herrera Educators  Association also joined the request to suspend classes.

A statement signed by  Angel Raúl Rivera, secretary-general of the Association, says that the request is justified as there are schools throughout the country, especially in the interior, that lack the basic services for students to comply with the measures indicated by the Ministry of Health.

The requests came after the announcement made by the head of Education, Maruja Gorday, that classes would be suspended only in Central Panama, North Panama and San Miguelito.

The association said that most of the schools of Herrera and Los Santos do not have the cleaning kits and acquiring them with the money from the Equity and Educational Quality Fund (FECE) represents a whole bureaucracy.

Mayors from several districts of the country made the decision to suspend public activities a day after the Minsa confirmed the death of a person associated with Covid-19 (new coronavirus).

To date  the districts that have canceled dance activities, sports, horseback riding, cockfighting, are Arraiján in Panama Oeste; Barú, Boquete and Dolega in the province of Chiriquí; Pesadía, in Los Santos; and the Pintada district, of Coclé.

Meanwhile, in West Panama the schools that have decided - together with the parents - to suspend classes is El Limón, in Barrio Colón; Altos de San Francisco, and Guillermo Endara Galimany, in La Chorrera.



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A 14 se elevan los casos de coronavirus en el país

Por Ismael Gordón Guerrel

El Meduca suspendió las clases en todo el país hasta el próximo viernes 20 de marzo, con posibilidad de extender la medida hasta el 7 de abril, tal como se decidió para los distritos de Panamá y San Miguelito


Seis nuevos casos de coronavirus (Covid-19) fueron confirmados por el Ministerio de Salud durante una conferencia de prensa la tarde de este miércoles. En total van 14 casos, incluyendo una persona fallecida, desde el pasado lunes cuando se anunció el primero.

La ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, explicó que la cifra diaria se está dando a las 4:00 de la tarde para homologar la información, lo que significa que si hay casos confirmados después de esa hora, deberán darse a conocer al día siguiente.

La posibilidad de que aumenten los casos es inevitable y así lo explicó el infectólogo Xavier Sáez-Llorens, quien forma parte del comité asesor del Minsa para el coronavirus y quien participó en la conferencia de prensa.

La ecuación aproximada es que el número de casos se duplica cada cinco días. “Si yo tengo 14 casos hoy, en 5 días voy a tener 28, cinco días más 56, cinco días más casi 500 en el plazo de un mes”, explicó el infectólogo.

De los 14 casos confirmados, 10 son mujeres y 4 hombres. El distrito de Panamá concentra la mayoría de los casos: en el corregimiento de San Francisco se han dado tres, seguido de Juan Díaz y Las Cumbres con dos cada uno.

Los corregimientos de Bella Vista, Betania, Pedregal, que también pertenecen al distrito de Panamá, registran un caso cada uno.

En los corregimientos Amelia Denis de Icaza y Omar Torrijos, del distrito de San Miguelito, así como el Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, de Arraijan, registran un caso.

La ministra Turner pide calma a la población. De cada 100 personas afectadas, 80 son leves, 15 moderados y solo 5 son críticos. De los 14 casos reconocidos en Panamá, además de la persona fallecida, uno de los pacientes está en cuidados intensivos.

El director de la Caja de Seguro Social, Enrique Lau Cortés, informó que el paciente se encuentra estable, pero sigue en cuidados intensivos.

En la conferencia de la tarde, la ministra Turner informó de los otros tres casos, sin mayores detalles de las personas.

Por cada paciente, el Minsa también tiene bajo observación, en promedio, a 10 personas por contacto directo o indirecto con la persona contagiada.

La ministra Turner habló de la suspensión de las clases como parte de las medidas de prevención, y fue enfática en señalar que la medida no es para que los estudiantes acudan a los parques, sino para que se queden en casa.

El Minsa reiteró a la población seguir las instrucciones que las autoridades de Salud han indicado, en cuanto a proteger a los adultos mayores y a las personas más vulnerables.

Según Sáez-Llorens se está trabajando con los peores escenarios para minimizar el impacto. “Si no se hacen medidas de mitigación, como ha hecho el Minsa, se pueden multiplicar los casos en el plazo de un mes”, recalcó.

Las autoridades de Salud, además, reiteraron a toda la población mantener las medidas de higiene como el lavado de manos con agua y jabón o gel alcoholado, así como evitar las instalaciones hospitalarias para no saturarlas, y en su lugar utilizar las policlínicas y centros de salud. Medidas sencillas, de fácil cumplimiento y alta eficacia para la prevención y control de este evento. Con la aplicación de medidas de higiene personal, un sistema de salud preparado y el esfuerzo compartido de todos los panameños saldremos adelante como país.

