Panamanian authorities will replace the movement restrictions in Panama and Panama Oeste provinces with new curfew restrictions from Monday, August 24, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. On weekdays, the curfew will be in effect from 19:00 until 05:00 (local time) while the all-day Sunday curfew restrictions will also remain in place starting from 19:00 on Saturdays until 05:00 on Mondays. Stricter quarantine restrictions remain in place in the provinces of Colón, Chiriquí, and Bocas del Toro despite the easing of restrictions in other parts of the country. Additionally, unless individuals fall under one of the quarantine exemptions, gender movement restrictions are still in place and women are permitted to leave their residence on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while men are permitted to leave their residence on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Panama's civil aviation authority announced that they have extended the suspension of international commercial flights for another 30 days from Saturday, August 22, due to the rise in the number COVID-19 cases in the country. The suspension was originally due to expire on Saturday.
Authorities further reopened its economy in areas of Los Santos, Herrera, and Coclé from July 27 as the country gradually lifts restrictions imposed due to COVID-19. Car dealerships, private construction businesses, and companies providing administrative or professional services have been allowed to resume operations.
As of Friday, August 21, there have been 84,392 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US with 1859 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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