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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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The administrators endeavor to tag all relevant topics with the “covid-19” tag. If you see that we missed one, please bring it to our attention.

Significant pandemic milestones:

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

Message added by Moderator_02

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Posted (edited)

The Mayor of Boquete is requesting a health inspection all visitors to Boquete. Here is my loose translation of his letter of yesterday to the Ministry of Health. I am attaching an image of the original for reference.

Quote

March 11, 2020

Doctor Pedro Honings

Medical Director

Ministry of Health

, Boquete

Dear Doctor Honings
Greetings and wishes for success in your important tasks.


Boquete is a much visited tourist district and in order to establish measures for the prevention and management of coronavirus cases, we request from your organization as responsible health authority, a comprehensive inspection and medical evaluation of all domestic and foreign tourists from countries where cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and who have used hotels, hostels, and other existing accommodations in our district in the last three (03) days, checking the managers’ logs of these establishments.

At the same time instituting inspections at the Caldera entrance checkpoint to evaluate the entry of tourists, registering all visitors who present any symptoms related to this virus; all this in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among our Boquete population.


If we do not have enough personnel for these inspections, we ask for support from units of the Ministry of Health of David, Dolega and other nearby centers.
I await a positive response


Sincerely


Joswar Alvarado
Mayor
Boquete District

Letter.jpg

 

Edited by Moderator_02
formatting changes

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Question:   Is Panama still allowing flights in from infected areas?   Are there any confirmed cases in Chiriqui ?   I am hearing reports through the Bochinche hotline on local cases .

I get this 6th sense creepy feeling ...........Alison 

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On 3/11/2020 at 8:23 AM, Moderator_02 said:

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.

That's the piece that should have been out last week !

Methinks the cats outta the bag bigtime already.

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Posted (edited)

Below is an unofficial translation of a letter from Boquete's mayor yesterday.

Quote

March 11, 2020

Doctor Pedro Honings

Medical Director

Ministry of Health

Boquete

 

Dear Doctor Honings
Greetings and wishes for success in your important tasks.


Boquete is a much visited tourist district and in order to establish measures for the prevention and management of coronavirus cases, we request from your organization as responsible health authority, a comprehensive inspection and medical evaluation of all domestic and foreign tourists from countries where cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and who have used hotels, hostels, and other existing accommodations in our district in the last three (03) days, checking the managers’ logs of these establishments.

 

At the same time instituting inspections at the Caldera entrance checkpoint to evaluate the entry of tourists, registering all visitors who present any symptoms related to this virus; all this in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among our Boquete population.


If we do not have enough personnel for these inspections, we ask for support from units of the Ministry of Health of David, Dolega and other nearby centers.


I await a positive response


Sincerely


Joswar Alvarado
Mayor

Boquete District

 

Edited by Moderator_02
formatting changes

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If you wish to access the most reliable statistics concerning the coronavirus spread, there is a website that is updated every few seconds. It displays the number of confirmed cases, the fatalities, the recoveries, and the number of cases considered serious. You have to scroll pretty far down to find Panama, which as of this writing has 8 confirmed cases and one fatality (The 50-year old female principal of the big high school in San Miguelito who had just returned from a trip to Spain).

The website link is: https://ncov2019.live/data

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What is confusing is the first case identified inside Panama ( tourist from Spain) occurred after the death of the school dean of the Monsenor Fransisco Beckman school .  He is reported to not have had known contact with anyone from an infected region of the world.  I presume that is why this man was not quickly tested for COVID.   Seems there must have been a delay.  As well 12 teachers from that school became ill and asked for some Public Health intervention from the country but there was a reported delay in response.   

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200311/coronavirus-casos-colegio-registro-primer-deceso-panama

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

Press releases (five or six every day), are posted here that update and summarize details of various actions being taken in Panama concerning COVID-19.

Google Translate works.

http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticias-breves

Todays report reveals no new cases. Or rather no reported new cases. 

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Keith if that is so they are not telling us.  It strikes me that it didn't dawn on them until he walked in pretty sick and so quickly his state got much worse.  Most likely we will never know.  It is possible that because of the progression and his symptoms , a test was performed.  Upside is they DID discover that he had it.  If it was by autopsy it's not too encouraging. 