El presidente de la Repúblico, Laurentino Cortizo, solicitó que se prioricen las acciones de respuesta como el seguimiento de personas con afectaciones respiratorias en las entidades del gobierno y la empresa privada.

Esta coordinación se hará a través del Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias (Mici) y el Ministerio de Desarrollo Laboral (Mitradel ) para que mediante los departamentos de recursos humanos la vigilancia del ausentismo laboral deba ser comunicada al Minsa.

Además se ha contratado a 20 médicos y a 20 personas de enfermería para realizar las visitas domiciliarias de las personas que están en cuarentena.


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


Coronavirus cases in the country rise to 14

By Ismael Gordón Guerrel

Meduca suspended classes across the country until next Friday, March 20, with the possibility of extending the measure until April 7, as decided for the districts of Panama and San Miguelito.


Six new cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. In total there are 14 cases, including a deceased person, since last Monday when the first was announced.

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, explained that the daily figure is being given at 4:00 in the afternoon to standardize the information, which means that if there are confirmed cases after that time, they should be released the next day.

The possibility of an increase in cases is inevitable and this was explained by the infectologist Xavier Sáez-Llorens, who is part of the Minsa advisory committee for the coronavirus and who participated in the press conference.

The approximate equation is that the number of cases doubles every five days. "If I have 14 cases today, in 5 days I will have 28, five days plus 56, five days plus almost 500 within a month," explained the infectologist.

Of the 14 confirmed cases, 10 are women and 4 are men. The district of Panama concentrates the majority of the cases: in the township of San Francisco there have been three, followed by Juan Díaz and Las Cumbres with two each.

The townships of Bella Vista, Betania, Pedregal, which also belong to the district of Panama, register one case each.

In the townships Amelia Denis de Icaza and Omar Torrijos, from the San Miguelito district, as well as Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, from Arraijan, they register a case.

Minister Turner calls for calm in the population. Of every 100 people affected, 80 are mild, 15 moderate and only 5 are critical. Of the 14 cases recognized in Panama, in addition to the deceased, one of the patients is in intensive care.

The director of the Social Security Fund, Enrique Lau Cortés, reported that the patient is stable, but is still in intensive care.
At noon on Wednesday, the Minsa confirmed three new cases that were three women, one of 33 years, who is in an outpatient state; a 58-year-old who is hospitalized and arrived by in-hospital surveillance; and a 57-year-old woman, who is hospitalized.

At the afternoon conference, Minister Turner reported the other three cases, without further details of the people.

For each patient, the Minsa also has under observation, on average, 10 people for direct or indirect contact with the infected person.

Minister Turner spoke of the suspension of classes as part of prevention measures, and was emphatic in pointing out that the measure is not for students to go to the parks, but for them to stay at home.

The Minsa reiterated to the population to follow the instructions that the Health authorities have indicated, regarding protecting older adults and the most vulnerable people.

According to Sáez-Llorens, the worst-case scenarios are being worked on to minimize the impact. "If mitigation measures are not carried out, as Minsa has done, cases can multiply within a month," he stressed.

The Health authorities, in addition, reiterated to the entire population to maintain hygiene measures such as washing hands with soap and water or alcohol gel, as well as avoiding hospital facilities so as not to saturate them, and instead use polyclinics and health centers. Health. Simple, easy-to-comply and highly effective measures for the prevention and control of this event. With the application of personal hygiene measures, a prepared health system and the shared effort of all Panamanians, we will succeed as a country.

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, requested that response actions be prioritized, such as the monitoring of people with respiratory disorders in government entities and private companies.

This coordination will be done through the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici) and the Ministry of Labor Development (Mitradel) so that through the human resources departments the monitoring of absenteeism should be communicated to the Minsa.

In addition, 20 doctors and 20 nurses have been hired to carry out home visits for people in quarantine.



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Four new cases of  Coronavirus and  businesses  feel pinch


Posted 11/03/2020

Four new cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in Panama were reported by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) on Wednesday, March 1, bringing the total registered in two days to 12 as malls and restaurants begin to feel the pinch.

The new cases include a staff member of the presidency and a 33 year- old -woman who is an outpatient and two hospitalized women one 57 and the other 58.

 Minsa also reported that two other officials of the Presidency were subjected to clinical and laboratory analysis, which came out negative.

