MINSA: Press Release #21

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

MINSA appoints doctors, nurses and specialists to address the pandemic

The Ministry of Health (MINSA), at the forefront of the care and mitigation strategy of the officially-declared COVID-19 pandemic, by mandate of President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, has resolved to strengthen health services throughout the country and has named 16 new doctors, one of them a specialist and 15 nurses.

The 15 nurses and a cardiologist will move to the province of Veraguas, and in the country's capital, 15 general medicine doctors will join the health system.

It is also reported that, starting on the night of Friday, March 20, quarantine areas have been established for the provinces of Herrera and Los Santos, with checkpoints in Divisa and Ocú. The same measure has been taken in Guabalá and Viguí, in the province of Chiriquí.

In Soná, the quarantine around the Ezequiel Abadía Hospital has been lifted and the COVID-19 confirmed cases and their direct contacts are in home quarantine.

The Caja de Seguro Social has launched a home delivery service for medicines for patients over the age of 65 with chronic diseases, who must register to be treated by dialing the numbera 199 or 800-0277.

Appealing to the solidarity of the population to maintain the Blood Bank’s supply and to to facilitate donations, facilities are open in the El Dorado area on the second floor of Niko’s Café.

The MINSA communicates that, starting today, it joins the Health Emergency Operations Center (CODES), the Panama Red Cross, an entity that will support the actions undertaken by the “Protégete Panamá” (Protect Panama) Plan.

Data update

We regret to announce that yesterday we recorded two deaths.

For the National Government, each life is important.

Faced with these new deaths, we reiterate the call for cooperation from the citizens; Only with the collaboration of all and complying with the indications, can we contain the progress of the new disease.

As of today, Saturday, March 21, 2020, there are 245 COVID-19 cases in the Republic of Panama and there are three deaths, one male case already computed and two women.

There are 33 hospitalized patients, of which 21 are in the ward (8.6%) and 12 are in the Intensive Care Unit (5%).

And 209 people are in home isolation (85%). 2,473 tests have been carried out, of which 2,228 were negative (90%).

The National Government reiterates that all the actions adopted by decree to mitigate the spread of contagion by the new coronavirus seek the well-being of the entire population and will not hesitate to make them more stringent if the expected mobility restriction is not achieved.

The curfew continues to produce outcomes to be taken seriously: 475 violators detained in the last day, 41 of them minors.

In addition, false calls, emails, messages and information irresponsibly distributed through digital channels raising alarm among the population, will be investigated.

Washing hands, social isolation and following the recommended biosanitary protection measures are still considered the most effective actions to take against the spread of the virus.

All official information regarding the new coronavirus in Panama and the actions taken by the national government are communicated through the official accounts of the Ministry of Health on the main social networks and on its website (www.minsa.gob.pa)

Also available is the 169 hotline number and WhatsApp number 6997-2539.

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