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

What are “tags”? In information systems, a tag is a term, a keyword, or a key phrase (metadata) assigned to a piece of information. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the item's originator. As used by the CL administrators, a tag provides a quick snapshot of the subject matter, or in some instances the name of a person, a company, or an event. Tags are always displayed using lower case letters. A topic may have an unlimited number of tags.

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

Significant pandemic milestones:

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

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Nueve aseguradoras informaron que cubrirán gastos médicos por Covid-19

Las empresas anunciaron que extenderán la cobertura de sus pólizas como algo extracontractual

Por Lourdes García Armuelles

5e66c8b81973e.jpeg

Nueve empresas dijeron que incluirán en Covid 19 en su cobertura de salud.Aris Matínez | La Estrella de Panamá

Tras excluir la cobertura por epidemias y pandemias inicialmente, nueve aseguradoras agremiadas a la Asociación Nacional de Aseguradores (Apadea) informaron continuarán ofreciendo las coberturas de gastos médicos asociados a la pandemia declarada oficialmente por OMS para el tratamiento del coronavirus (COVID-19). En la cobertura entran todos sus asegurados de salud "que cumplan con el protocolo establecido".

Se trata de Acerta Seguros, Aseguradora Ancon, Sagicor Panamá, Internacional de Seguros, Vivir Seguros, Mapfre Panamá, WorldWide Medical, Mercantil Seguros y Pan American Life, según el comunicado oficial.

Aclaran que — tal como sucedió con la emergencia ocasionada por la aparición del Hantavirus y el H1N1— ofrecerán el servicio "como un apoyo al Estado y a sus asegurados" de manera "extra-contractual". 

Los servicios de automóvil, incendio, vida, accidentes personales, entre otros, se seguirán ofreciendo con regularidad.

5e6fa5c25c17f.jpeg
Comunicado de ApadeaApadea
 

Moderator comment: An unedited automated translation of the above news article is provided below.

Quote

Nine insurers reported that they will cover medical expenses for Covid-19

The companies announced that they will extend the coverage of their policies as something non-contractual.

By Lourdes García Armuelles
Updated 03/16/2020 11:29

<<5e66c8b81973e.jpeg>>

Nine companies said they will include Covid 19 in their health coverage.Aris Matínez | The Panama Star

After initially excluding epidemic and pandemic coverage, nine insurers affiliated to the National Association of Insurers (Apadea) reported that they will continue to offer coverage for medical expenses associated with the pandemic officially declared by WHO for the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Coverage includes all your health insureds "who comply with the established protocol".

These are Acerta Seguros, Insurer Ancon, Sagicor Panama, Internacional de Seguros, Vivir Seguros, Mapfre Panamá, WorldWide Medical, Mercantil Seguros and Pan American Life, according to the official statement.

They clarify that - as happened with the emergency caused by the appearance of the Hantavirus and H1N1 - they will offer the service "as a support to the State and its policyholders" in an "extra-contractual" manner.

Car, fire, life, personal accident services, among others, will continue to be offered regularly.

<<5e6fa5c25c17f.jpeg>>
Statement from ApadeaApadea

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/200316/nueve-aseguradoras-cubriran-polizas-epidemia-pandemia-genere-covid-19

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A 69 se eleva cifra de casos de coronavirus

La ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, anunció que hoy martes, en el Consejo de Gabinete, también se estarán analizando nuevas medidas económicas.

Por José Arcia

5e703fbc41302.jpeg

A medida que aumentan los casos, las personas tratan de protegerse más.Roberto Barrios | La Estrella de Panamá

 

Al mismo tiempo que se incrementa la cantidad de casos de coronavirus, el Gobierno toma nuevas medidas económicas y laborales. La Superintendencia de Bancos de Panamá aprobó un paquete de medidas temporales que les permitirá a los bancos modificar los créditos a sus clientes afectados por la crisis sanitaria, incluso quienes presentan atrasos en sus pagos de hasta 90 días.

Amauri Castillo, superintendente de Bancos, informó que en la tarde de este lunes la junta directiva aprobó ese primer paquete de medidas que establece las herramientas para que los bancos logren acuerdos con los acreedores, ya sea por iniciativa de la entidad bancaria o del cliente.

La idea, dijo, es que entre las partes logren acuerdos sin que represente un castigo a los clientes por los atrasos en los pagos y que la medida busca beneficiar, especialmente, a la pequeña y mediana empresa, así como a las personas con préstamos hipotecarios, tarjeta de crédito o préstamos personales.

La ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, anunció que hoy martes, en el Consejo de Gabinete, también analizarán nuevas medidas económicas.

Las medidas fueron señaladas durante la acostumbrada conferencia de prensa de las tardes, en la que anunciaron que hasta este lunes se habían detectado 69 casos, de los cuales siete personas están en cuidados intensivos y otras cuatro se mantienen hospitalizadas en sala.

Adicional, hay 12 nuevos casos que están relacionados con viajes a Estados Unidos, España, Holanda, y en cruceros. Hasta ayer se habían realizado 1,073 pruebas.

Los corregimientos más afectados por el coronavirus siguen siendo San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Betania y Ancón, todos del distrito de Panamá.

“Tener más números de casos no significa que tengamos que alarmarnos, sino que estamos buscando los casos”, aseguró la ministra Turner.

El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) emitió, este lunes, el Decreto Ejecutivo No. 489, mediante el cual se aprueban medidas sanitarias adicionales a las que ya han sido tomadas.

Este nuevo decreto establece “retenes sanitarios” en cualquier parte del país con la finalidad de verificar el cumplimiento de las medidas de salud.

La norma establece medidas para supermercados, farmacias, bancos, y toda empresa que por razones de labores debe permanecer abierta.

En el caso de los supermecados, a los que desde este lunes aplicaron las medidas, la norma señala que deben tener máxima higiene, colocar gel alcoholado para el público en puntos específicos, además de mantener permanentemente jabón líquido y papel toalla en los baños.

“Cualquier aglomeración será considerada incumplimiento y se procederá a las sanciones correspondientes”, señala el decreto en alusión a los bancos, farmacias, restaurantes y supermercados. El Minsa pide que entre las personas haya siempre una distancia mínima de un metro.

Las empresas deben brindar el apoyo necesario o requerido por el Minsa, como garantizar a sus colaboradores los implementos necesarios de higiene dentro de las instalaciones.

La Caja de Seguro Social, por su parte, busca evitar que los jubilados concurran a los centros de pago a cobrar sus pensiones, de modo que permitirá que un familiar, con copia de la cédula y una carta de autorización, haga el cobro del cheque.

La ministra Turner, además, sostuvo anoche un encuentro con científicos de China, vía internet, que laboran en la lucha del coronavirus en el país asiático.

 

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

Quote

The number of coronavirus cases rises to 69

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, announced that today, in the Cabinet Council, new economic measures will also be being analyzed.

By José Arcia
Updated 03/17/2020 00:00

<<5e703fbc41302.jpeg>>

As cases increase, people try to protect themselves more.Roberto Barrios | The Panama Star


At the same time that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing, the Government is taking new economic and labor measures. The Superintendency of Banks of Panama approved a package of temporary measures that will allow banks to modify loans to their clients affected by the health crisis, even those who are behind in payments of up to 90 days.

Amauri Castillo, superintendent of Banks, reported that on Monday afternoon the board of directors approved that first package of measures that establishes the tools for banks to reach agreements with creditors, either on the initiative of the bank or the client.

The idea, he said, is that between the parties they reach agreements without representing a punishment to the clients for the delays in the payments and that the measure seeks to benefit, especially, the small and medium-sized companies, as well as people with mortgage loans. , credit card or personal loans.

Health Minister Rosario Turner announced that today, in the Cabinet Council, they will also analyze new economic measures.

The measures were pointed out during the customary afternoon press conference, in which they announced that 69 cases had been detected as of Monday, of which seven people are in intensive care and another four remain hospitalized in the ward.

Additionally, there are 12 new cases that are related to trips to the United States, Spain, the Netherlands, and cruises. Until yesterday 1,073 tests had been carried out.

The townships most affected by the coronavirus continue to be San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Betania and Ancón, all from the Panama district.

"Having more numbers of cases does not mean that we have to be alarmed, but that we are looking for the cases," said Minister Turner.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) issued, on Monday, Executive Decree No. 489, through which additional sanitary measures are approved to those that have already been taken.

This new decree establishes "health checkpoints" in any part of the country in order to verify compliance with health measures.

The norm establishes measures for supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and any company that for work reasons must remain open.

In the case of supermarkets, to which the measures have been applied since Monday, the rule states that they must have maximum hygiene, place alcohol-based gel for the public at specific points, in addition to permanently maintaining liquid soap and paper towels in the bathrooms.

"Any agglomeration will be considered non-compliance and the corresponding sanctions will be applied," states the decree referring to banks, pharmacies, restaurants and supermarkets. The Minsa requests that between people there is always a minimum distance of one meter.

Companies must provide the necessary or required support from the Minsa, such as guaranteeing their collaborators the necessary hygiene implements within the facilities.

The Social Security Fund, for its part, seeks to prevent retirees from going to the payment centers to collect their pensions, so that it will allow a family member, with a copy of the ID and a letter of authorization, to collect the check .