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Moderator comment: Below is a slightly edited automated translation of the two page MINSA public announcement #6 of March 12th that was posted by @Keith Woolford.

Quote

Comunicado #6

Regarding the situation of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) informs the citizens that as of noon today, Thursday, March 12, 13 new cases are reported, totaling to date 27 confirmed cases.

The new cases reported are the result of an active search among the contacts of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and others associated with people who have from abroad, from affected countries. Most of the cases correspond to people over 40 years of age and 21 of them have not required hospitalization and are kept in home isolation.

Furthermore, no cases are registered in geographic areas other than those already reported by the MINSA.

The MINSA clarifies that the COVID-19 test is performed only on people who have symptoms.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the Ministry of Security and the Migration Service and the Customs Authority, adopted that cruise ships with tourists from areas affected by COVID-19 will not be able to disembark on homeland without complying with the mandatory isolation.

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, met this Thursday morning with businessmen to whom she recommended establishing sales control mechanisms that guarantee the sale of food and cleaning and cleaning products to avoid alarm situations in the community, which are already being implemented in some local establishments.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) in its incessant fight to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak reiterates to the population the need to strictly fulfill their responsibility with both individual and collective respiratory hygiene measures consisting of frequent washing of hands, avoid contact with people with colds, when sneezing and coughing, cover the mouth and nose with the internal angle of the forearm, refrain from going to public places if you have symptoms of colds and avoid crowds.

We are deeply grateful to the Panamanian people and to the communication media who daily accompany us and replicate the messages of the Ministry of Health.

 

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Saturday and Sunday  Catholic Masses Canceled

masses.jpg

Posted 12/03/2020

 While Catholic churches  will remain, open masses  on Saturday and Sunday will be in canceled because of the coronavirus  crisis  said  the Archbishop of Panama José Domingo Ulloa on Thursday, March 12, the

Through Radio Hogar and FTVE Channel 5, the Eucharistic celebration will be broadcast on  Sunday, at 8:00 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am

In addition, parishes that have digital platforms are urged to use them for broadcasting their celebrations.

Meanwhile, the weekly Eucharistic celebrations will be with a limited number of parishioners of 20 to 50 people, at most.

Monsignor Ulloa added that marriages and funerals must also be carried out with the minimum of family members.

First communion catechisms and conformations will be suspended, as well as other events or activities that gather more than 50 people.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/saturday-and-sunday-catholic-masses-canceled

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14 confirmed cases, 140 under observation

2coronavirus.png

Posted 12/03/2020

 At least 14 Panamanians were infected with the coronavirus (covid-19)   by 4:00 pm on  Wednesday, March 11 and another 140 are under observation.

Ten of the confirmed cases  are men and four are women two of whom are hospitalized (one in intensive care on a ventilator).

The Ministry of Health is seeking to determine whether the case of the first recorded death in Panama - school principal, Norato González- was a community broadcast, which would indicate that his infection may have occurred in the week of February 16.

The number of contacts of the infected that on Tuesday was 72,  has now doubled, because authorities of the Ministry of Health indicated that for each contagion there is an average of 10 contacts reports La Critica.

The Ministry of Health says that of every 100 people that the virus could affect, 80 would present mild symptoms, 15 moderate symptoms, and 5 critical symptoms.

Panama infectologist Xavier Sáez-Llorens said that the case of the deceased teacher r Norato González is vital to obtain the information to determine if there is community transmission, to know if he or a relative traveled.   For a person to die from Covid-19, it takes at least 10 - 21 days.

That means that Professor Norato, who died on March 8, had already been ill for three weeks and if it is not shown that there is a link to a trip, it suggests that there would be community transmission in Panama, the specialist warned.

In his opinion, if there is community  transmission, instead of 14 cases, it is probable that we will have a lot more and the behavior is that every 5 to 7 days the cases are doubled, without  mitigation measures like those  adopted by the Minsa in Panama
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/14-confirmed-cases-140-under-observation

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Moderator comment: An email from the US Consulate in Panama City.

Quote
Sent: 3/12/2020 11:10:32 PM
Subject: Global Health Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel, March 11, 2020
 

Global Level 3 Health Advisory - Reconsider Travel

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19.  Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions.Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.   