“As a preventive measure, the Ministry of the Presidency is carrying out the sieve test (temperature taking) to all officials and personnel arriving at the institution; We also recommend that other institutions and companies that receive a daily influx of public apply similar measures, ”said a  Minsa statement.

Meanwhile, President Laurentino Cortizo is attending his office on a regular basis, said the Ministry of the Presidency.



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MEF busca estrategia para afrontar la crisis financiera del Covid-19

Por Adelita Coriat

El ministro de Economía y Finanzas, Héctor Alexander, analiza varios escenarios ante el impacto del coronavirus para determinar qué políticas públicas aplicarán. En países europeos, los gobiernos han salido al rescate designando partidas especiales

El Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, en voz del jefe de la cartera, Héctor Alexander, está consciente de que el coronavirus afectará la economía del país, pero ha sido muy cauteloso en calificar de qué forma, puesto que aún realizan las proyecciones basadas en distintos escenarios.

Albrook Mall, centro comercial más visitado se encontraba vacío ayer casi todo el díaRoberto Barrios | La Estrella de Panamá

Alexander hizo una visita al consejo editorial del Grupo El Siglo y La Estrella de Panamá para explicar las finanzas públicas.

“Es una historia en desarrollo”, dijo Alexander al referirse al impacto del virus en materia económica. Añadió que hay varias mesas de trabajo analizando el tema; lo que sí está claro, es que la producción y el comercio se verán afectados al igual que los aportes de la Autoridad del Canal de Panamá que ya mantiene una restricción de calado y además se enfrenta a la caída del barril de petróleo en un 20%.

Ante las medidas sanitarias impuestas por el Ministerio de Salud para contener la propagación del virus, el país se ha paralizado completamente. Ayer los centros comerciales estaban prácticamente vacíos. Varios dueños se preguntan cómo pagarán las rentas y las hipotecas que deben cancelar a fin de mes, si no hay gente en el mall.

Esto pondrá a prueba a la administración de Laurentino Cortizo y sus asesores económicos. Deberán decidir hasta qué punto el Gobierno podrá inyectar dinero a la banca, en caso de que se tomen medidas drásticas como se hizo en Italia (un país sumamente afectado por el virus que ha paralizado ciudades enteras), donde se canceló por 18 meses el cobro de hipotecas, o introducir dinero al mercado para reactivar la economía.

Hoy se reunirán con el ministro Alexander 16 sectores de la economía para discutir posibles medidas y analizar a fondo el tema. Uno de los términos más importantes en este momento es la confianza que tenga la población y el sector empresarial en el MEF, para poder adoptar las medidas necesarias y sacar a flote la economía una vez más, luego de haber recibido “un desastre” de las finanzas del gobierno de Juan Carlos Varela.

En Italia, por ejemplo, ayer el Gobierno anunció una ayuda extraordinaria de 25 mil millones de euros para familias y empresas para luchar contra la crisis desatada por el virus. Todo ello, luego de que el Banco Central Europeo decidiera flexibilizar las reglas de estabilidad y Roma solicitara luz verde para hacer todo lo necesario para proteger la economía de la zona euro.

El Minsa ha puesto como fecha de reevaluación el 7 de abril próximo, fecha en que supuestamente se reinicia la vida escolar y de eventos masivos, pero estará sujeta al desenvolvimiento del virus. Aún nada está claro.

Roberto Brenes, economista, escribió un artículo de opinión en el que alerta sobre las consecuencias del virus. En él describe como al país logístico lo ha golpeado el virus. Las reducciones de vuelos, servicios marítimos, cabotaje ya afectan los aeropuertos y puertos, acusando una reducción de impuestos y tarifas, además de la reducción del flujo turístico y la desvencijada situación hotelera. “La reducción de la oferta traerá desabastecimientos que, sumados a la reducción demanda, pone a todo el comercio en una posición difícil”, cita el artículo.

Ante la situación, Brenes propuso formar un grupo de trabajo gobierno-empresa privada para darle toda la cabeza a los muchos temas que se van a dar.

'Actuar con transparencia genera confianza'

MEF busca estrategia para afrontar la crisis financiera del Covid-19Daniel González | La Estrella de Panamá

Cuando Héctor Alexander, ministro de Economía y Finanzas, asumió la dirección de la economía del país, lo primero que hizo fue analizar las cuentas pendientes, los ingresos y los compromisos internacionales. Estableció una estrategia para lograr una línea de crédito especial que manejó el Fondo Monetario Internacional, con quien se abrió y explicó con detalle la situación del país. Esto le dio la ventaja de que la organización sintiera transparencia por parte del MEF. Así se logró un primer préstamo que permitió a Alexander modificar la Ley de Responsabilidad Fiscal para luego bajar los porcentajes paulatinamente mientras recuperaba la economía.