Minister Turner also held a meeting last night with Chinese scientists via the internet, who are working on the fight against the coronavirus in the Asian country.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200317/69-eleva-cifra-casos-coronavirus

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Panama virus cases climb to 69 with seven critical

rosario-turner.jpg

Posted 16/03/2020

Panama Health Minister Rosario Turner reported on  Monday, March 16,  that the cases of coronavirus in the country have increased to 69 with seven patients in intensive care.

Four others are in wards and 57  are in-home care and will be receiving treatment kits.

There are 35 women and 34 men infected with  56.7% are in the age range of 20 to 39 years. another 29% between 60 and 79 years, 22% between 40 and 59 years and only 4% are under 20 years of age.

"Of every 100 tests carried out, 94 are negative

Nadja Porcell, National Director of Health, said that there are 12 new cases related to trips to Spain, Amsterdam and the United States.

San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Betania and Ancón, are the distrixts  of the capital that have  the most cases.

Regarding people who are kept under observation, Turner pointed out that a kit with certain medical devices will be delivered to them from tomorrow. "The most important thing is not the alcoholic gel, the important thing is to wash your hands," she reiterated.

Porcell said that more than 500 people have been reviewed, in terms of close contacts and indirect contacts.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-virus-cases-climb-to-69-with-seven-critical

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Restaurants and stores empty as crowd limit rules enforced

linesj.jpeg

Lines at supermarkets while restaurants sit empty

Posted 16/03/2020

With many Panama citizens following the advice of  Health Minister Rosario not to leave their homes if it is not absolutely necessary restaurants and non-food stores like Felix Maduro and Collins are feeling the pinch.

Meanwhile, customers at supermarkets faced long lines before entering with waits of  30 minutes or more as security personnel kept count.

It is the responsibility of the businesses to implement the necessary measures to ensure that there are no crowds over 50 people within the establishments said the Ministry (Minsa). in a statement published on Sunday night.

It promised that "sanctions" will be applied to businesses that fail to comply with the described measure.

The measure also applies to restaurants. The 50 people include the care staff. The Minsa recommends that purchases in restaurants be made mainly by home delivery.

The Minsa reported that they verified 220 premises to ensure that they complied with the measure. Of these, 8 did not comply and were closed as a preventive measure.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/restaurants-and-stores-empty-as-crowd-limit-rules-enforced

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British actor has coronavirus after filming in Panama

idris-elba.jpg

Idris Elba

Posted 16/03/2020

British actor Idris Elba who was filming  in Panama in  February, with Margot Robbie, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman and the rest of the cast of Suicide Squad, has confirmed that he gas coronavirus

Last week, actor Tom Hanks also personally confirmed on his networks that he and his actress wife, Rita Wilson, had contracted the virus and are hospitalized in Australia.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/british-actor-has-coronavirus-after-filming-in-panama

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coronavirus confirmations will climb as tests kick in

xavier.jpg

Xavier Sáez Llorens

Posted 16/03/2020

The  number of cases of coronavirus  in Panama will double every  five to  seven days leading infectologist, Xavier Sáez Llorens warned on  TVN on Monday, March 16.

He added that the moment they begin to carry out massive detection they will find more cases.

In the case of Panama, if international examples are followed, it would be expected that every five or seven days, the number of detected cases will double and it is certain that in the next two months, there will be many cases.

 “It is likely that we have more cases than we have been able to detect because there are many people with mild forms who do not go for medical attention.

The infectologist hopes that with the rigorous mitigation measures that have been applied in the country, they can make that there are no more cases than expected, as reported in China for example.

For now, the figures are expected according to the information that is available from other countries, the important thing is that 80% of these cases are mild.

“We already have 55 cases and if you put the growth rate into perspective, the number of cases in the country in a week will grow in a  very similar rate to what happened in China. "

Use of medications and vitamin C

Sáez Llorens pointed out that the effects that medications such as ibuprofen can cause in the human body with this virus have not yet been scientifically proven, this is very preliminary information.

This is because the virus attaches to a receptor, in the respiratory tract, and it is known that some medicines used for diabetes or hypertension could increase the expression of that receptor.

But these,  are physiological speculations, but not demonstrated in the clinic so the same article that published it adds a precautionary note that this has to be scientifically verified and validated before people who need these drugs for your underlying illnesses; continue them 

"This is important to keep in mind and to wait for a little more scientific information to really make a timely change," he recommended. Meanwhile, people who don't have to take an anti-inflammatory essentially can take acetaminophen or acetaminophen, which are much safer products.

Regarding vitamin C, he reiterated that there is no scientific demonstration that citrus helps recovery from an infection, as long as one eats healthy and varied many foods including vegetables and fruits, there is the necessary vitamin C and other vitamins for the body can respond appropriately.

Taking too much vitamin C, or citrus, also has its detriment effect said the doctor. In fact, there are diseases that we call hypervitaminosis that are caused by it. "You have to be careful about doing more than is really indicated."

Vaccine  He added that for next year a vaccine would be ready to try to counteract the virus; and that there are currently indications that they will soon have a treatment that could be effective in destroying the virus. Currently, there are more than 200 trials around the world with various drugs.

For now, the dialectologist reiterated that "handwashing is the cheapest and most  effective  way  of fighting the virus

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/coronavirus-confirmations-will-climb-as-tests-kick-in-1

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Coonapip pide a líderes que acaten recomendaciones

Autoridades indígenas deben seguir las indicaciones del Minsa

Por Gustavo A. Aparicio O.

La dirigencia de la Coordinadora Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de Panamá (Coonapip) hizo un llamado a las autoridades tradicionales de los siete territorios y de los doce congresos y consejos a acatar estrictamente las recomendaciones de salud para prevenir el coronavirus.

5e703fbd88d4d.jpeg
Marcelo Guerra, presidente de CoonapipCedida

“Como organización estamos respaldando cien por ciento todas las disposiciones asumidas por las autoridades de Salud en esta lucha de todos contra el coronavirus, y de igual manera respaldamos las medidas propias que han estado tomando cada territorio y congreso por la salud y seguridad de nuestros pueblos", señaló Marcelo Guerra, presidente de Coonapip.

El dirigente indígena manifestó que se está pidiendo a todas las autoridades y cada una de las comunidades y pueblos permanecer en sus casas, que no salgan de sus hogares y que ayuden a reforzar la vigilancia sanitaria.

 

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

Quote

Coonapip asks leaders to follow recommendations

Indigenous authorities must follow the indications of the Minsa

By Gustavo A. Aparicio O.
Updated 03/17/2020 06:00

The leadership of the National Coordination of the Indigenous Peoples of Panama (Coonapip) called on the traditional authorities of the seven territories and the twelve congresses and councils to strictly abide by the health recommendations to prevent the coronavirus.

<<5e703fbd88d4d.jpeg>>

Marcelo Guerra, President of CoonapipCedida

"As an organization we are supporting one hundred percent all the provisions assumed by the Health authorities in this fight against the coronavirus by all, and in the same way we support the own measures that each territory and congress have been taking for the health and safety of our peoples "said Marcelo Guerra, president of Coonapip.

The indigenous leader stated that all the authorities and each one of the communities and towns are being asked to remain in their homes, not to leave their homes and to help strengthen health surveillance.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200317/coonapip-pide-lideres-acaten-recomendaciones

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Limits on ships disemnarking

cruise-ships.jpg

Posted 16/03/2020

Passengers and crew  of vessels from  six countries where coronavirus has been reported -China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain and France- will not be allowed to disembark in  Panama says the Maritime Authority (AMP) The measure applies cruise ships, mini cruises, deep draft ships and yachts

The disembarkation of passengers or crew who for exceptional reasons are in transit to the airport is excepted, the latter being previously authorized and escorted to the airport, according to the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

"The disembarkation of crew members will be allowed, as long as they do not come from a risk area and are previously approved by the regional directors who must coordinate with the liaison in accordance with the provisions of international health regulations," says an AMP statement

Dsomestic service vessels that operate exclusively in jurisdictional waters of Panama, may continue to operate as long as their crew or passengers do not come from abroad.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/limits-on-ships-disemnarking

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Panamá reporta 69 casos de Covid-19

La ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, anunció que hoy martes en Consejo de Gabinete también se estará analizando nuevas medidas económicas

Por José Arcia

5e68365e50f0c.jpeg
En total, se reportaron ocho casos nuevos. Se suspendieron las clases hasta el 7 de abril. EFE

Al miso tiempo que se incrementa los casos de coronavirus, el Gobierno toma nuevas medidas económica y laborales. La Superintendencia de Bancos de Panamá aprobó un paquete de medidas temporales que permitirá a los bancos modificar los créditos a su clientes afectados por la crisis sanitaria, incluso quienes presentan atrasos en sus pagos de hasta 90 días.

Amauri Castillo, superintendente de Bancos, informó que en la tarde de este lunes la junta directiva aprobó ese primer paquete de medidas que establece las herramientas para que los bancos logren acuerdos con los acreedores, ya sea por iniciativa de la entidad bancaria o del cliente.

La idea, dijo, es que entre las partes logren acuerdos sin que represente un castigo a los clientes por los atrasos en los pagos y que la medida busca beneficiar, especialmente, a la pequeña y mediana empresa, así como las personas con préstamos hipotecarios, tarjeta de crédito o préstamos personales.

La ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, anunció que hoy martes en Consejo de Gabinete también se estará analizando nuevas medidas económicas.