For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website.

You are encouraged to visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.Please also visit the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to see information on entry restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by local governments.

Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

If you decide to travel abroad:

 

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Presidente de Panamá declarará al país en estado de emergencia por pandemia de coronavirus

Por Gustavo A. Aparicio

El mandatario dijo que se tomaron precauciones y medidas para abastecer de insumos médicos, materias primas y otros bienes que enfrentarán la crisis

5e6ae5736a233.jpeg

El presidente de la República, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, anunció la noche de este jueves que declarará al país en estado de emergencia nacional para hacerle frente a la crisis generada por la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, que también afecta a Panamá.

El mandatario informó, en un mensaje a la Nación, que han tomado medidas para afrontar la enfermedad del coronavirus, de las cuales ya se han detectado 27 casos en el país y aseguró que tomará las decisiones y acciones necesarias por muy contundentes que parezcan para frenar el número de contagios.  

Anunció que este viernes presentará al Consejo de Gabinete el decreto para declarar estado de emergencia nacional y poner a disposición todos los recursos para hacerle frente a las necesidades de la población en materia de salud, seguridad y economía.

El mandatario detalló que para evitar el desabastecimiento e incremento injustificado de precios en productos de limpieza y aseo personal, se decretan diferentes medidas. Entre ellas, eliminar el acaparamiento limitando el número de artículos de primera necesidad que cada particular pueda adquirir.

También se determinará un margen máximo para la comercialización de artículos de limpieza y aseo personal, además de establecer los mecanismos ágiles para la obtención de los registros sanitarios de los productos que lo requieran.

De igual manera, informó el mandatario, habrá cero arancel a la importación de estos productos, y se garantizará la compra de $20 millones en carnes y granos para el apoyo de productores nacionales.

El presidente Cortizo manifestó que solicitó al ministro de Economía y Finanzas que se flexibilice el régimen tributario mediante el diferimiento del pago de impuestos, tasas y gravámenes para aquellos patronos que se acojan a tales beneficios; todo esto con tal de que las empresas no reduzcan su fuerza laboral, es decir, que mantengan contratado a todo el personal y colaboradores que trabajan con ellos hoy.

Cortizo Cohen ordenó a la ministra de Trabajo que aplique las normas que permitan a las empresas adecuar la jornada laboral en función de la naturaleza de su negocio.

"Instruyo a toda la empresa privada y le instruyo al Gobierno que aplique la nueva ley de teletrabajo, en la medida que sea posible para mantener a la mayor cantidad de personas en su casa", enfatizó.

Destacó que se han tomado estas medidas para contribuir a conservar los empleos de los panameños y apoyar a las empresas.

El presidente también ha solicitado a las Superintendencia de Bancos establecer medidas temporales que permitan a las instituciones bancarias disponer de mayor liquidez, que estimule facilidades crediticias de apoyo al sector privado por un monto equivalente a $1,252 millones.

"Esto quiere decir, poner a disposición $1,252 millones adicionales para nuestra economía nacional", recalcó el mandatario.

 

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

Quote

President of Panama will declare the country in a state of emergency due to a coronavirus pandemic

By Gustavo A. Aparicio
Updated 03/12/2020 21:51

The president said that precautions and measures were taken to supply medical supplies, raw materials and other goods that will face the crisis.

<<5e6ae5736a233.jpeg>>

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, announced on Thursday night that he will declare the country in a state of national emergency to face the crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, which also affects Panama.

The president informed, in a message to the Nation, that they have taken measures to tackle the coronavirus disease, of which 27 cases have already been detected in the country and assured that he will take the necessary decisions and actions, however forceful they seem to stop. the number of infections.

He announced that this Friday he will present to the Cabinet Council the decree to declare a state of national emergency and make all resources available to meet the needs of the population in terms of health, safety and economy.

The president explained that to avoid shortages and unjustified increases in prices for cleaning and personal hygiene products, different measures are decreed. Among them, eliminating hoarding by limiting the number of basic necessities that each individual can acquire.

A maximum margin will also be determined for the commercialization of cleaning and personal hygiene items, in addition to establishing agile mechanisms for obtaining sanitary records of the products that require it.

