Friday 17th December 2021.

December 17, 2021

The latest epidemiological report from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) , Thursday, reveals that in the last 24 hours new infections, deaths and active cases of Covid-19 increased. 406 new cases of Covid-19 were counted (20 more than yesterday), which increases the accumulated total to 482,230. In addition, three deaths were reported for a total accumulated of 7,397 deaths and a fatality of 1.5%. To find the new infections, 8,943 tests were carried out for a positivity of 4.5%, the report adds. It is also reported that the total number of active cases is 3,694 (84 more than this Wednesday), which are distributed as follows: 3,581 in home isolation and 113 hospitalized. Those who are in home isolation are divided into 3,471 at home and 110 in hospital hotels. There are 98 patients hospitalized in the wards and 15 in the intensive care unit.

The Ministry of Health resumed this Thursday, the vaccination process for the application of first and second doses as well as booster doses in Albrook Mall. Carla García, governor of the province of Panama, indicated that the general population, regardless of the place of residence, can go to the vaccination center located in Albrook Mall on the first floor, Kangaroo Hall, at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm García explained that this week they will be taking care of this Thursday, December 16 and Friday, December 17, while in the next two weeks they will be vaccinating from Monday to Wednesday at the same time. She reiterated that those people who have lost their vaccination card will be able to register with the team assigned by the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) so that they can process a new one with all their data.

The magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) reported this Thursday, that they presented before the Supreme Court of Justice two lawsuits of unconstitutionality against the articles referring to parity and public financing of Law 247 of 2021, which amended the Electoral Code . The TE explained that the first lawsuit is related to the “unequal” distribution of pre-electoral public funding between free-standing candidates and political parties.

The 15 dissident deputies from Cambio Democrático (CD) lost another battle. The party’s Court of Honor and Discipline rejected the appeals filed by the deputies against members of that body as inadmissible. The group of deputies had challenged four members of the Court of Honor. Meanwhile, through a statement, the CD party announced that the expulsion process of the 15 deputies is progressing. This week they managed to notify them via email. The party’s prosecutor, Raúl Andrade, requested the expulsion of the group and the revocation of the mandate of the party chief and secretary general, Yanibel Ábrego.

The Superior Court of Appeals of the First Judicial District confirmed this Thursday, the precautionary measure of periodic notification and impediment to leave the country to Celine Gazal de Esses for the alleged commission of the crime against public health, after carrying out a clandestine vaccination day against Covid-19 . Judges Carlos Rivas, Gladys Moreno and María Vigil confirmed the decision of the guarantee judge, Dania García, last week, in the investigation carried out by the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. The magistrates also upheld Judge García’s decision not to apply precautionary measures to Denisse Vega de Murzi for having collaborated with the investigation in the case of the vaccination session in a building in Coco del Mar.

The country ended the year with a decline according to the measurement of the consumer confidence index that was carried out last November. The indicator tables that are measured to obtain the index decreased compared to the data of last September. The markers related to unemployment and the ability to save closed below 100 points, which is the measure that marks the difference between trust and distrust according to the methodology used by The Marketing Group, a consultancy that performs the measurement at the request of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap).

The National Minimum Wage Commission integrated in a tripartite manner by representatives of the business sector, workers and the Government concluded without an agreement to establish an adjustment in the minimum wage after several weeks of meetings. This will force the Executive to decide whether or not to approve an increase, as happened two years ago. After concluding the last meeting, the workers remained in their position that an increase of 20.76% is required to the minimum wage adjusted by the Executive in 2019 and that it was an average $ 575.00. For its part, the business sector decided not to present a proposal and instead defended the considerations for which an increase in the minimum wage is not viable at this time.

Former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, investigated in Spain for his possible connection to a corruption and money laundering scheme involving the Spanish construction company FCC, is summoned by the National Court to render an investigatory statement. The summons occurs days after the former president affirmed in statements to a foreign media that he had already been dissociated from the case. The National Court ordered in April this year to have Martinelli under investigation within the process that investigates crimes of corruption in international transactions and money laundering “committed at least partially in Spain.” Former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal was summoned by the Spanish National Court to make a statement today, Friday. Given that Martinelli does not reside in Madrid and that he does not want or cannot appear in person, the magistrate has ordered that he give a statement by videoconference. The anticorruption prosecutor María Teresa Gálvez – in charge of this case – will be responsible for informing the former Panamanian president of the incriminating acts that have arisen from the investigations, given their possible connection with the corruption scheme set up by FCC during his government (2009- 2014) and the alleged payment of commissions to “your manager or intermediary” Mauricio Cort. It is known that at least one property valued at more than 4 million euros and located in one of the most luxurious neighborhoods of Madrid, was acquired with funds, presumably from accounts in Switzerland and Andorra, fed with illicit funds.

The Panamanian Football Federation (Fepafut) reported on the afternoon of this Thursday, that the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) confirmed the fine of $ 54,316. According to Fepafut, the international body also ratified its sanction to the Panama National Soccer Team for playing a game without an audience in the stadium.

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