Las medidas fueron anunciada durante la acostumbrada conferencia de prensa de las tardes, en la que anunciaron que hasta este lunes se habían detectado 69 casos, de los cuales siete personas están en cuidados intensivos y otros cuatro se mantienen hospitalizado en sala.

Adicional hay 12 nuevos casos que están relacionados con viajes a Estados Unidos, España, Holanda y de cruceros. Hasta ayer se habían realizado 1,073 pruebas.

Los corregimientos mas afectados por coronavirus siguen siendo San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Betania y Ancón, todos del distrito de Panamá.

“Tener más número de caso no significa que tengamos que alarmarnos, sino que significa que estamos buscando los casos”, dijo la ministra Turner.

El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) emitió, este lunes, el Decreto Ejecutivo No. 489, mediante el cual se aprueban medidas sanitarias adicionales a las que ya han sido tomadas.

Este nuevo decreto establece “retenes sanitarios” en cualquier parte del país con la finalidad de verificar el cumplimiento de las medidas de salud.

La norma establece medidas para supermercados, farmacias, bancos y todo empresa que por sus razones labores deben permanecer abiertos.

En el caso de supermecados, que desde este lunes tomaron medidas, la norma señala que deben aplicar medidas máxima de higiene, como colocar en gel alcoholado para el público en puntos específicos, además de mantener permanentemente jabón líquido y papel toalla en los baños.

Cualquiera aglomeración será considerada incumplimiento y se procederá a las sanciones correspondiente”, señala el decreto en alusión a los bancos, farmacias, restaurante y supermercados. El Minsa pide que entre personas haya una distancia mínima de un metro.

Las empresas deben brindar todo el apoyo necesario o requerido por el Minsa, como garantizar a sus colaboradores los implementos necesarios de higiene dentro de las instalaciones.

La Caja de Seguro Social, por su parte, busca evitar que los jubilados se acercan a los centros de pago para cobrar sus pensiones para la cual permitirá que un familiar, con copia de la cédula y una carta de autorización, pueda realizar el cobro del cheque.

La ministra Turner, además, sostuvo anoche un encuentro con científicos de China, vía internet, que laboran en la lucha del coronavirus en el país asiático.

 

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

Quote

Panama reports 69 cases of Covid-19

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, announced that on Tuesday the Cabinet Council will also be analyzing new economic measures

By José Arcia
Updated 03/16/2020 18: 1

<<5e68365e50f0c.jpeg>>

In total, eight new cases were reported. Classes were suspended until April 7. EFE

At the same time that coronavirus cases are increasing, the Government is taking new economic and labor measures. The Panamanian Superintendency of Banks approved a package of temporary measures that will allow banks to modify loans to their clients affected by the health crisis, even those who are behind in payments of up to 90 days.

Amauri Castillo, superintendent of Banks, reported that on Monday afternoon the board of directors approved that first package of measures that establishes the tools for banks to reach agreements with creditors, either on the initiative of the bank or the client.

The idea, he said, is that between the parties they reach agreements without representing a punishment to the clients for the delays in the payments and that the measure seeks to benefit, especially, the small and medium-sized companies, as well as people with mortgage loans, credit card or personal loans.

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, announced that on Tuesday the Cabinet Council will also be analyzing new economic measures.

The measures were announced during the customary afternoon press conference, in which they announced that 69 cases had been detected as of Monday, of which seven people are in intensive care and another four are hospitalized in the ward.

Additionally there are 12 new cases that are related to travel to the United States, Spain, the Netherlands and cruise ships. Until yesterday 1,073 tests had been carried out.

The townships most affected by coronavirus continue to be San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Betania and Ancón, all from the district of Panama.

"Having more case numbers does not mean we have to be alarmed, it means that we are looking for cases," said Minister Turner.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) issued, on Monday, Executive Decree No. 489, through which additional sanitary measures are approved to those that have already been taken.

This new decree establishes "health checkpoints" in any part of the country in order to verify compliance with health measures.

The norm establishes measures for supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and all companies that for their work reasons must remain open.

In the case of supermarkets, which took measures as of this Monday, the rule states that they must apply maximum hygiene measures, such as placing alcohol-based gel for the public at specific points, in addition to permanently maintaining liquid soap and paper towels in the bathrooms.

Any agglomeration will be considered non-compliance and the corresponding sanctions will be applied, ”states the decree referring to banks, pharmacies, restaurants and supermarkets. The Minsa requests that between people there be a minimum distance of one meter.

Companies must provide all the necessary or required support from the Minsa, such as guaranteeing their collaborators the necessary hygiene implements within the facilities.

The Social Security Fund, for its part, seeks to prevent retirees from approaching the payment centers to collect their pensions, which will allow a family member, with a copy of the ID and a letter of authorization, to collect the check.

Minister Turner also held a meeting last night with Chinese scientists via the internet, who are working on the fight against the coronavirus in the Asian country.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200316/panama-reporta-69-casos-covid-19

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Bancos panameños ofrecen periodo de gracia para hipotecas por el golpe económico del Covid-19

La Superintendencia de Bancos expuso varias alternativas para los deudores, entre ellas el no pago de hipotecas o ajuste en la tasa de interés

Por Adelita Coriat

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.Archivo | La Estrella de Panamá

En medio de la crisis del Covid-19 que deja ya una profunda estela económica del país, la banca ofrece tranquilidad a sus clientes con un menú de oportunidades gracias a la luz verde que otorgó el rector del ramo, la Superintendencia de Bancos, para que las entidades bancarias empleen la provisión específica que se calcula en $1,250 millones,  que deben tener por Ley.  

Las entidades bancarias podrán ofrecer parte de las siguientes alternativas, que podrían otorgarse de forma masiva o individual: períodos de gracia para el pago de hipotecas de tres o seis meses; ajustes en la tasa de interés; modificación de la hipoteca para que el banco y su cliente puedan extender el periodo del plazo del préstamo, así como la disminución del monto del pago de las cuotas pendientes.  Este abanico de posibilidades aplica a  hipotecas de vivienda, préstamos personales, de autos, o tarjetas de crédito, según indicó el superintendente de Bancos, Amauri Castillo, a La Estrella de Panamá.

"Ahora se han creado préstamos modificados que alivian y ayudan. Le permite al banco ponerse de acuerdo con su cliente por si necesita 90 o 180 días de periodo de gracia, se los da", indicó Amauri Castillo.

El regente de los bancos vislumbra que las grandes entidades ejecutarán una masificación de préstamos modificados que se traduce en que si el cliente no puede afrontar los pagos, por ejemplo, de la tarjeta de crédito a final de mes, el banco no se la bloquee. "No es el momento de quitarle la casa, el carro, o los bienes a los deudores", puntualizó. 

Como muchos países, Panamá vive una  situación sin parangón que obligó a los bancos a hacer uso de sus provisiones, los ahorros que hoy le brindan liquidez y solvencia al sistema para poder adoptar estas medidas, confiando en el buen comportamiento de los deudores, que en un 90% cumplen con sus responsabilidades de pago.  

Castillo explicó que el fortalecimiento de la banca permite adoptar estas medidas sin poner en riesgo el dinero de los depositantes. 

"Los bancos cuentan con suficiente liquidez en este momento y la provisión que están empleando se puede construir más adelante en la medida en que vayan generando la cartera de crédito", indicó Castillo.

Por disposiciones legales panameñas, el sistema bancario debe contar con una provisión que se contabiliza en el patrimonio de cada banco, un monto específico que se traduce en un colchón anticíclico, o ahorros, que sirven para usarlos en casos excepcionales como el presente. De esta forma, la SuperBancos autoriza a las entidades bancarias a ejecutar la línea de liquidez. "Mediante la liberación de la provisión dinámica los bancos no tienen que utilizar recursos adicionales para la provisión específica", explicó Castillo. 

La medida pretende dar oxígeno a las empresas y trabajadores que tienen compromisos con los bancos sin afectar su historial de crédito. 

 

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

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Panamanian banks offer grace period for mortgages for the economic blow of the Covid-19

The Superintendency of Banks exposed several alternatives for the debtors, among them the non-payment of mortgages or adjustment in the interest rate

By Adelita Coriat
Updated 03/17/2020 16:51

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.File | The Panama Star

In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, which is already leaving a deep economic trail in the country, banks offer their clients peace of mind with a menu of opportunities thanks to the green light granted by the rector of the branch, the Superintendency of Banks, so that the banking entities use the specific provision that is calculated in $ 1,250 million, which must have by Law.

Banking entities may offer part of the following alternatives, which could be granted on a massive or individual basis: grace periods for the payment of mortgages of three or six months; interest rate adjustments; modification of the mortgage so that the bank and its client can extend the period of the loan term, as well as the reduction of the amount of the payment of the outstanding installments. This range of possibilities applies to home mortgages, personal loans, cars, or credit cards, according to the Superintendent of Banks, Amauri Castillo, to La Estrella de Panamá.

"Now modified loans have been created that alleviate and help. It allows the bank to agree with its client in case it needs 90 or 180 days of grace period, it is given," said Amauri Castillo.

The regent of the banks envisions that the big entities will execute a massification of modified loans that means that if the client cannot face the payments, for example, of the credit card at the end of the month, the bank will not block it. "This is not the time to take away the house, the car, or the assets from the debtors," he said.

