MINSA: Press Release #41

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Sunday, April 5th, 2020

In order to continue reinforcing the Protégete Panamá (Protect Yourself Panama) Plan, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) distributed, 20 thousand gallons of water in the community of Mocambo, in the metropolitan area today. The distribution of drinking water will be carried out through tank trucks every three days to various sectors in the capital: northern, eastern and western Panama, and the province of Veraguas, where water supply is irregular.

The MINSA, with the Ministry of Government, already established protocols in the country's prisons for possible COVID-19 cases. Therefore tests have been carried out on prisoners with respiratory symptoms, achieving the detection of two positive cases in a single module of the Nueva Esperanza prison in Colón.

There, the MINSA’s National Department of Integral Attention to the Population delivered 2,000 masks and the necessary actions have been taken in order to detect contacts and reinforce the protocols established for this type of situation.

In the case of Minera Panamá, the Ministry of Commerce, in conjunction with MINSA, MITRADEL and the workers, have developed actions to mitigate COVID-19 at the mining company's facilities. An epidemiological protocol was developed since March 24, which included quarantine. But despite these efforts, the first death occurred. Therefore, through the inter-institutional coordination led by MINSA, a team was transferred to the mining company to reassess the health situation and take the appropriate measures.

Absolute quarantine

A total of 689 people were detained in the last several hours for violating the decree ordering absolute quarantine. Of the detainees, 641 are adults and 48 are minors. The regions with the highest number of failures to comply with the measure were: San Miguelito, western Panamá, central Panamá and Colón.

The police sanctioned 102 taxi drivers who violated the provision that regulates the circulation of selective transport. Central Panama, Western Panama and Chiriquí were the places where these breaches were detected most often.

Panama Solidarity Plan will reach 1.3 million families

The Panama Solidarity Plan consists of relief for people affected by the global pandemic through the delivery of food bags and vouchers. A plan for delivering vouchers using the barcode on personal identity cards is in the testing phase.

Food bags will be distributed in rural Panama and the indigenous comarcas. A large bag of food will be delivered to families living in the regions every month, while in the comarcas, it will be distributed every 15 days.

The solidarity bonds will be 80 balboas, distributed in four bonds of 20 balboas each. The bonuses will go to families who have lost their jobs or workers in the informal sector.

It was reported that people who provide aid as part of the Panama Solidarity Plan are prohibited from wearing flags, logos or badges representing any political party or elected authorities.

"This is a solidarity plan for human relief and the only flag is that of Panama, there is no other," warned the Minister of Social Development.

Epidemiological report

Today, 187 new cases have been registered for a total of 1,988. There are 1,600 patients in isolation (331 in hotels) and 78 in intensive care, 54 deceased and 13 recovered.

The National Government is managing the acquisition of 600 ventilators, beds and vital sign monitors for intensive care.

In regard to the percentage of positive test results, which is greater than the number of cases we have: for 2 days the MINSA, as established by the WHO/PAHO protocol, is testing people who are in the final phase of the infection, to detect people who have recovered. Some patients continue to test positive, so more positive tests are recorded than the number of patients we have.

All of the official information regarding the novel coronavirus in Panama and the actions that the national government has taken are communicated on MINSA social media accounts and on the web pages (www.minsa.gob.pa and https://yomeinformopma.org/ ). They are also available on our hotline by dialing 169 or WhatsApp number 6997-2539.

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