Friday 16th June 2023.

June 15, 2023


The president of the Movimiento Otro Camino (Moca), Ricardo Lombana, and several presidential candidates for free nomination held a meeting on Thursday, with deputies Juan Diego Vásquez and Gabriel Silva, the two main engines of the Vamos coalition .

Deputy Edison Broce also participated in the meeting, who is looking for signatures to be a candidate for mayor of the district of Panama.

The lawyer Ernesto Cedeño, who was at this meeting, says that it brought together “a group of citizens concerned about national events.”

In the photos of the meeting, which took place in a restaurant, the presidential candidates Eduardo Quirós and Francisco Paco Carreira can be seen, as well as the activist and artist Paulette Thomas and the businessman Ricardo Tribaldos.

In a statement released on its Twitter account, Vamos reported that the idea of ​​meeting arose after observing what happened in the primaries that have been held so far: the presidential one of Realizando Metas (RM) and the general one of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

“We see with concern that the honesty, purity and freedom of the vote does not seem to be guaranteed in the last electoral exercises,” says the statement, which was retweeted by Lombana.

“We agree to promote common actions that pursue, among other objectives, the dismantling of the clientelist system and facing corruption as a national problem,” adds the coalition.

Vamos stresses that it is essential to achieve the union of independent Panamanians or registered in political parties that are committed to economic development “and pay off the social debt.”

Two of the eight areas included in the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, which sets out the route to boost activity and attract more visitors, will be affected if the Government approves plans to extract stone and sand in Tierras Altas, Chiriquí province and in waters near Portobelo, in Colon.

This was warned by the National Chamber of Tourism of Panama (Camtur), that if both projects materialize, “the natural heritage, the quality of life of its inhabitants and the country’s tourism jobs would be irreversibly diminished.”

The approval of the two operations contradicts the investment of 100 million dollars that has been made in the country in the last three years, as a result of the loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to improve the tourist infrastructure in the country. In the Highlands sector, 12.6 million dollars will be invested in urban infrastructure.

“In the case of the planned project for Tierras Altas, we do not stop remembering the tragedy and mourning caused by the flooding of the Chiriquí Viejo River, which the present administration faced, and which the delicate ecosystem demands to consider,” says Camtur. This project would impact 102 hectares in the townships of California and Tierras Altas, two of the most affected each time flooding is reported.

Regarding the extraction of sand in Colón, currently, the Ministry of the Environment is evaluating three environmental impact studies, category II , projects that would impact 1,418 hectares that are in front of the Portobelo National Park, in Colón. The first study involves the extraction of underwater sand within a 450-hectare polygon, while the second covers an extension of 484 hectares and the third another 484 hectares.

“Camtur and the unions that make it up have the obligation to ensure the protection of the environment as an essential element for the country’s tourism development,” said the group. For the moment, the Panama Tourism Authority has not ruled on the request to extract stone and sand in two of the main tourist areas of the country.

The credit that was approved to the National Oncology Institute (ION) last Wednesday does not solve the crisis of lack of medicines and medical supplies that this hospital will have during the last quarter of 2023.

On Wednesday the Budget Commission of the National Assembly approved a credit of $3.8 million for the Ministry of Health (Minsa), but that money is to pay pending bills. There is still $8.6 million missing to buy the patients’ medications for the months of October, November and December of this year.

The $3.8 million authorized by the legislative commission comes from a balance in a bank maintained by the ION, corresponding to the 2022 budget and which could not be used because the public acts carried out were not endorsed before the expiration of that fiscal year.

Given the criticism received for the absence of medicines and supplies for the treatment of cancer patients, President Laurentino Cortizo announced on his Twitter account that the ION “will receive the necessary funds.”

“The National Government promotes the National Oncology Network to provide specialized care and treatment to cancer patients,” he said.

However, Cortizo did not detail when and how those resources required by the ION will be granted.

Cortizo, who suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome , receives his treatments with specialists at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas, United States. The last time was last month.

Last week in an interview, Juan Carlos Alcedo, director of the ION, stressed that if these resources are not received, the hospital will face a “crisis of shortages”, particularly of medicines.

A total of 380 thousand 820 doses against influenza are in reserve to meet the great demand of the population in the face of the increase in cases.

This was reported by the Expanded Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), which detailed that during the last weekend in the vaccination days that were carried out in different parts of the country, 30,000 doses of vaccines belonging to the national scheme were administered.

Vaccines are free and are given at health facilities starting at 7:00 am They are applied not only against influenza, but also against other vaccine-preventable diseases.

The health authorities recommend that the population apply their doses against influenza, since so far national statistics report the number of  people killed by AH1N1 among children and adults to be 13.

Meanwhile, the Office of the First Lady reported that this Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17, a vaccination day will be held at Parque Omar from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The rescue teams resumed this Thursday, from 6:00 am, the emergency exercises, on the third day of the disaster drill that takes place in various parts of the country.

Rescue actions in collapsed structures were carried out by the Joint Task Force, with the support and observation of international teams, in two scenarios in the Amador sector.

The action was based on the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and they proceeded to rescue the people trapped in the rubble.

The canine teams from the different security forces and from other countries were also put to the test in a hostile environment, recreating that which would be similar to real life.

During the morning, rescue exercises were carried out, on the Amador Causeway. Similarly, the response to an accident with multiple injuries was simulated, also in Amador.

“This drill is considered very good, because they are never perfect, they are to correct weaknesses and strengths such as humanitarian assistance, remembering that earthquake-type emergencies are dynamic and the response capacity depends on how the country or a team prepares,” Reyes Jiménez stressed, leader of Sinaproc in this simulation at Amador.

On the simulation of an accident, a scenario was created where a bus with passengers from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) had an accident when it was traveling to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake, leaving 30 people injured.

Here the Pre-hospital System of Panama was activated, in the face of multiple victims, reported Vicente Paredes, in charge of the pre-hospital service in the Department of Medical Emergencies in Health of the Minsa. The protocol required to transfer those affected was then followed.

Likewise, an exercise was carried out with a simulated fire and hydrocarbon spill at the plant of the company Concreto Panamá (Argos) after the 7.5 earthquake.

The incident was dealt with by the Joint Task Force and brigade members of the company, which forced the evacuation of the facilities.

The teams also practiced pre-hospital care and a rescue of a person who was trapped.



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