Like many countries, Panama is experiencing an unparalleled situation that forced banks to make use of their provisions, the savings that today provide liquidity and solvency to the system in order to adopt these measures, relying on the good behavior of debtors, who in 90% fulfill their payment responsibilities.

Castillo explained that the strengthening of banks allows these measures to be adopted without putting depositors' money at risk.

"The banks have enough liquidity at the moment and the provision that they are using can be built later as they are generating the loan portfolio," Castillo said.

By Panamanian legal provisions, the banking system must have a provision that is recorded in the equity of each bank, a specific amount that translates into an anti-cyclical buffer, or savings, that serve to use them in exceptional cases such as this one. In this way, SuperBancos authorizes banks to execute the liquidity line. "By releasing the dynamic provision, banks do not have to use additional resources for the specific provision," Castillo explained.

The measure aims to give oxygen to companies and workers who have commitments to banks without affecting their credit history.

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200317/bancos-ofrecen-periodo-gracia-hipotecas-golpe-economico-covid-19

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Take Out and Delivery Options for Local Restaurants in the Boquete Area

For those CL readers who live in the Boquete area, here is a recent News.Boquete email regarding take out and delivery options for local restaurants (just click on the below image for the complete posting):

 

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9 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

The province-wide suspension of all alcohol sales until April 7th. 2020 and a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew are now in place.

 

Moderator comment: Below is the complete Telemetro news article that @Keith Woolford was referring to in his above reply.

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Chiriquí activa toques de queda y ley seca en los 14 distritos de la provincia por coronavirus

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Las personas que circulen en las calles deberán tener un permiso. @jaimesaldana01

Teiga Castrellón

Los alcaldes de los 14 distritos que componen la provincia de Chiriquí acordaron de manera unánime activar un toque de queda en toda la región, tras la llegada del coronavirus a Panamá.

Los alcaldes reunidos con el Gobernador de la provincia, Juan Carlos Muñoz, y con personal de Aduanas expresaron que aprobaban esta medida de control para mitigar el riesgo de contagio.

El toque de queda aprobado irá desde las 9:00 p.m. hasta las 5:00 a.m. y solo se permitirá circular en las calles a los funcionarios del sistema sanitario o a aquellas personas que cuenten con una justificación para estar en las calles.

También se estableció para toda la provincia la implementación de la Ley seca de manera temporal a partir de este miércoles 18 de marzo.

Las autoridades advirtieron que impondrán sanciones económicas a quienes incumplan estas medidas de prevención.

 

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

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Chiriqui activates curfews and dry law in the 14 districts of the province due to coronavirus

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People who circulate on the streets must have a permit. @ jaimesaldana01

Teiga Castrellón • Mar 17 2020 - 02:22 PM

The majors of the 14 districts that make up the province of Chiriquí unanimously agreed to activate a curfew throughout the region, after the arrival of the coronavirus in Panama.

The majors meeting with the Governor of the province, Juan Carlos Muñoz, and with Customs personnel expressed that they approved this control measure to mitigate the risk of contagion.

The approved curfew will go from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. and only health system officials or those who have a justification to be on the streets will be allowed to circulate in the streets.

The implementation of the Dry Law was also established for the entire province temporarily starting this Wednesday, March 18.

The authorities warned that they will impose economic sanctions on those who fail to comply with these preventive measures.

 

https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/03/17/chiriqui-activa-toques-queda-ley-seca/2686268.html

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Panamá accederá a fondo disponible de organismos internacionales

Es una línea de crédito por $50 mil millones para países emergentes que puso a disposición el Fondo Monetario Internacional para combatir el golpe económico de Covid-19. La banca panameña masificará la modificación de préstamos a sus clientes, según la Superintendencia de Bancos

Por Adelita Coriat

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Comercios al detal sufren una de las peores partes del Covid-19Eric Marciscano | La Estrella de Panamá

Panamá accederá a la línea de crédito del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) –por $50 mil millones– que ha puesto a disposición de los países emergentes que requieran capital para afrontar la crisis del coronavirus. Así lo ha confirmado una fuente del Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (MEF), quien indicó que la mayor parte de este dinero estará libre de intereses y disponible de manera inmediata.

La fuente aún no especificó el monto solicitado por Panamá al FMI, dinero que se planea emplear con cautela, pues “mucha gente querrá pescar en río revuelto y debemos cuidar las finanzas del Estado”, advirtió.

El gobierno trabaja en varias proyecciones del impacto del virus, y aunque se percibe una gran mesura por parte de sus voceros económicos, “el gobierno está preparado hasta para el peor escenario”. Por ahora no se percibe un panorama similar al del Francia, por ejemplo, cuyo gobierno asumió los créditos y suspendió el pago de alquileres, impuestos y recibos de servicios básicos. Hay alivio de aproximadamente un 5% en la factura energética, y la Autoridad de los Servicios Públicos analiza algunas otras opciones.

La mayor parte de los países han hecho frente al virus inyectando dinero a la economía, lo hará Panamá también, pero aún no se ha revelado la estrategia o los sectores que se beneficiarán con el apoyo económico del Estado.

Periodo de gracia

Gracias a la flexibilidad que otorgó la Superintendencia de Bancos a la banca local para el uso de provisiones específicas que totalizan $1,250 millones, los bancos podrían ofrecer varias opciones a los deudores como: periodos de gracia en el pago de hipotecas a tres o seis meses o según lo que se negocie con los clientes; ajustes en la tasa de interés; modificación en el plazo del pago de la hipoteca o disminuir el monto del pago de cuotas, según sea el caso. Estas alternativas oxigenan y alivian el nerviosismo latente en el sector comercial e individual, que por el impacto del virus se les dificulta cumplir con los compromisos. Las medidas no se verán reflejadas en el récord crediticio de los deudores.

Amauri Castillo, superintendente de Bancos, manifestó a La Estrella de Panamá, que estas acciones son posibles gracias a la liquidez y solvencia con la que cuenta la banca, sin necesidad de poner en riesgo a los depositantes.

“Los bancos tienen la disposición y la disponibilidad de llegar a acuerdos; se liberó la prohibición del uso de provisión dinámica, que se construye en épocas de economía y crecimiento económico más acentuado. En consecuencia, lo que hacemos es que los fondos de los bancos, que ya están contabilizados como parte de su patrimonio, se pueden utilizar para aliviar a empresas y personas que tienen deudas”, manifestó Castillo en conferencia de prensa en horas de la tarde de ayer.

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Panamá accederá a fondo disponible de organismos internacionalesPanamá accederá a fondo disponible de organismos internacionales

Vencer la incertidumbre

René Quevedo, consultor empresarial, ha efectuado un análisis de los posibles escenarios del impacto del virus en Panamá.

Explica que en los próximos cuatro meses el principal impulsor de la demanda interna será la confianza, y subraya la palabra. Los despidos y la caída de confianza del consumidor causará menor consumo en los hogares, y, como consecuencia, una menor confianza empresarial generará una disminución del consumo en los hogares y menor inversión.

Los sectores que aportan el 59% del empleo se verán afectados, entre ellos el comercio al detal, logística y transporte, hoteles y restaurantes, industria, servicios administrativos y de apoyo, actividades financieras y de seguros (ver tabla).

Quevedo opina que “al margen de las acciones que implemente el gobierno, lo primero que hay que hacer es estimular la demanda de bienes y servicios ante la inminente caída del consumo y actividad comercial en los próximos meses”.

Propuestas

Quevedo propuso crear un consejo público-privado para la planificación y seguimiento de las medidas de impacto, para la reactivación económica y generación de empleo.

Otra forma de reactivar la economía es poner en marcha los proyectos de infraestructura que ya han sido programados en el presupuesto nacional, como el cuarto puente sobre el Canal, la línea 3 del Metro, la ampliación de autopistas, y obras viales en Panamá y el interior.

“Como aspectos negativos, es previsible un aumento de la desocupación de la población joven y el agravamiento de la delincuencia, en un país que ya vive la más alta tasa de desempleo juvenil y peor explosión delictiva de su historia”, puntualizó el consultor.

 

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

Quote

Panama will access available funds from international organizations

It is a $ 50 billion line of credit for emerging countries made available by the International Monetary Fund to combat the economic coup of Covid-19. The Panamanian bank will massify the modification of loans to its clients, according to the Superintendency of Banks

By Adelita Coriat
Updated 03/18/2020 00:00

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Retail businesses suffer one of the worst parts of the Covid-19Eric Marciscano | The Panama Star

Panama will access the line of credit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - for $ 50 billion - which it has made available to emerging countries that require capital to face the coronavirus crisis. This has been confirmed by a source from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), who indicated that most of this money will be interest-free and immediately available.

The source has not yet specified the amount requested by Panama to the IMF, money that is planned to be used with caution, since "many people will want to fish in a troubled river and we must take care of the state's finances," he warned.

The government works on several projections of the impact of the virus, and although a great measure is perceived by its economic spokesmen, "the government is prepared even for the worst scenario." For now, there is no perception of a similar scenario to that of France, for example, whose government assumed the credits and suspended the payment of rents, taxes and receipts of basic services. There is approximately 5% relief on the energy bill, and the Public Utilities Authority is looking at some other options.

Most of the countries have faced the virus by injecting money into the economy, Panama will too, but the strategy or the sectors that will benefit from the economic support of the State have not yet been revealed.

