MINSA: Press Release #53

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Friday April 17, 2020

Historic day: number of recovered cases exceeds number of deaths due to COVID-19

For the first time since the coronavirus emergency was declared, in the past 24 hours, the number of recovered patients outnumbered new cases. And according to the 24-hour report, 122 recovered patients have been registered in total, while there are 116 deceased, according to Lourdes Moreno, head of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health (MINSA). 

This trend is attributed to the hard work of our health personnel. Minister Rosario Turner and Security Minister Juan Pino reinforced the call to stay at home, and reminded us that this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, we are under total quarantine: nobody can circulate on the streets. 

The Ministry of the Presidency assigned an initial transfer of USD $2.8 million to MINSA to appoint the personnel who will work in the new Panama Solidarity Integrated Hospital, and in the Respiratory unit at the National Institute of Physical Medicine. 

Vice minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, met this Friday with the mayor of Arraiján and the representative of Veracruz, where a shelter for COVID-19 positive patients in western Panama province was set up. It seeks to mitigate the rapid spread of the virus in the area. 

For the second consecutive day, the Plan Protect yourself Panama in Darie province is strengthened. Today an inter-institutional meeting was held with immigrants from the province. They will undergo various examinations and will be transferred to another area with better conditions. 

Epidemiological report

Today, 122 recovered patients are reported and 194 new cases, for a cumulative total of 4,210. 

There are 3,631 people in home isolation, 116 deceased and 341 hospitalized: 247 in the wards and 94 in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Officials thank Cable and Wireless for initiating today, in alliance with MINSA and SERTV, its channel + Móvil COVID-19, a digital platform dedicated exclusively to informing the population of COVID-19 strategies. 

Security Report

Minister Pino reported that 553 people (488 men, 42 women and 23 minors) were retained in the last 24 hours, especially in the capital city, San Miguelito, Arraiján and Colón. He reported that a foreigner was arrested in Bella Vista selling masks from the Santo Tomás Hospital, an act that Minister Turner will investigate. 

About 206 cars were detained, while 24 people were captured in 6 raids and 4 firearms were seized. 

Attention without CSS interruption

The director of the the social security hospital, CSS, Enrique Lau Cortés, stressed that they have not stopped their attention to the public. From March 16 to April 6, 97,356 patients have been treated; 24,081 in emergency rooms; 21,004 with respiratory symptoms and 52,271 with other common symptoms.

He announced that engineers Publio Muñoz and Robert Dunkley presented the CSS with a prototype fan based on a project, used in Spain, which allows ventilation via a mechanism that could be a viable alternative to standard fans.

The Minister of Social Development, Markova Concepción, spokesperson for the Panama Solidarity plan, indicated that until yesterday 419,882 bags of food and 230,572 bonds have been delivered for a total of 650,454 grants.

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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