En este sentido, observó que había cuentas por pagar que databan de 2015 hasta 2019. Alexander manifestó que para hacer frente a esta situación, canceló la deuda y se sumó la cantidad al déficit del año correspondiente en que se adquirió la deuda.

El ministro Alexander dejó claro que existe una política encaminada a sacar al país de las listas negras. “Haremos lo correcto para salir de las listas”, y entre estas acciones está compartir información en forma automática con los países que se haya firmado un convenio, que la soliciten y que cumpla con los requerimientos para ello. La actitud del país fue muy bien recibida por la delegación de la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económíco que efectuó recientemente una visita.

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


MEF seeks strategy to face the financial crisis of Covid-19

By Adelita Coriat

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander, analyzes various scenarios due to the impact of the coronavirus to determine what public policies will be applied. In European countries, governments have come to the rescue designating special items

The Ministry of Economy and Finance, in the voice of the head of the portfolio, Héctor Alexander, is aware that the coronavirus will affect the country's economy, but has been very cautious in describing how, since they still carry out projections based on different scenarios.


Albrook Mall, the most visited shopping center was empty almost all day yesterdayRoberto Barrios | The star of Panama

Alexander paid a visit to the editorial board of Grupo El Siglo and La Estrella de Panamá to explain public finances.

"It's a developing story," said Alexander, referring to the economic impact of the virus. He added that there are several working tables analyzing the topic; What is clear is that production and trade will be affected, as will the contributions of the Panama Canal Authority, which already maintains a draft restriction and also faces a 20% drop in the barrel of oil. .
"We do not know how much it is going to be affected, but it will surely affect the country's growth, unemployment will increase and tax collections will decrease," he said.

Faced with the sanitary measures imposed by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of the virus, the country has completely stopped. Yesterday the shopping malls were practically empty. Several owners wonder how they will pay the rents and mortgages that they must pay at the end of the month, if there are no people in the mall.

This will challenge the Laurentino Cortizo administration and its economic advisers. They will have to decide to what extent the Government will be able to inject money into the bank, in case drastic measures are taken, as was done in Italy (a country highly affected by the virus that has paralyzed entire cities), where the collection was canceled for 18 months. mortgage, or introduce money to the market to revive the economy.

It must be borne in mind that the MEF has a strict plan to comply with the fiscal responsibility law that must reduce the projected deficit gap for this year by 3.5%, and then gradually decrease it and bring it to 2.0% of GDP as of the year 2022. This could be a straitjacket for the Government if it decides to bring up the red numbers that the coronavirus crisis leaves behind. Perhaps they will have to go to international financial organizations to request extraordinary help with special terms, or similar strategies to alleviate the economy that when the virus entered was not in optimal financial health.

Today 16 sectors of the economy will meet with Minister Alexander to discuss possible measures and analyze the issue in depth. One of the most important terms at the moment is the trust that the population and the business sector have in the MEF, to be able to adopt the necessary measures and bring the economy to the surface once again, after having received “a disaster” from the finances of the government of Juan Carlos Varela.

In Italy, for example, yesterday the Government announced extraordinary aid of 25 billion euros for families and companies to fight the crisis unleashed by the virus. All this, after the European Central Bank decided to relax the stability rules and Rome asked for the green light to do everything necessary to protect the economy of the euro zone.

The global situation dragged by the virus, some resemble the crisis of 2008 when the United States came to the rescue of banks that received more than $ 34 billion, some who had acted with unforgivable irresponsibility.

The Minsa has set a reevaluation date of April 7, the date on which school life and massive events are supposed to restart, but it will be subject to the development of the virus. Still nothing is clear.

Roberto Brenes, an economist, wrote an opinion piece in which he warns about the consequences of the virus. In it he describes how the logistics country has been hit by the virus. The reductions in flights, maritime services, cabotage already affect airports and ports, accusing a reduction in taxes and fees, in addition to the reduction in tourist flow and the dilapidated hotel situation. "The reduction in supply will bring shortages that, added to the reduction in demand, puts all trade in a difficult position," the article cites.

Given the situation, Brenes proposed to form a government-private company working group to give the whole head to the many issues that are going to happen.