Grace period

Thanks to the flexibility that the Superintendency of Banks granted to local banks for the use of specific provisions totaling $ 1.25 billion, banks could offer various options to debtors such as: grace periods on mortgage payments of three or six months or according to what is negotiated with the clients; interest rate adjustments; modification in the term of the mortgage payment or decrease the amount of the payment of installments, as the case may be. These alternatives oxygenate and alleviate the latent nervousness in the commercial and individual sector, which due to the impact of the virus makes it difficult for them to fulfill their commitments. The measures will not be reflected in the credit record of the debtors.

Amauri Castillo, superintendent of Banks, told La Estrella de Panamá that these actions are possible thanks to the liquidity and solvency that banks have, without the need to put depositors at risk.

“Banks have the willingness and availability to reach agreements; The prohibition on the use of dynamic provision was released, which is being built in times of economy and more marked economic growth. Consequently, what we do is that the funds of the banks, which are already accounted for as part of their assets, can be used to alleviate companies and people who are in debt, ”Castillo said at a press conference in the afternoon of Yesterday.

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Panama will access available funds from international organizations Panama will access available funds from international organizations

Overcome uncertainty

René Quevedo, business consultant, has carried out an analysis of the possible scenarios of the impact of the virus in Panama.

Explains that in the next four months the main driver of domestic demand will be confidence, and underlines the word. The layoffs and the fall in consumer confidence will cause less consumption in households, and, as a consequence, less business confidence will lead to a decrease in consumption in households and less investment.

The sectors that contribute 59% of employment will be affected, including retail, logistics and transport, hotels and restaurants, industry, administrative and support services, financial and insurance activities (see table).

Quevedo believes that "regardless of the actions implemented by the government, the first thing to do is stimulate the demand for goods and services in the face of the imminent drop in consumption and commercial activity in the coming months."

Proposals

Quevedo proposed creating a public-private council for planning and monitoring impact measures, for economic recovery and job creation.

Another way to reactivate the economy is to launch the infrastructure projects that have already been programmed in the national budget, such as the fourth bridge over the Canal, Metro line 3, the expansion of highways, and road works in Panama and the inside.

"As negative aspects, it is foreseeable an increase in the unemployment of the young population and the worsening of the

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/200318/panama-accedera-fondo-disponible-organismos

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Minsa sanciona a paciente por violar cuarentena

Hasta este martes se habían registrado 86 personas contagiadas, de las cuales 14 están hospitalizadas. El Instituto Gorgas logra aislar el genoma del virus

Por José Arcia

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La ciudadanía toma algunas medidas, pero el Minsa reclama más acción por parte de los ciudadanos.Aris Martínez | La Estrella de Panamá

 

El Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) aplicó la primera sanción a una persona que no cumplió con la medida de permanecer en casa, a pesar de las recomendaciones de las autoridades.

El viceministro de Salud, Luis Sucre, quien encabezó la conferencia de este martes, informó que la sanción se aplicó a un paciente que reside en La Chorrera, por haber abandonado la cuarentena que debía cumplir en su casa.

“Mencionamos esto porque queremos hacerle llegar a toda la población que la intención del Ministerio de Salud no es adoptar medidas de sanción, pero si la población insiste en no acatar las instrucciones de salud pública, nos veremos obligados a cumplir con rigor las normas sanitarias”, recalcó el viceministro.

Las personas contagiadas por Covid-19 ya suman 86, de las cuales 8 están en cuidados intensivos, 6 hospitalizados, pero su estado de salud es “moderado”, y 71 están aislados en casa.

Lourdes Moreno, jefa de Epidemiologia del Minsa, explicó que los pacientes en cuidados intensivos padecen de otras enfermedades como diabetes, asma, hipertensión e insuficiencia renal.

Hasta este martes se han practicado 1,245 pruebas, de las cuales 1,159 han salido negativas y el resto (86) positiva.

Los corregimientos de San Francisco (12), Betania (8), Bella Vista (7), Juan Díaz (7) y Ancón (7), del distrito de Panamá, siguen registrando la mayor cantidad de casos de infectados por coronavirus.

El viceministro Sucre indicó que toda persona que haya tenido contacto con una persona que hayan sido diagnosticada positiva, con un extranjero, o que haya viajado al exterior y tiene los síntomas, debe acercarse a las instalaciones del Minsa o de la Caja de Seguro Social para hacerse la prueba con el fin de encontrar nuevos posibles casos.

La idea es hallar a todas las personas afectadas para impedir la movilidad del virus.

Genoma del virus

En medio del incremento de casos, de sanciones y de nuevas medidas que adopta el gobierno para contrarrestar la crisis sanitaria, el infectólogo y miembro de la comisión asesora para el Covid-19, Xavier Sáez-Llorens, dijo que hay buenas noticias.

El Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas, que realiza las pruebas para detectar el contagio, logró aislar el primer genoma del virus Covid-19, lo que convierte a Panamá en el primer país de Centroamérica en realizar este procedimiento científico, dijo el viceministro.

El Instituto Gorgas, explicó Sáez-Llorens, ha secuenciado completamente el genoma del virus, lo que permite trazar la procedencia del virus de diferentes áreas y estudiar los conglomerados para saber de dónde vinieron los primeros virus al país.

Además, permite conocer la posibilidad de mutaciones y cómo evolucionará el Covid-19 en el país, es decir la cepa que estará. “Ese dato es vital para valorar si la cepa que va a circular en Panamá va a ser prevenida con las nuevas vacunas que se están desarrollando”, explicó.

Sáez-Llorens indicó que han tenido conversaciones con científicos de China, Estados Unidos y Europa, y que hay medicamentos que son potencialmente eficaces para el tratamiento del Covid-19.

Dos de esos tratamientos ya están en Panamá y se les administran a pacientes hospitalizados, dijo.

Añadió que en varias partes del mundo se ensaya con vacunas, como en China, pero como estos ensayos duran más o menos un año, “vamos a tener vacuna segura, pero el otro año”.

 

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

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Minsa sanctions patient for violating quarantine

As of Tuesday, 86 infected people had been registered, of which 14 are hospitalized. The Gorgas Institute manages to isolate the virus genome

By José Arcia
Updated 03/18/2020 06:00

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The citizens take some measures, but the Minsa demands more action from the citizens. Aris Martínez | The Panama Star

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) applied the first sanction to a person who did not comply with the measure of staying home, despite the recommendations of the authorities.

The Vice Minister of Health, Luis Sucre, who led the conference on Tuesday, reported that the sanction was applied to a patient residing in La Chorrera, for having abandoned the quarantine that he had to comply with at home.

"We mention this because we want to convey to the entire population that the intention of the Ministry of Health is not to adopt sanction measures, but if the population insists on not abiding by the public health instructions, we will be forced to rigorously comply with the sanitary regulations" , stressed the vice minister.

The people infected with Covid-19 already number 86, of which 8 are in intensive care, 6 hospitalized, but their state of health is "moderate", and 71 are isolated at home.

Lourdes Moreno, head of Epidemiology at Minsa, explained that patients in intensive care suffer from other diseases such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension and kidney failure.

Until this Tuesday, 1,245 tests have been carried out, of which 1,159 have been negative and the rest (86) positive.

The towns of San Francisco (12), Betania (8), Bella Vista (7), Juan Díaz (7) and Ancón (7), from the district of Panama, continue to register the highest number of cases of coronavirus infection.

Deputy Minister Sucre indicated that anyone who has had contact with a person who has been positively diagnosed, with a foreigner, or who has traveled abroad and has symptoms, should approach the facilities of the Minsa or the Social Security Fund to take the test in order to find new possible cases.

The idea is to find all affected people to prevent the mobility of the virus.

Virus genome

Amid the increase in cases, sanctions and new measures being taken by the government to counter the health crisis, the infectologist and member of the advisory commission for Covid-19, Xavier Sáez-Llorens, said there is good news.

The Gorgas Commemorative Institute, which performs tests to detect the contagion, managed to isolate the first genome of the Covid-19 virus, making Panama the first country in Central America to carry out this scientific procedure, said the deputy minister.

The Gorgas Institute, said Sáez-Llorens, has completely sequenced the virus's genome, allowing the origin of the virus to be traced from different areas and studying clusters to find out where the first viruses came from in the country.

In addition, it allows knowing the possibility of mutations and how Covid-19 will evolve in the country, that is, the strain it will be on. "This data is vital to assess whether the strain that is going to circulate in Panama is going to be prevented with the new vaccines that are being developed," he explained.

Sáez-Llorens indicated that they have had conversations with scientists from China, the United States and Europe, and that there are medications that are potentially effective for the treatment of Covid-19.

Two of those treatments are already in Panama and are being administered to hospitalized patients, he said.

He added that vaccines are tested in various parts of the world, such as in China, but since these trials last more or less a year, "we are going to have a safe vaccine, but the other year."

