MINSA: Press Release #52

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Thursday April 16, 2020
Panama builds a hospital to combat COVID-19 in less than a month

President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, handed the new Panama Solidario Integrated Hospital in Albrook, over to the health authorities. He toured the facility today with the Minister of Health (MINSA), Rosario Turner; the Minister of Public Works, (MOP), Rafael Sabonge; the counselor minister of health, Eyra Ruiz and the director of the Caja de Seguro Social (CSS), Enrique Lau Cortés.

After 28 days of construction, this work that the President had promised in order to attend to possible patients resulting from the pandemic, was delivered.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and biosecurity systems, this hospital will become an efficient healthcare model with first-rate professionals committed to winning the COVID-19 battle. The hospital has 100 beds, 26 intensive care beds, their respective fans, air conditioning units and a special floor.

During the tour of construction that required an investment of US $6.5 million, Minister Turner announced the signing of a letter of understanding between MINSA and the CSS "to achieve a model of what the Panamanian health system should be."

Today the new COVID-19 test taking “drive through” in Arraiján was opened to reinforce case detection. In Darien, the MINSA reinforced the action plan against COVID-19 with the delivery of 3,000 masks, personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

Minister Luis Francisco Sucre reiterated that next Saturday and Sunday, total quarantine will be maintained. The entire population will have to stay at home.

Public security

Public Security Minister Ivor Pittí said 550 people, 26 minors, were detained in the last 24 hours. Of these 109 are from western Panama and 217 from Panama City and San Miguelito: 60% of non-compliance is concentrated in these two provinces.

Pittí asked the population to be careful with scammers who are promoting the sale of masks, alcohol gel and other hygiene products via the Internet. He also said that there are people who pose as officials asking for donations and scamming some companies.

The deputy director of the CSS, Francisco Bustamante, acknowledged that the health crisis has also affected the entity's collections, reflecting that as of April 2020, these barely amounted to half of what was collected in the same period of last March.

The CSS reiterates that measures have been taken so that more than 80% of the Panamanian population has continuity of medical care with financial benefits, such as pensions, maternity benefits and professional risk compensation.

Panama Solidarity Plan

Carlo Rognoni, deputy minister of MIDA, indicated that 381,368 bags of food and 207,368 bonds have been delivered in the country as of yesterday.

Actions are maintained to comply with the preparation and delivery of bags and bonds, in order to ensure that Panama Solidario reaches the majority of Panamanians.

Epidemiological report

As of today, 98 recovered patients and 265 new cases are reported, bringing the total to 4,016.

227 patients are hospitalized in the wards; 99 in the intensive care unit; 109 deceased. 3,483 people are in home isolation and 784 are in hotels.

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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