In the same way, the president informed, there will be zero import tariff for these products, and the purchase of $ 20 million in meat and grains will be guaranteed for the support of national producers.

President Cortizo stated that he asked the Minister of Economy and Finance to make the tax system more flexible by deferring the payment of taxes, fees and charges for those employers who avail themselves of such benefits; all this as long as companies do not reduce their workforce, that is, they keep all the staff and collaborators who work with them today hired.

Cortizo Cohen ordered the Minister of Labor to apply the rules that allow companies to adapt the working day depending on the nature of their business.

"I instruct all private companies and I instruct the government to apply the new teleworking law, to the extent possible, to keep as many people as possible at home," he emphasized.

He stressed that these measures have been taken to help preserve the jobs of Panamanians and support companies.

The president has also requested the Superintendency of Banks to establish temporary measures that allow banking institutions to have more liquidity, to stimulate credit facilities to support the private sector for an amount equivalent to $ 1,252 million.

"This means making an additional $ 1,252 million available for our national economy," stressed the president.

 

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200312/presidente-panama-declarara-pais-emergencia-coronavirus

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Panamá reporta 27 casos de Covid-19 y declara "estado de emergencia"

La mayoría de los casos corresponden a personas mayores de 40 años y 21 de ellos no han requerido de hospitalización, indican las autoridades

Por Ismael Gordón Guerreli

5e6acd4c5a5e7.r_d.588-170-8800.jpeg

Las autoridades de Salud de Panamá informaron que se ha elevado a 27 el número de casos de Covid-19 en el país.

Hasta el momento, Panamá reporta un muerto, el primero de Centroamérica.

"La mayoría de los casos corresponden a personas mayores de 40 años y 21 de ellos no han requerido hospitalización y se mantienen en aislamiento domiciliario", detalló este jueves la ministra Rosario Turner.

Todos los pacientes de coronavirus son panameños con antecedentes de viajes a países como España, Cuba, Estados Unidos, Puerto Rico y Francia.

Actualmente, las autoridades de salud le dan seguimiento a 3,800 personas. "En la medida en que nosotros empecemos a masificar las pruebas, ese porcentaje que estamos viendo —una muerte en relación a 27 casos— va a bajar considerablemente", dijo el infectólogo Xavier Sáez-Llorens.

En Panamá existe una transmisión local o "cuasi comunitaria" pero no es sostenida, indicó Gerardo Alfaro, de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud.

"La línea 169 está en un proceso de pasar del Ministerio de Salud a un 'call center'. De las llamadas, 1710 han recibido respuesta. Pero la gran mayoría de las llamadas es para preguntar la diferencia entre el cuadro de un paciente con gripe y uno de coronavirus", añadió la ministra.

El Gobierno entró en una fase de "búsqueda activa entre los contactos de personas que han dado positivo al nuevo coronavirus y otros asociados a personas que han llegado del exterior, procedentes de países afectados".

En cuanto a la cuarentena recomendada para personas que visitaron países como China, Corea del Sur, Italia, Francia y España, la funcionaria anunció que se incluirán otros países "en función del comportamiento epidemiológico que se dé en la casuística que en el país se desarrolle" y se darán a conocer de manera oportuna.

En cuanto a la mutación del virus producto del ambiente, el doctor Sáez-Llorens afirmó que la única manera de valorar esto es "analizando el virus en el Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas, por medio de una técnica de secuenciación para saber cuántas mutaciones puede tener a lo largo del tiempo.

"No quiere decir que esas mutaciones van a darle al virus mayor agresividad. A veces sucede todo lo contrario, que el virus se empieza a adaptar mejor la ser humano y baja un poco la agresividad", comentó el médico. Y añadió: "Estoy seguro que eso lo van a poder hacer relativamente rápido y que puede ser útil para el sistema de salud y los cálculos epidemiológicos. Pero para el paciente tiene muy poca utilidad".

La jefa de la cartera de Salud destacó que este viernes se firmará un decreto que regulará todas las actividades de transporte marítimo. Por el momento, el Ministerio de Seguridad, Migración y Aduanas pactaron prohibir el desembarque de cruceros en suelo patrio que transporten turistas procedentes de zonas afectadas con el Covid-19, que suman hoy alrededor de 117 países.

