July 14, 2020

Panama tests timid flexibility of social measures against COVID 19



Panama will begin to ease the restrictions imposed this week to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which has caused 210 deaths and 7,523 infections, and will begin by allowing the sale of hardware items at home as of Wednesday, authorities said Tuesday.

The Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, announced at a press conference that from tomorrow the hardware stores will be allowed to sell products with home delivery to customers.

But he clarified that the sale and distribution of construction materials that require the mobilization of many people will not be allowed yet.

The guides with the criteria of the new opening of activities in times of COVID-19, which companies must comply with, will be posted on the Minsa website, Turner said.

The head of Health clarified that the decree that established the prohibition of sale of alcoholic beverages or “Dry Law”, as circulated on social networks, has not been repealed, but assured that during the week “some gradualness in the sale of liquors will be analyzed ”

Panama has been under indefinite national quarantine since March 25, although two weeks before that date, schools, non-essential businesses and industries had already been closed, and crowds were banned.

International flights and the entry of foreigners by any means are also suspended.

THE DATA OF THE DISEASE

In the daily count of data on the progress of the disease, it was reported that 2,506 people are in home isolation, of which 1,056 have been transferred to hotels that temporarily function as hospitals.

There are 366 hospitalized patients, of whom 278 are in the ward and 88 are in intensive care units (ICU) nationwide.

823 patients have recovered after going through laboratory tests, while 3,618 have recovered clinically without having any symptoms and having completed the 14-day quarantine.

The total number of patients who have healed amounts to 4,441.

36,483 tests have been carried out, 77% negative (27,924) and 23% positive (8,559), which include second samples to confirm the spread of the disease.

The tests per million inhabitants total 8,527, with 927 new samples in the last 24 hours.

The director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), Lourdes Moreno, indicated that the largest number of deaths continues to be concentrated in people over 60 years of age, with 152 deaths.

THE INDICATORS TOWARDS THE RETURN TO THE NEW NORMALITY

Dr. Rodrígo De Antonio, a member of the group of experts and scientists that advises Minsa on the subject of the pandemic, pointed out that in Panama, which seeks to lower the rate of contagion per person or RT (transmission ratio), “last week it was above the threshold of 1 “.

De Antonio added that the goal is to achieve suppression, that is, that the contagion rate decreases, for which it is necessary to be below that rate, which depends on what can be done with the effectiveness of the physical distance that is recommends to the population to avoid contagion.

“Currently the latest estimate we have is 0.98,” he said.

The specialist also detailed that among the projections that were made for last May 2 was to have by that date a number of deaths from 240 to 1,224 deaths, as well as between 422 and 2,764 hospitalized patients, from 351 to 987 in the ICU and between 24,000 and 122,000 cases of contagion.

This compared to the scenario of the figures presented on May 2 of 7,090 cases, 285 hospitalized, 89 in the ICU and 197 accumulated deaths.

“The difference that corresponds is not so much to cases avoided, but rather that the goal of reducing the rate of infection was reached, which has prevented the saturation of beds in intensive care units” and the saturation of hospital capacity, he explained. From Antonio.

Turner said the possibility of having deaths beyond 1,224 cases, “was a feeling of extreme concern and sadness of what the health system might experience” in this situation.

This is a goal that has been achieved, and the second will be the gradual return to normality in the country, Turner added.

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