'Acting with transparency builds trust'


When Héctor Alexander, Minister of Economy and Finance, assumed the direction of the country's economy, the first thing he did was analyze the outstanding accounts, income and international commitments. He established a strategy to achieve a special line of credit managed by the International Monetary Fund, with whom he opened and explained in detail the situation in the country. This gave him the advantage that the organization felt transparency on the part of the MEF. Thus, a first loan was obtained that allowed Alexander to modify the Fiscal Responsibility Law and then gradually lower the percentages while the economy recovered.

In this sense, he observed that there were accounts payable that dated from 2015 to 2019. Alexander stated that to face this situation, he canceled the debt and added the amount to the deficit of the corresponding year in which the debt was acquired.

Minister Alexander made it clear that there is a policy aimed at removing the country from blacklists. "We will do the right thing to get off the lists," and among these actions is automatically sharing information with countries that have signed an agreement, request it and meet the requirements for it. The attitude of the country was very well received by the delegation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that recently paid a visit.



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Coronavirus paraliza el país

Por Adelita Coriat

Las medidas sanitarias se han extremado al grado de suspender o postergar clases escolares, universitarias, conciertos, museos, festivales, congresos y ferias hasta el 7 de abril o nuevo aviso.


El país se va paralizando poco a poco a medida que el virus Covid-19 gana terreno entre los nuevos casos de contagio, el pánico colectivo, y la prevención para evitar elevar las cifras. A raíz de las recomendaciones del Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) de evitar aglomeraciones, el Ministerio de Educación (Meduca) ordenó suspender las clases en todo el país y más de 10 eventos han sido pospuestos o cancelados, medidas que tendrán un impacto significativo en la economía panameña.

Meduca suspendió las clases en escuelas particulares y públicas del país, algunas hasta el 20 de marzo, fecha en que se evaluará la situación, y hasta el 7 de abril en Panamá centro, norte y San Miguelito.

Las universidades del país, luego de una junta de rectores, decidieron suspender las clases presenciales hasta el 7 de abril, la fecha que ha impuesto el gobierno para reevaluar la situación. Los universitarios, entonces, recibirán clases a distancia, teledirigidas o por módulos según el criterio de cada universidad.

A primeras horas de la tarde de ayer, este medio conoció que los funcionarios que laboran en la Unidad de Análisis Financiero (UAF) fueron enviados a sus casas. La UAF, institución de inteligencia financiera del país, permanecerá cerrada hasta el 23 de este mes, luego de haber detectado dos casos positivos.

El torneo de béisbol mayor, que empezaba ayer por la noche, se reprogramó para el 7 de abril, y la liga panameña de fútbol (LPF), que para este fin de semana tenía programada la novena jornada del torneo de apertura, fue cancelada hasta nuevo aviso.

El Festival de Artes Escénicas (FAE 2020) pospuso la novena edición de IFF Panamá sin anunciar una fecha probable en que las salas de cine reciban a talentosos artistas, productores y público cinéfilo.

El Club Activo 20-30 prefirió posponer el encuentro de ideas, la librotón y la gira médica que tenían concertados en los próximos días.

En cuanto a conciertos, se tenía programado para el 26 del mes a la cantante Karol G, pero la empresa promotora Magic Dreams se apegó a las recomendaciones del Minsa.

En este mismo renglón se retrasó el show de Carreyó, que era para el 17de marzo, y evalúan posibles fechas.

Los sáilas, máxima figura de la comarca Guna Yala, el archipiélago paradisíaco del istmo, ordenaron suspender todas las actividades turísticas que incluyan traslado de turistas hacia las islas y alojamientos, pero permitió el traslado de pasajeros y comuneros de la comarca, así como de mercancías y víveres. Pidieron a la población que denuncie los abusos de comerciantes inescrupulosos que tiendan a aumentar los precios de alimentos.

En cuanto a la parte cultural, el Biomuseo suspendió las visitas programadas para este mes.

El decano de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Panamá suspendió el Microfest 2020 hasta segunda orden.

En cuanto a exposiciones, Eduexpo, la feria educativa más grande del mundo que se iba a realizar el próximo 18 de marzo se prorrogó hasta nuevo aviso.

La Asociación de Distribuidores de Automóviles de Panamá comunicó que el verano Auto Show 2020, que se realizaría del 13 al 15 de este mes, quedó suspendido hasta nuevo aviso.

El día de la cultura japonesa, que organizaba la Embajada de Japón en Panamá, sufrió la misma situación.