 

Quote

Panama reports 27 cases of Covid-19 and declares "state of emergency"

Most of the cases correspond to people over 40 and 21 of them without the need for hospitalization, authorities say

By Ismael Gordón Guerreli
Updated 03/12/2020 21:28

<<5e6acd4c5a5e7.r_d.588-170-8800.jpeg>>

The Panamanian Health authorities report that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has risen to 27.

So far, Panama reports one death, the first in Central America.

"Most of the cases correspond to people over 40 years of age and 21 of them have not required hospitalization and are required in home isolation," Minister Rosario Turner explained on Thursday.

All coronavirus patients are Panamanians with a history of travel to countries such as Spain, Cuba, the United States, Puerto Rico and France.

Currently, the health authorities are monitoring 3,800 people. "As we begin to massify the tests, that percentage that we are seeing - one death in relation to 27 cases - will decrease less," said the infectologist Xavier Sáez-Llorens.

In Panama there is a local or "quasi-community" transmission but it is not sustained, said Gerardo Alfaro, from the Pan American Health Organization.

"Line 169 is in the process of going from the Ministry of Health to a 'call center'. Of the calls, 1710 have received a response. But the vast majority of calls are to ask the difference between the picture of a patient with complaint and one of coronavirus ", controls the minister.

The Government entered a phase of "active search among the contacts of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and others associated with people who have come from abroad, affected from affected countries."

As for the recommended quarantine for people who have countries such as China, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain, the announced operation that other countries will include "depending on the epidemiological behavior that occurs in the cases that take place in the country" and will be released in a timely manner.

Regarding the mutation of the virus produced by the environment, Dr. Sáez-Llorens can determine the only way to assess this is "to analyze the virus at the Gorgas Memorial Institute, using a sequencing technique to determine the mutations they may have at over time.

"It does not mean that these mutations are going to make the virus more aggressive. Sometimes the opposite happens, that the virus begins to adapt better to humans and the aggressiveness decreases a little," the doctor reported. And ": I am sure that this is a relatively quick power to do and that it can be useful for the health system and epidemiological calculations. But it is of little use to the patient."

The head of the health portfolio stressed that this Friday a decree will be signed that will regulate all maritime transport activities. For the moment, the Ministry of Security, Migration and Customs have agreed to prohibit the disembarkation of cruises on the homeland that transport tourists displaced from areas affected by Covid-19, which now number around 117 countries.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200312/panama-reporta-27-casos-covid-19-declara-emergencia

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Insurance: Business Against Epidemics

Panamanian businessmen consider unviable the bill that intends to force insurance companies to cover medical expenses related to the coronavirus.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The bill, which was presented by Representative Zulay Rodriguez, seeks to ensure that insurance company clients are attended to in case they are infected with covid-19, however, policies do not usually provide coverage when the disease is declared as an epidemic or pandemic.

See "Instability, Confusion and Economic Deceleration"

Arturo Saenz, president of the Panamanian Association of Insurers (Apadea), told Prensa.com that "... The exclusion of the epidemic is international. Imposing a law like that would be quite traumatic, because it would leave us without reinsurance coverage. For the purposes of our business, we don't see it as viable."

Amilcar Cordoba, former president of Apadea, also criticized the bill, saying that such proposals "... are against the free market and freedom of contract."

Insurers expect that the impact on health insurance contracts of the coronavirus crisis will not be significant, nor do they foresee great variations in the payment of claims caused by the expansion of infections.

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

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Moderator comment: An email from the US Consulate in Panama City.
Quote
------ Forwarded Message ------
Sent: 3/13/2020 6:21:16 PM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 13, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 13, 2020)

 

Location:  Panama

 

Event:  There is an ongoing outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China.  The global public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, with more than 100,000 reported cases worldwide.

 

On March 12, the Panamanian Ministry of Health announced 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Panama. 

 

The government of Panama has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

 

As of March 13, all cruise ship passengers are banned from disembarking in Panama.  If passengers must disembark, they will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

 

Travelers should be prepared for 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 additional information on these new measures. The government has implemented school and university closures nationwide until March 20.  Schools and universities in San Miguelito, Panama Centro, and Panama Norte will remain closed until April 7.  The government has also suspended large gatherings until April 7. Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.