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200318/minsa-sanciona-paciente-violar-cuarentena

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OPINION: Caregivers under attack

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Posted 17/03/2020

in the midst of the public health situation in the country, there are compatriots who see the presence of technical personnel outside the health facilities as a threat to their lives. Thus, nurses and other public health agents - who face the threat of contagion for caring for the general public at the risk of their own lives - have to suffer situations of discrimination in places, such as buses, the subway or in a store, by other Panamanians who believe that because these officials wear their work uniforms they are sources of spread of the virus. It is not only inhumane to discriminate against them, but it reflects an unforgivable ignorance, given the abundant information that exists on how to prevent the spread of the disease, and which is at hand. Such behaviors deserve our strongest rejection, as these personnel are the first line of battle for patients infected with or suspected of carrying the virus. They are personnel  who risk their own lives e to save theirs neighbor's, even those who discriminate against them. What we live requires everyone's effort and discrimination only divides us. So the question is: what is happening to us? LA PRENSA  Mar. 17.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-caregivers-under-attack

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Front line nurses face abuse as fear of virus grows

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Posted 17/03/2020

Nurses  and medical staff on the front line in the fight in the fight against coronavirus have been refused access to buses. and abused  in supermarkets when wearing uniform report health authorities

Enrique Lau Cortés, director of the Social Security Fund (CSS), pointed out that there are 4,718 doctors and 3,440 nurses in the entity he directs, who have been providing care throughout the country, despite the complications generated by the coronavirus.

Lau Cortés stressed that the CSS medical and nursing staff can change in hospitals so that they can go home without problems. "It is regrettable to resort to this, but we have to protect our personnel," Lau Cortés concluded.

 The president of the National Association of Panama Nurses (Anep), Ana María Reyes de Serrano, denounced that they are being attacked due to the fear of the contagion of the coronavirus.

"Unfortunately, we are receiving reports from colleagues who say they fear that the population we are caring for are assaulting them, due to the fear that many have of contracting the virus.

“ Some have been taken off the buses, others have not even been allowed to stand in line at supermarkets. Like all human beings, we have to stock up and buy food, "said Reyes.

Domingo Moreno, the coordinator of the National Negotiating Medical Commission, said that the Health personnel are behaving like "soldiers" and  the circumstances in which we find ourselves demand it.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/front-line-nurses-face-abuse-as-fear-of-virus-grows

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Panama restaurant closures could mean 44,000 lost jobs

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Posted 17/03/2020

Restaurants across the country have closed in the face of the coronavirus crisis  and the Association of Restaurants and Related of Panama (ARAP) is preparing for a massive shutdown of food retail outlets with a loss of over 44,000 jobs.

"The Government cannot continue delaying this matter," said Domingo de Obaldía, president of ARAP.

The restaurant sector is one of the economic activities most affected by the measure of social isolation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

"Sales have fallen by 80%. Last weekend was disastrous. The industry is practically paralyzed, "said Obaldia.

It is estimated that in Panama City there are approximately 2,600 restaurants, 250 are members of the ARAP.

Some of the measures that business owners have applied is to reduce working hours to six hours a day, while others have decided to close.

"Those that remain open do so because with the little that goes in, it helps to maintain some liquidity to give to employees, in the event of a general closure."

The stoppage of activities would affect approximately 39,000 thousand jobs directly and 5,000 indirectly. This includes restaurant workers, delivery , suppliers, people who provide maintenance of air conditioners, hot areas and cold rooms. However, he adds that there are companies, such as Panamanian Franchises, that maintain a workforce of 2,600 workers.

The Government must announce how it will contribute to this closure. “A worker who works only six hours has to pay rent, finances, electricity, etc; this is a chain, and therefore there must be social justice for all, ”he said.

Faced with a massive closure, he said that the most sensible thing is to apply early vacations to workers. "The idea is that, at the end of the month, vacations will be paid based on a six-hour schedule and that they will owe the workers vacation wages for when things improve."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-restaurant-closures-could-mean-44000-lost-jobs

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US Embassy consular section closed

flag.jpg

Posted 17/03/2020

The United States Embassy in Panama has closed its consular section until further notice.

Emergency services for  US citizens, as well as visa-related emergency services, will continue to be available.

Processing of passports and visa applications by mail will also continue without interruption.

US citizens who need a consular emergency service, can write to PanamaACS@state.gov or call +507 317-5000. If they  have an emergency related to visa processing (for example, a medical emergency), they can refer to Panama-Visas@state.gov .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/us-embassy-consular-section-closed

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Trabajo remoto: productividad efectiva en tiempos de pandemia

El Covid-19 engendró una crisis mundial y, con ello, también aceleró la implementación del teletrabajo no solo en Panamá, sino en otras latitudes más conservadoras. Aquí una hoja de ruta para hacer de la jornada laboral, una experiencia significativa y productiva desde casa

Por Irene Acosta / Yandira Núñez

Cuando surgen emergencias sanitarias de gran índice mundial, los empleadores y colaboradores deben verse en las filas de la creatividad para impulsar la productividad de sus equipos y crear ambientes que propicien una buena comunicación y crecimiento profesional.

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La Ley 76 que regula el teletrabajo en el territorio nacional fue sancionada por el presidente de la República, Laurentino Cortizo, el 18 de febrero.Shutterstock

 

El teletrabajo se ha vuelto la herramienta laboral de modalidad minoritaria en diversos países afectados por el coronavirus, y que tendrá mayor expansión por medio de las leyes de cuarentena o autoaislamiento frente a la pandemia.

Si se está ejerciendo el teletrabajo, el rendimiento de las labores podría verse afectado por diversos factores. Entonces, ¿cómo puedes acomodar tu casa para sacar el máximo provecho a las asignaciones laborales? La pregunta puede tener diversas respuestas: una rutina funcional, cambiar de lugar todo para dar una sensación de orden o incluso poner alarmas cada cierto tiempo. Sin embargo, lo más importante es entender que los teletrabajadores tienen que gestionar su tiempo.

“Existe una tendencia a trabajar más horas cuando se trabaja fuera de una oficina; una situación que puede generar conflictos familiares debido a las múltiples funciones y compromisos laborales”, explica Krizia Matthew en un artículo de la revista América en Movimiento. Por esta razón encontrar el equilibrio entre las horas establecidas para el trabajo y el tiempo dedicado a la familia u otras actividades es clave para llevar a cabo un periodo de teletrabajo eficaz.

Adecuar tu espacio laboral

Los avances tecnológicos han permitido que, en la actualidad, las comunicaciones entre equipos de trabajo sean más fluidas aunque algunos no se encuentren en el mismo espacio físico. En casa se puede asignar un cuarto, una esquina o una sala abierta para los horarios de trabajo, adecuarla y acondicionarla para lo que se requiere de las asignaciones.

Trabajar en la 'nube' puede ser de gran utilidad para ayudar a crear un ambiente de 'oficina' en el hogar, sin ser demasiado intrusivo al espacio familiar. Si se vive en familia se debe acentuar la necesidad de privacidad y la menor intromisión posible; contrario a si se vive solo, donde la voluntad deberá ganarle a la pereza con hábitos saludables cotidianos como: apagar el teléfono (que no sea del trabajo) por diez minutos cada hora, mantener ejercicios de respiración y relajación, musicalizar la jornada con sonidos tranquilos o de naturaleza y eliminar todo objeto distractor a tu alrededor hasta finalizar una tarea.

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Trabajo remoto: productividad efectiva en tiempos de pandemia

Mentalizarse es clave

Claudia Escobar, gerente de País en Manpower Group, considera que para optimizar el teletrabajo “lo principal es recordar que trabajar desde casa puede implicar un mayor reto por las distracciones que pueda haber. Es importante tomar las previsiones de cuidado de hijos y atención al hogar; si hay familiares en casa, es importante conversar con ellos y pedirles que no les interrumpan durante la jornada de trabajo y esperen a sus recesos para conversar con ellos”.

Además, recomienda adecuar un espacio cómodo, preferiblemente apartado, para poder concentrarse en la realización de sus actividades de trabajo, contar con un sitio alterno a casa para trabajar como un café internet para aquellos casos en que necesites mayor concentración de la que puedes obtener en casa, crear una rutina en cuanto a horarios para tomar descansos breves y para tomar el almuerzo.

Quote

“Si usted va a ejercer funciones desde su casa, mantenga la misma 
rutina que lleva a cabo cuando sale de esta. Debe procurar que 
en los espacios en los que va a trabajar no haya distractores 
que impidan la concentración”

AUGUSTO MÉNDEZ
PSICÓLOGO

 

“Recordemos que las acciones repetidas ayudan a nuestro cerebro a crear hábitos, lo que nos va a ayudar a hacer más fácil mantener la disciplina y concentración necesarias para realizar nuestro trabajo fuera de la oficina”, explica la ejecutiva.

Sugiere organizar el día de trabajo en función de tus metas semanales y atendiendo las tareas más importantes primero. “Mantén una buena comunicación con tu jefe inmediato a los fines de que puedas cumplir con los objetivos planteados y que puedan generar planes de acción para aquello que, por alguna razón, no se pueda alcanzar”.

La tecnología al rescate

Si es la primera vez que se ejerce el teletrabajo, no se debe entrar en pánico por volverse multitarea, pues existe ayuda digital mediante aplicaciones para los dispositivos móviles que representan una manera sencilla, rápida y manejable de organizar el tiempo de la jornada.

Algunos ejemplos son: Slack, la aplicación ideal para mantener canales de comunicación específicos con tus compañeros de trabajo, enviar archivos, tener conversaciones privadas y enlazar aplicaciones como Google Drive, Calendar de Google y demás herramientas que agilicen la gestión de trabajo. Es compatible con computadoras en sus versiones para IOS y Android, y una versión gratuita con funciones limitadas.