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


Coronavirus paralyzes the country

By Adelita Coriat
Updated 03/12/2020 06:00

Sanitary measures have been extended to the extent of suspending or postponing school, university, concerts, museums, festivals, congresses and fairs until April 7 or new notice.


The country is gradually paralyzing as the Covid-19 virus gains ground among new cases of contagion, collective panic, and prevention to avoid raising the numbers. Following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to avoid crowds, the Ministry of Education (Meduca) ordered to suspend classes throughout the country and more than 10 events have been postponed or canceled, measures that will have a significant impact on the Panamanian economy.

Meduca suspended classes in private and public schools in the country, some until March 20, when the situation will be evaluated, and until April 7 in central, northern Panama and San Miguelito.

The country's universities, after a meeting of rectors, decided to suspend face-to-face classes until April 7, the date that the government has imposed to reevaluate the situation. The university students will then receive distance, remote-controlled, or modular classes at the discretion of each university.

In the early hours of yesterday afternoon, this newspaper learned that the officials who work in the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) were sent to their homes. The UAF, the country's financial intelligence institution, will remain closed until the 23rd of this month, after having detected two positive cases.

The Panamanian Sports Institute also confirmed that all sports and social events at its facilities across the country will be suspended until April 7, and asked federations, associations and sports organizations not to make trips abroad.

The major baseball tournament, which started last night, was rescheduled for April 7, and the Panamanian soccer league (LPF), which had the ninth day of the opening tournament scheduled for this weekend, was canceled until new notification.

The Performing Arts Festival (FAE 2020) has postponed the ninth edition of IFF Panama without announcing a likely date that movie theaters will welcome talented artists, producers and moviegoers.

So did the National Women's Forum, which postponed all activities involving mass meetings. Among them he listed: Workshop on electoral reforms (March 14 and 28 as well as April 4); the commemoration of International Women's Day at the Electoral Tribunal (March 18); the inauguration of the first Women's Compass Training School (March 21), until conditions are overcome.

The Active Club 20-30 preferred to postpone the meeting of ideas, the booklet and the medical tour that they had arranged in the coming days.

As for concerts, singer Karol G was scheduled for the 26th of the month, but the promoter company Magic Dreams adhered to Minsa's recommendations.

In this same line, the Carreyó show was delayed, which was for March 17, and possible dates are being evaluated.

The Sailas, maximum figure of the Guna Yala region, the paradisiacal archipelago of the Isthmus, ordered to suspend all tourist activities that include the transfer of tourists to the islands and accommodation, but allowed the transfer of passengers and community members of the region, as well as goods and groceries. They called on the population to report abuses by unscrupulous merchants who tend to increase food prices.

As for the cultural part, the Biomuseo suspended the visits scheduled for this month.

The dean of Fine Arts at the University of Panama suspended the Microfest 2020 until the second order.

As for exhibitions, Eduexpo, the world's largest educational fair to be held on March 18, was extended until further notice.

The Association of Automobile Dealers of Panama reported that the summer Auto Show 2020, which would take place from 13 to 15 this month, was suspended until further notice.

The day of Japanese culture, organized by the Embassy of Japan in Panama, suffered the same situation.



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Cuban drug used against coronavirus in China available in Panama


Posted 11/03/2020

Chinese authorities are using a drug developed in Cuba called Interferon Alfa 2B, which along with two other medications for patients with coronavirus.

Elvia Lau director of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (MINSA), confirmed to La Prensa that the medication has a sanitary record in Panama, so there would be no problem acquiring it for confirmed cases of coronavirus in Panama.

On Tuesday, March 10   the Cuban government announced that the Chinese authorities are currently using the recombinant Interferon Alfa 2B (IFNrec) that combined with other drugs is helping to cope with the coronavirus COVID 19. According to the Cuban newspaper Granma, this medicine has had palpable results in the cure of more than 1,500 patients. Currently, the drug is produced in the Chinese-Cuban ChangHeber plant in the Chinese province of Jilin and is one of the products created by the biotechnology industry of Cuba for the treatment of viral infections caused by HIV, human papillomavirus and hepatitis types B and C. “The medicine is one of about 30 drugs chosen by the Chinese National Health Commission to cure the respiratory condition and, according to statements on Cuban television by Dr. Luis Herrera Martínez, scientific and commercial advisor to the President of BioCubaFarma

Its selection is due to the effectiveness shown previously against viruses with similar characteristics to this ”, says the doctor.



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