 

Actions to Take:

 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.

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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President declares state of national emergency

cortizo.jpg

Posted 13/03/2020

As  the number of cases confirmed cases of coronavirus in  Panama rose to 27, President  Laurentino in a televised broadcast announced that on Friday, March 13  he will present to the cabinet a resolution introducing a state of national emergency.

In her Thursday, daily press conference, Health Minister Rosario Turner announced 13 new cases of covid-19, the majority of them in people over the age of 40. 

Fifteen men are affected and 12 women: 21 remain at home. 5 are hospitalized,  2 of them in intensive care and one person has died.

55% of the cases are in central Panama. 12% in San Miguelito and 7% in Panama West. 3 patients have a history of travel and four are linked to the Monsignor Beckman school, whose principal died from the virus, and two teachers are in intensive care.

Measures to contain the virus which is already beginning to affect the economy are being expanded.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) by  Thursday afternoon, infections in the Americas increased from 941 cases on  Wednesday to 1.277.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/president-declares-state-of-national-emergency

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Mayo Clinic develops covid-19 test

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Posted 13/03/2020

ROCHESTER, Minn. Mar 12 ―  The Mayo Clinic has developed a test that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in clinical samples. The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes COVID-19.

The test, "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2), Molecular Detection" has been fully validated. Data from the test will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for review and emergency use authorization.

"This test should help ease some of the burden that is currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health laboratories," says William Morice II, M.D., Ph.D., president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories. "We are doing everything we can to help relieve the burden during this time to provide answers for patients here in Rochester and around the world."

The real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can identify SARS-CoV-2 from a variety of clinical samples. The PCR assay has been validated to test respiratory samples collected from suspected COVID-19 patients, including nasopharyngeal swabs, sputum, throat swabs, bronchoalveolar lavages, and bronchial washings.

Mayo Clinic will follow CDC's recommended guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 testing, enabling U.S. health care providers to send testing directly to Mayo Clinic. For existing Mayo Clinic Laboratories clients, the SARS-CoV-2 assay will be offered in the U.S. and abroad.

Faster turnaround  
"An individual can now receive his or her result for SARS-CoV-2 within 24 hours," says Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., a clinical microbiologist, and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Through collaborations with clinicians at Mayo Clinic and health care providers around the world, Mayo Clinic's subspecialized laboratories are a critical component to patient care. "We have the expertise to create tests such as this one, and we felt it was our obligation to help ease the burden that the CDC and public health laboratories are feeling at this time," says Dr. Binnicker.

Mayo Clinic has been in close contact with officials from the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. All positive samples will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health or CDC for appropriate follow-up testing and confirmation. Then test results will be communicated with public health officials, per their respective guidelines.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe. The time from exposure to symptom onset for the COVID-19 virus can range from two days to two weeks.

It's currently unclear exactly how contagious COVID-19 is. It appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact. It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. There is no vaccine for COVID-19.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/mayo-clinic-develops-covid-19-test-1

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Coronavirus death  linked to traveling teacher

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Posted 13/03/2020

Panama’s first coronavirus victim, Norato González, principal of the Monsignor Francisco Beckman school, likely caught the virus from a teacher who traveled and toured several countries and had contact with the principal on February 21, to offer her condolences for the death of his mother. Today the teacher is stable.

This meeting could be when he was infected by coronavirus. says Security Minister Juan Pino.  "There was an exchange event with the director on February 21. He passed away on March 8," said Pino. After González died, three other teachers came out positive for covid-19. "The traceability of the death of the professor at the Monsignor Francisco Beckman school is something that we have to clarify," he said.

On the other hand, Pino ruled out that in the event Second Folk Festival of Music and Dance, the COVID-19 was broadcast, since the investigations were made and the attendees are not infected.  said Pino   after the state of national emergency was declared.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/coronavirus-death-linked-to-traveling-teacher

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Coronavirus  reduces Panama  growth projections

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Posted 13/03/2020

 The Bank of America in a Match 11 report   reduced projections of Panama's economic growth due to the coronavirus

The projection for 2020 decreased from 3% to 2.5%, and from 4% to 3.8% for the year 2021.