Si lo que se desea es mantener videoconferencias en alta resolución y buena conexión, Zoom es la aplicación adecuada para la tarea. Permite tener más de 100 personas conectadas al mismo tiempo, grabar las reuniones y entrelazar servidores de correo como Outlook, Gmail, entre otros.

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Trabajo remoto: productividad efectiva en tiempos de pandemia

Para mantener el ritmo de las cuentas de redes sociales, campañas digitales de mercadeo, ventas y atención al cliente, la app Hubspot puede ser una aliada en el teletrabajo que conlleve proveer servicios por parte de la organización a una gran cantidad de clientes.

Por el lado de las finanzas, el sistema contable de Alegra permite llevar a cabo procesos administrativos y de facturación electrónica desde casa, presentar reportes y métricas actualizadas sin necesidad de ir a la oficina, además de contar con un sistema integrado de marketplace que permite añadir sitios de distribución digital como Asana, Mailchimp, entre otros. La aplicación es sencilla incluso para quienes no son contadores y permite descargarse en versiones de iOs y Android.

¿Panamá?

El trabajo remoto es ahora el comodín de numerosas compañías que en todo el mundo han sufrido la abatida del Covid-19, una realidad que ha impulsado su implementación aun en culturas más conservadoras y resistentes al cambio.

Un caso del que no escapa Panamá, donde el sector público y privado han tenido que plegarse a considerar y aplicar esta modalidad que ya era de vieja data para compañías y multinacionales en otras latitudes.

De hecho, la Ley 76 que regula el teletrabajo en el territorio nacional fue sancionada por el presidente de la República, Laurentino Cortizo, el 18 de febrero. Esta normativa regula el trabajo remoto en el territorio nacional “con el objetivo de generar un mayor número de plazas de empleo, y poner al país acorde con los avances tecnológicos”.

La ley establece que el trabajador tendrá todos los derechos y obligaciones inherentes establecidos en el Código de Trabajo, así como derecho al reconocimiento por la Caja de Seguro Social de los riesgos profesionales ocurridos durante la prestación del servicio en modalidad del teletrabajo, siempre que el teletrabajador sufra alguna enfermedad a causa de sus labores durante la vigencia de la relación laboral.

Se trata de una norma que se suscribe a la urgencia impuesta por la emergencia nacional declarada tras el diagnóstico de los primeros casos de coronavirus en el país. Este martes, Mitradel anunció que habilitará el adiestramiento en línea para capacitar en la materia.

Aunque haya renuencia, en algunos casos, el trabajo remoto no es necesariamente una amenaza a la productividad, todo lo contrario. Para Augusto Méndez, psicólogo con amplia experiencia en el campo organizacional, esta modalidad permite marcar un precedente en suelo istmeño y debe llevarse a cabo siguiendo recomendaciones como mantener un esquema apegado a la rutina habitual.

“Si usted va a ejercer funciones desde su casa, mantenga la misma rutina que realiza cuando sale de esta. Y debe procurar que en los espacios en los que va a trabajar no haya distractores que impidan la concentración”, explica.

Méndez señala que es indispensable buscar mecanismos que otorguen comodidad al colaborador mientras desempeña su jornada, tomando también períodos cortos de descanso. “Evite trabajar cerca de televisores, juegos de video o lugares en los que esté el resto de la familia. No se recomienda laborar desde la cama, porque automáticamente el cerebro piensa en sueño y descanso. Lo mejor es ubicarse en un espacio neutro”.

“Todo se resume en llevar a cabo la rutina, mantener el espacio en el que se van a desempeñar las tareas, evitar las distracciones y realizar intervalos cortos de descanso. Si usualmente trabaja desde las 8:00 a.m. hasta las 5:00 p.m., debe mantener el mismo horario en casa; posteriormente, debe desconectarse, apagar la computadora y hacer otras actividades, no extienda la jornada”, puntualiza.

Por otra parte, una publicación de la revista Time señala que las interacciones sociales, incluso con los compañeros de trabajo, “pueden aliviar los sentimientos de aislamiento y soledad”.

Thuy-vy Nguyen, experto de la Universidad de Durham, que estudia el impacto de la soledad, cree que “los efectos psicológicos de trabajar de forma remota durante períodos prolongados a menudo se pasan por alto o se ignoran, a pesar de ser un factor esencial en nuestro bienestar mental y lazos de equipo”.

“Para ayudar a llenar el vacío de socialización mientras trabajas de forma remota, Nguyen recomienda encontrar un colega al que puedas contactar cuando sientas la necesidad de chatear con alguien. Alternativamente, manténgase en contacto con un amigo que trabaje en otro lugar y esté pasando por la misma experiencia. Saltar en una videollamada social en lugar de Slack o mensajes de texto tampoco es una mala idea”, sostiene la publicación de la revista estadounidense.

Según el especialista consultado por Time, cuando se encuentra solo, el trabajador debe mantener un horario diario más estructurado de lo habitual.

Además, los líderes y tomadores de decisión “deben recordar que no todos los empleados realmente quieren trabajar desde casa, un cambio que puede ser estresante para algunos” y a medida que las empresas exigen cada vez más el trabajo remoto durante el brote de coronavirus, “es clave que se comuniquen y ayuden a los empleados que luchan con el cambio”.

 

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

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Remote work: effective productivity in times of pandemic

The Covid-19 engendered a global crisis and, with it, also accelerated the implementation of teleworking not only in Panama, but in other more conservative latitudes. Here is a roadmap to make the workday a meaningful and productive experience from home

By Irene Acosta / Yandira Núñez
Updated 03/18/2020 06:00

When major global health emergencies arise, employers and collaborators must be in the creative ranks to boost their teams' productivity and create environments that foster good communication and professional growth.

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Law 76 that regulates teleworking in the national territory was sanctioned by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, on February 18.


Teleworking has become the minority work tool in various countries affected by the coronavirus, and which will have further expansion through quarantine or self-isolation laws against the pandemic.

If teleworking is in progress, job performance could be affected by various factors. So how can you accommodate your home to get the most out of work assignments? The question can have different answers: a functional routine, changing everything to give a sense of order or even setting alarms from time to time. However, the most important thing is to understand that teleworkers have to manage their time.

“There is a tendency to work longer hours when working outside of an office; a situation that can generate family conflicts due to the multiple functions and work commitments ”, explains Krizia Matthew in an article in the magazine América en Movimiento. For this reason, finding the balance between the hours established for work and the time dedicated to family or other activities is key to carrying out an effective period of teleworking.

Adapt your work space

Technological advances have allowed communications between work teams to be more fluid today, although some are not in the same physical space. At home you can assign a room, a corner or an open room for working hours, adapt it and condition it for what is required of the assignments.

Working in the 'cloud' can be very helpful in helping to create a 'home' office environment, without being too intrusive to the family space. If you live with your family, the need for privacy and the least intrusion possible should be emphasized; Contrary to living alone, where the will must beat laziness with daily healthy habits such as: turning off the phone (not from work) for ten minutes every hour, maintaining breathing and relaxation exercises, musicalizing the day with calm sounds or by nature and eliminate all distracting objects around you until completing a task.

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Remote work: effective productivity in times of pandemic

Mentalizing is key

Claudia Escobar, Country Manager at Manpower Group, believes that to optimize teleworking “the main thing is to remember that working from home can be more challenging due to any distractions. It is important to take the provisions of child care and home care; If there are family members at home, it is important to talk to them and ask them not to interrupt them during the workday and wait for their breaks to talk with them. "

In addition, it recommends adapting a comfortable space, preferably secluded, to be able to concentrate on carrying out your work activities, having an alternate place at home to work as an internet café for those cases where you need more concentration than you can get At home, create a routine in terms of times for taking short breaks and for lunch.
 

Quote

"If you are going to exercise functions from your home, keep the same
routine you carry out when you exit this. You must ensure that
there are no distractors in the spaces where you are going to work
that prevent concentration "
AUGUSTO MÉNDEZ
PSYCHOLOGIST

"Remember that repeated actions help our brain to create habits, which will help us make it easier to maintain the discipline and concentration necessary to carry out our work outside the office," explains the executive.

He suggests organizing the work day according to your weekly goals and taking care of the most important tasks first. "Maintain good communication with your immediate boss so that you can meet the stated objectives and that can generate action plans for what, for some reason, cannot be achieved."

Technology to the rescue

If it is the first time that teleworking is carried out, you should not panic about becoming multitasking, since there is digital help through applications for mobile devices that represent a simple, fast and manageable way to organize the time of the day.

Some examples are: Slack, the ideal application to maintain specific communication channels with your coworkers, send files, have private conversations and link applications such as Google Drive, Google Calendar and other tools that streamline work management. It is compatible with computers in its versions for IOS and Android, and a free version with limited functions.

If you want to maintain high resolution video conferencing and a good connection, Zoom is the right application for the task. It allows having more than 100 people connected at the same time, recording meetings and interlinking mail servers such as Outlook, Gmail, among others.
Remote work: effective productivity in times of pandemic

To keep pace with social media accounts, digital marketing campaigns, sales and customer service, the Hubspot app can be an ally in teleworking that involves providing services by the organization to a large number of customers.

