This Saturday, March 14 the Ministry of Health (Minsa) informed the panamanian community that the number of actual cases has risen to 43.
There are 37 in quarantine, 5 are hospitalized (two of them in intensive care), 1 deceased.
23 are women and 20 are men; 2 under 20 y/o, 12 between 20-39 y/o, 22 between 40-59 y/o and 7 between 60-79 y/o. No explanation as to why these demographics are different than from what we hear about in other countries.
the most severe symptoms are coughing, fever and runny nose. Also throat pain and difficulty breathing.
Here is the breakdown by location within Panama City:
Panamá Metro with 20, Panamá North with 12, Panamá West with 7 and San Miguelito with 3. By knowing the affected areas the better the containment. No other cases have been identified in Chiriqui or any other part of the interior of the country so far. Some of the infected nationals have been infected by traveling to Italy, Spain, France, the United States and Cuba, and the others by having contacts with these travelers who came from these nations.
For a small country here are some staggering figueres: 820 laboratory surveillance tests have been carried out. 4,535 travelers have been registered, about 3,104 of them were discharged and 1,431 are kept in home follow-up. I must add that the first case was diagnosed four days ago and this administration is moving fast to keep this thing from getting out of control.
Here is more of the strategy:
- Declared a state of national emergency
- Issued decree that regulates activities that generate agglomeration
- It will suspend for 30 days flights to and from countries in Europe and Asia affected by the new coronavirus COVID-19
- To guarantee the health of journalists and government authorities, daily conferences will take place virtually
- Creates the National Coordination of Intensive Care, in charge of Dr. Julio Sandoval.
- It creates a Network of Laboratory Attention Services that will allow testing of coronaviruses in centers, hospitals and polycentric of the Minsa and the Social Security Fund nationwide
- Create home visiting teams to attend to cases of COVID-19
The Panamanian government and MINSA is asking the Panamanian people in Panama City to not travel to the interior of the country this includes not sending their children as well. They are asking to do this out of good will. However, the vice minister of MINSA Mr Francisco Sucre said "Minsa does not want to take drastic measures to bring a sanitary fence to the city, but if we do not obey the instructions of the Minsa and avoid mobilization inland, we are going to be forced to establish a fence in the city and we want to announce it in time ”. What they mean by fence is the establishment of checkpoints on the roads leading in and out of Panama City. The same applies to people going from the interior to the Panama City and returning. Personally I believe they will resort to this as a means to keep the interior safe.
The director of the Social Security Hospitals, Dr Enrique Lau said that the youth is not taking this seriously. They feel invincible and think this will not happen to them. But he is cautioning them that if they do not adhere to hygiene measures and discipline they will transmit the virus to their parents and or grandparents. He was pleading with them in a way, but also been matter of fact.
The Vice Minister of MINSA Mr Sucre explained that “things in Panama must continue, we cannot exceed measures such as closing shops when it is necessary for some to be open. The important thing is not to go to places where we make crowds".
Finally, they reiterated hygiene measures: constant hand washing, not touching your face, cleaning surfaces that we touch frequently, as a preventive measure.
"The most powerful weapon against the coronavirus is hygiene," said Mr.Sucre.