Panama is a country of service, and changes in supply chains and consumption patterns would be reflected in the behavior of the economy.

It is the most open economy in the region, with the commercial exchange of goods and services above 80% of gross domestic product. About 5% of world trade passes through the Canal; and the country also houses the second largest free trade zone in America, Colon Free Zone, says the.

Analysts believe the Panamanian economy can serve as a barometer to measure the pulse of world trade, drivers of the slowdown and disruption of global supply chains reports La Prensa

The bank expects economic activity to likely pick up in 2021, but also believes that disruption of global supply chains is the greatest risk for Panama.

The Canal represents 46% of the exchange trade between East Asia and the East Coast of the United States and is relevant in trade between South American countries along the Pacific (Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia) and Europe.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/coronavirus-reduces-panama-growth-projections

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That might slow it down a bit.  Hard pill to swallow for local business.    Lets see what happens.......

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COMUNICADO No.8

Sábado, 14 de Marzo de 2020

 

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El Gobierno Nacional continúa fortaleciendo la provisión de la red de servicios de salud para anticiparnos en la atención de los pacientes que requieran de cuidados de mayor complejidad relacionados con el COVID-19.

Por eso día de ayer se anunció el establecimiento de la coordinación nacional de los cuidados intensivos a nivel nacional a cargo del Dr. Julio Sandoval, con el objetivo de trabajar de manera coordinada y efectiva entre las instituciones de salud MINSA-CSS y habilitar todo el equipamiento, insumos y recursos humanos, para reforzar las áreas de cuidados intensivos y habilitar áreas adicionales en las instalaciones de salud dirigidas a atender pacientes graves ante la pandemia del COVID-19.

El Gobierno Nacional anuncia la conformación de una red nacional de diagnóstico de COVID-19, a cargo del Dr. Juan Pascale, director del Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas para masificar las pruebas de laboratorios a través de PCR de COVID 19 con el objetivo de permitir que pacientes con síntomas o antecedentes de exposición con personas positivas poder acceder a una prueba que permita a las autoridades de salud conocer rápidamente su condición con respecto al nuevo coronavirus. En todas las provincias y en la capital del País se contará en las principales Instalaciones de Salud la capacidad de realizar la prueba diagnóstica.

De igual forma se autoriza a los hospitales privados que cuenten con la tecnología similar de diagnóstico por PCR para que adquieran los kits necesarios y realizar diagnósticos de COVID-19.

Todos los resultados de las pruebas diagnósticas a nivel nacional públicos y privados son de estricta comunicación al Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas, ente rector de fiscalizar y validar los resultados

El MINSA anuncia que esta red de servicios para la realización de las pruebas de laboratorio funcionará en el Hospital San Miguel Arcángel, Hospital del Niño, Hospital Santo Tomás, Instituto Oncológico Nacional, Hospital Nicolas Solano en La Chorrera, Hospital Cecilio Castillero en Azuero, Hospital Luis Chicho Fábrega en Veraguas y José Domingo de Obaldía en Chiriquí y la Caja de Seguro Social anunciará las instalaciones a nivel nacional que hará las pruebas.

Además, el MINSA notificó a 20 médicos y 20 enfermeras para que inicien sus labores a partir del día hoy y colaborar con las autoridades de salud para las visitas domiciliarias a las personas positivas.

Por otro lado, el MINSA junto con el Ministerio de Seguridad Pública inició los operativos para hacer cumplir el Decreto Ejecutivo 472 que regula las actividades o eventos cuya organización conlleve aglomeración de personas.

A partir de la fecha tanto el MINSA y el Ministerio de Seguridad Pública masificarán estos operativos con el fin de hacer cumplir el Decreto Ejecutivo 472.

Por otro lado, el Gobierno Nacional informa que hasta el día de hoy 14 de marzo se reportan 43 casos de COVID-19 en el país, siendo de ellos 23 mujeres y 20 hombres los contagiados; además 37 pacientes se encuentran en aislamiento domiciliario y seis hospitalizados.

En la región metropolitana se reportan 23 casos, en Panamá Norte 6, Panamá Oeste 6, y en San Miguelito 8.