On the finance side, Alegra's accounting system allows you to carry out administrative and electronic invoicing processes from home, present updated reports and metrics without going to the office, in addition to having an integrated marketplace system that allows you to add digital distribution sites such as Asana, Mailchimp, among others. The application is simple even for those who are not accountants and can be downloaded in iOS and Android versions.

Panama?

Remote work is now the wild card of numerous companies around the world that have suffered the downfall of Covid-19, a reality that has driven its implementation even in more conservative and change-resistant cultures.

A case from which Panama does not escape, where the public and private sectors have had to fold to consider and apply this modality that was already old for companies and multinationals in other latitudes.

In fact, Law 76 that regulates teleworking in the national territory was sanctioned by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, on February 18. This regulation regulates remote work in the national territory "with the aim of generating a greater number of jobs, and to put the country in line with technological advances."

The law establishes that the worker will have all the inherent rights and obligations established in the Labor Code, as well as the right to recognition by the Social Security Fund of the professional risks that occur during the provision of the service in the form of teleworking, provided that the teleworker suffer an illness from your work during the term of the employment relationship.

It is a standard that subscribes to the urgency imposed by the declared national emergency after the diagnosis of the first cases of coronavirus in the country. This Tuesday, Mitradel announced that he will enable online training to train on the subject.

Although there is reluctance, in some cases remote work is not necessarily a threat to productivity, quite the contrary. For Augusto Méndez, a psychologist with extensive experience in the organizational field, this modality allows setting a precedent on Isthmus soil and should be carried out following recommendations such as maintaining a scheme attached to the usual routine.

“If you are going to exercise functions from home, keep the same routine that you do when you leave it. And you must ensure that in the spaces where you are going to work there are no distractors that prevent concentration, "he explains.

Méndez points out that it is essential to look for mechanisms that provide comfort to the collaborator while he works his day, also taking short rest periods. “Avoid working near televisions, video games, or places where the rest of the family is. Working from bed is not recommended, because the brain automatically thinks of sleep and rest. The best thing is to be located in a neutral space ”.

“It all comes down to carrying out the routine, maintaining the space in which tasks will be performed, avoiding distractions and taking short rest intervals. If you usually work from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., you must keep the same hours at home; later, you must disconnect, turn off the computer and do other activities, do not extend the day, "he points out.

Furthermore, a Time magazine publication notes that social interactions, even with coworkers, "can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness."

Thuy-vy Nguyen, an expert at Durham University, who studies the impact of loneliness, believes that “the psychological effects of working remotely for long periods of time are often overlooked or ignored, despite being a factor essential in our mental well-being and team ties. ”

“To help fill the socialization gap while working remotely, Nguyen recommends finding a colleague you can contact when you feel the need to chat with someone. Alternatively, keep in touch with a friend who works elsewhere and is going through the same experience. Jumping on a social video call instead of Slack or text messages is not a bad idea, either, ”says the publication of the American magazine.

According to the specialist consulted by Time, when he is alone, the worker must maintain a more structured daily schedule than usual.

Furthermore, leaders and decision makers "must remember that not all employees really want to work from home, a change that can be stressful for some" and as companies increasingly demand remote work during the coronavirus outbreak, " it is key that they communicate and help employees who are struggling with change. ”

 

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/cafe-estrella/cultura/200318/remoto-productividad-efectiva-tiempos-pandemia

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A BUNCH OF VISITORS HAVE BEEN QUARANTINED, SENT HOME

My translation of news item from TVN Noticias:

A group of foreigners are kept inside a sanitary enclosure on the upper coast of colon. It is a group of tourists who had come to Panama to participate in the Tribal Challenge, a festival with electronic music in which people mainly from Europe, the United States and South America participate.

The festival has been held for several years in the Cuango sector. Authorities have established a quarantine, testing COVID-19 on people with respiratory symptoms. The people tested were negative for COVID-19.

"We are surprised that people who had this festival were given permission," said Iracema de Dale, governor of Colon. "The Ministry of Health has taken precautions. All those people who are there and have more than 14, 15 days, we have escorted them to the airport to leave. Those who do not have the 14 days have to remain protected until they complete that period of isolation", she added.

The governor detailed that some of these visitors contacted the Tocumen International Airport and were escorted by the Aeronaval Service and the National Police to leave the country after complying with the corresponding sanitary measures.

"We must accept that Colon is a vulnerable province. We have a coast, fewer ports, so many tourists who come from cruise ships. So we are taking the measures, following the instructions of the Ministry of Health", emphasized the Governor.

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The province of British Columbia has published an online COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. It follows pretty much the same guidelines as used here in Panama. If you develop symptoms you might want to take this quiz before calling your doctor.

-- 
Ted Harrison, MD

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Health Minister condemns lawmakers who flouted quarantine rules

turner-1.jpg

Rosario Turner

Posted 17/03/2020

Health Minister Rosario Turne has condemned' several legislators deputies who have recently traveled to destinations like  Spain, China, and South Korea and did not comply with the quarantine regulations.

She made the complaint during a meeting at the National Assembly but did not reveal the names of the offenders.

Turner stressed that “It is is not responsible. It is not responsible, because the next-door neighbor may be 65 years old, may be diabetic, may be hypertensive and may be pushed into a  coronavirus complication.

“ Each of us must be responsible for our individual health, but also for our neighbors. You know yourself and if someone did not comply then we  could have several thousand cases are circulating (…) Because anyone here can be asymptomatic, it is not necessary to have a cough or fever and it is not because the Ministry did not close the airport and the Panama Canal, that we are going to have thousands of cases ” said the Minister.

She was accompanied by a group of health experts, to explain to deputies the history of the arrival of the virus in the country and how the state of emergency is being treated, in order to guarantee the health of the majority of citizens.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/health-minister-condemns-lawmakers-who-flouted-quarantine-rules

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Devastated tourism sector eyes hotel closures

hotels.jpg

Posted 17/03/2020

With  the  government's decision to ban the entry of non-resident foreigners, in an attempt to stem the advance of the coronavirus,  some Panama hotels are considering the possibility of temporary closing.

Occupancy in the capital city is below 40% and a fall in annual profitability of 20% in the last 7 years, the entry ban puts national tourism on the brink of the abyss reports La Prensa.

Industry leaders  are huddled with  health and economic authorities to establish palliatives for the   crisis already battered tourism  sector

In the midst of this storm, temporary closings are not ruled out in an attempt to reduce expenses due to the lack of visitors, said Armando Rodríguez, president of the Panamanian Hotel Association (Apatel).

In the last two years, the entry of tourists has fallen more than 2%, , and until January 2020, Tocumen International Airport reported a 6% reduction in passenger traffic entering the country with a total of 226, 607.

He added that some of the decisions made by the Superintendency of Banks regarding the modification in loans were part of the suggestions made by the private sector.

"We all must support and that is why since last week we have made an approach with the Government," he said.

The first two months of the year left a negative balance for the hotel sector with an occupation of 39%. In the capital city, there are over 20,000  rooms

 Until 2018,  says the Panama Tourism Authority there were  134,000 workers in the tourism sector, including restaurants.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/devastated-tourism-sector-eyes-hotel-closures

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Coronavirus cases climb to 86 including four doctors

doctors-1.jpg

Posted 17/03/2020

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Panama by  Tuesday afternoon, March 17, was  86  with an increase in hospitalized patients to 14 says the Health Ministry, (Minsa).

Of the confirmed cases, 71 are isolated and quarantined at home with mild symptoms. It is also important to note that only one fatality remains.

At the beginning of the press conference on Tuesday, the Vice Minister of Health, Luis Sucre, reported that a citizen in the district of La Chorrera, in Panama West, was sanctioned for not respecting his quarantine. Epidemiologists are tracking his contacts.

Sucre stressed, that people must comply with their period of isolation, which is generally 14 days.

The Gorgas Commemorative Institute has carried out 1,245 tests of which 86 were positive.

 in the province of Veraguas, two cases of Covid-19 have been detected. One resides in Soná and the other in Santiago.

It was also revealed that there are four doctors affected by the virus and that one of them was infected during his work and the others during their daily activities.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/coronavirus-cases-climb-to-86-including-four-doctors-1

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Moderator comment: This is a message regarding COVID-19 from the US Embassy in Panama City.
 
Quote
Sent: 3/18/2020 11:13:24 AM
Subject: Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 17, 2020)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 17, 2020)

 

Location:  Panama

 

Event: 

 

On March 16, the Panamanian Ministry of Health announced 69 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.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Panama has barred admission to individuals who are not citizens or residents.  All incoming travelers are subject to a mandatory 14-day in-home quarantine. Transiting travelers who do not leave the airport are being permitted to continue their journeys. Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for additional information on these new measures.

 

The government of Panama has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Schools and universities are closed nation-wide until March 20 and in San Miguelito, Panama Centro, and Panama Norte they will remain closed until April 7.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.

 

Effective March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama has suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.

 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice

 

U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.

 

The Embassy is aware that various municipal and provincial governments, including the Provincial Government of Chiriqui, have announced their curfews.  As of yet, the national authorities have not issued curfew orders to the national police.

 

Actions to Take:

 

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

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

  •   Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
  •   Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

·         Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama.

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

 

Assistance: 

 

·         U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama

Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue

      Clayton, Panama

+507 317-5000

      Panama-ACS@state.gov

      https://pa.usembassy.gov/

 

·         State Department - Consular Affairs

+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444 

 

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.

 

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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