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25 mars 2020 | 01h33 UTC

Panama: Authorities announce self-isolation measures from March 25 due to COVID-19 /update 5

Panama Alerte de sécurité

Panama implements self-isolation measures from 05:01 (local time) on March 25 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19); further spread of the virus expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 25/3/2020, 12h00 until 24/4/2020, 11h59 (America/Panama). COUNTRY/REGION Panama

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Event

On Tuesday, March 24, Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo announced that the public will need to quarantine and self-isolate themselves starting from 05:01 (local time) on Wednesday, March 25, to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Authorities did not specify how long the curfew measures will remain in place.

The government has ordered all shops across the country to close except for supermarkets, pharmacies, and medical centers, while public gatherings of more than 50 people will be prohibited. Schools remain closed nationwide until April 7 and certain activities, such as sporting events, concerts, and fairs which bring together large crowds of people have also been suspended. Meanwhile, all commercial international flights to and from the country remain suspended as of 23:59 (local time) on Sunday, March 22, and will remain in effect for 30 days. Cargo, humanitarian, and domestic flights will operate as normal depending on the situation.

As of Monday, March 23, authorities have confirmed 345 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with six fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

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 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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