El Gobierno panameño anuncia la suspensión temporal de los vuelos comerciales de países de Europa y Asia. Se exceptúa de esta suspensión, todos aquellos relacionados con el transporte de medicamentos, insumos médicos quirúrgicos, equipos médicos y vacunas y de ayuda humanitaria.

El Gobierno Nacional reitera a la población a que cumpla estrictamente con las medidas de higiene respiratorias individuales como colectivas consistente en lavado frecuente de manos, evitar el contacto con personas resfriadas, al estornudar y toser cubrirse la boca y la nariz con el ángulo interno del antebrazo, abstenerse de acudir a lugares con aglomeraciones de personas, mantenerse en casa y trabajando desde el hogar en todos los casos que sea posible atendiendo al llamado del Gobierno Nacional y seguir las cuentas oficiales del MINSA.

 

STATEMENT No.8

Saturday, march 14, 2020
 
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The National Government continues to strengthen the provision of the health services network to anticipate the care of patients who require more complex care related to COVID-19.

That is why yesterday the establishment of the national coordination of intensive care at the national level by Dr. Julio Sandoval was announced, with the aim of working in a coordinated and effective way between the health institutions MINSA-CSS and enabling all the equipment, supplies and human resources, to reinforce intensive care areas and enable additional areas in health facilities aimed at caring for seriously ill patients in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Government announces the formation of a national COVID-19 diagnostic network, in charge of Dr. Juan Pascale, director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute to massify laboratory tests through COVID 19 PCR with the aim of allowing patients with symptoms or history of exposure with positive people to access a test that allows health authorities to quickly know their condition with respect to the new coronavirus. In all the provinces and in the capital of the Country, the capacity to carry out the diagnostic test will be available in the main Health Facilities.

Similarly, private hospitals with similar PCR diagnostic technology are authorized to purchase the necessary kits and make COVID-19 diagnoses.

All the results of the diagnostic tests at the national public and private level are strictly communicated to the Gorgas Commemorative Institute, the governing body to inspect and validate the results.

The MINSA announces that this network of services for carrying out laboratory tests will work in the San Miguel Arcángel Hospital, the Children's Hospital, the Santo Tomás Hospital, the National Oncological Institute, the Nicolas Solano Hospital in La Chorrera, the Cecilio Castillero Hospital in Azuero, Hospital Luis Chicho Fábrega in Veraguas and José Domingo de Obaldía in Chiriquí and the Caja de Seguro Social will announce the facilities at the national level that will do the tests.

In addition, MINSA notified 20 doctors and 20 nurses to start their work as of today and collaborate with health authorities for home visits to positive people.

On the other hand, MINSA together with the Ministry of Public Security began operations to enforce Executive Decree 472 that regulates activities or events whose organization involves crowds of people.

As of the date, both the MINSA and the Ministry of Public Security will massify these operations in order to enforce Executive Decree 472.

On the other hand, the National Government reports that as of today, March 14, 43 cases of COVID-19 are reported in the country, with 23 women and 20 men being infected; in addition 37 patients are in home isolation and six are hospitalized.

23 cases are reported in the metropolitan region, in Panamá Norte 6, Panamá Oeste 6, and San Miguelito 8.

The Panamanian Government announces the temporary suspension of commercial flights from countries in Europe and Asia. All those related to the transport of medicines, surgical medical supplies, medical equipment and vaccines and humanitarian aid are excepted from this suspension.

The National Government reiterates to the population to strictly comply with individual and collective respiratory hygiene measures consisting of frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with colds, sneezing and coughing covering the mouth and nose with the internal angle of the forearm , refrain from going to places with crowds of people, staying at home and working from home in all cases possible, heeding the call of the National Government and following the official accounts of MINSA.

 

http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticia/comunicado-no8

Edited by Moderator_02
addd the Spanish text version and included the reference URL
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Aseguran que profesor que murió por Coronavirus estuvo en Chiriquí para Carnaval. Minsa investiga. Video

Mientras, Panamá suspende vuelos a Europa de manera temporal
 

https://www.midiario.com/nacionales/aseguran-que-profesor-que-murio-por-coronavirus-estuvo-en-chiriqui-para-carnaval-minsa-investiga-video/

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