MINSA: Press Release #13

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Tuesday, March 17th 2020.

In this global health battle we are fighting, the National Government is proud to announce that a team of professionals from the Gorgas Memorial Institute has isolated the genome of the virus SARSCoVD2, an important contribution achieved through the effort and commitment that we, as a country, have all assumed.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) is taking the necessary measures to increase the application of the diagnostic test for COVID-19, which is why the active search for possible cases throughout the country has tripled as of today, following the epidemiological procedures to trace the virus. 
 
The Respuesta Operativa de Salud Automática R.O.S.A. (Automatic Health Operative Response) virtual platform has been launched https://rosa.innovacion.gob.pa; and in 24 hours has already received 5,900 contacts, who underwent technological triage, resulting in 693 suspected cases and 340 online medical consultations.
 
Likewise, today the installation of the care modules for people presenting respiratory symptoms began, with the Pueblo Nuevo health center being the first place with this type of structure, along with those located in clinics in Betania and San Francisco.
 
The Caja de Seguro Social, after signing a collaborative agreement, will deliver medications to older adults and patients with chronic diseases, so that they do not have to leave home and can avoid exposure to COVID-19.
 
Also, in compliance with the sanitary provisions established by Decree 472, a patient who failed to comply with home surveillance in the district of La Chorrera, province of Panamá Oeste and who, thanks to a citizen complaint, could be located, was sanctioned. Fines range from 501 to 5,000 balboas.
 
The hotline phone number, 169, continues to be an effective orientation channel for citizens, with a cumulative number of 41,915 calls received since March 11, of which 56% were answered and 2% were false queries.
 
Data update
 
As of today, March 17, 86 positive cases have been detected, 41 men and 45 women. In age range, 30% under 30 predominate.
 
In intensive care there are 8 patients, 6 are hospitalized in the ward and 71 people continue to be isolated at home.
 
We remind everyone that our recommendation is - as much as possible – to stay at home, as well as to maintain basic hygiene measures, such as hand washing.
 
Our health personnel are on the front lines of this fight against COVID-19. They deserve our respect and strong support. We invite all Panamanians to show solidarity with them.
 
All official information regarding COVID-19 in Panama and the actions that the National Government undertakes is communicated through the official accounts of the Ministry of Health in the main networks and on its website. Attention is also available through WhatsApp +507 6997-2539.
 
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