Friday 9th December 2022.

December 9, 2022


The Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that this year the country has registered at least 7,000 cases of dengue and 6,000 of malaria. The Health authorities specify that as of December 5, 2022, 7,649 cases of dengue were confirmed nationwide, of which 6,880 did not show serious signs. In the same way, it is highlighted that 752 cases occurred with worrisome signs, 17 were diagnosed as serious and 4 deaths were registered up until the last report. Among the five regions with the most cases of dengue are the Metropolitan with 1,936 cases, North Panama with 1,382 cases, West Panama with 1,119 cases, Bocas del Toro 853 and San Miguelito with 793 cases. Regarding malaria cases, the Minsa registers 5,710 cases in 2022 and the regions with the most cases are Guna Yala, Darién and East Panama.

The number of patients hospitalized this year in wards and intensive care units (ICU) during the first days of December is higher than that reported last year for the same period. The Epidemiology reports of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) show that the epidemiological week from November 27 to December 3 closed with 164 hospitalized patients, of whom 160 were in the ward and 4 in the ICU.The figure is higher than the number reported last year, when it amounted to 116 hospitalized patients for the same period (98 in the ward and 18 in the ICU). The Minsa authorities assure that the majority of people who are requiring hospitalization both in the ward and in the ICU are not vaccinated, do not have the full vaccination schedule, or suffer from some comorbidity. The epidemiologist and public health specialist, Arturo Rebellón, indicated that one advantage the country has in the face of this sixth wave of covid-19 is the high coverage of people vaccinated with its reinforcement doses. In addition, Rebollón stressed that the health system is much better now than two years ago to adapt to an acceleration of respiratory diseases.

The Municipality of San Miguelito reported this Wednesday, December 7, 2022, on the suspension of the Christmas parade in that district. This, due to the increase in cases of covid-19 . The activity was scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 18, but it was canceled “due to prevention measures”, given the increase in covid-19 cases. The passage of irregular migrants through the Darién jungle registered a significant decrease in the month of November, according to official figures from the National Migration Service. According to data published by the immigration authorities, in November 16,632 people were reported entering the Darién border with Colombia. This represented 43,141 fewer travelers than those registered in October.

The Municipal Council of Panama convened its Housing Commission, to discuss what happened with the Land Management Plan of San Francisco, which was annulled on November 15 by a ruling of the Third Chamber of Administrative Litigation of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ). The officials summoned to said meeting, in addition to the representatives of the corregimiento that make up the commission, were the members of the Planning Board of the Municipality of Panama and Tomás Sosa, head of the Urban Planning Directorate of the Municipality of Panama. The meeting has tentative dates today, Friday, or next Monday, December 12.It was the representative of the  corregimiento of San Francisco, Carlos Pérez Herrera, who in the last session of the Municipal Council of Panama, last Tuesday, requested that the commission be convened. “I ask the General Secretariat [of the Municipal Council] to convene a Housing Commission, but also to instruct the Planning Board and the architect Tomás Sosa. We are in a legal limbo that we must resolve”, pointed out the mayor. According to Pérez Herrera, who is a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, they are currently facing problems with some streets in the corregimiento that were about to change their zoning, but with the annulment of the ordering plan that process came to a standstill. “They call us concerned investors,” he said.Activists and residents of San Francisco view the action taken by the Municipal Council of Panama as a “late action” and believe that the Municipality of Panama did not show interest in intervening before the Court to save the land use plan. Vice Mayor Raisa Banfield (2014-2019) indicated that the Municipal Council of Panama has reacted late and described as “poor” the conduct report issued by that local government as part of the legal process that took place in the Third Chamber. She also said that there is a “conflict of interest” on the part of the director of Urban Planning of the Municipality, Tomás Sosa, since he was a spokesman for the businessmen who opposed the San Francisco land use plan in 2018, when the discussion of this territorial planning instrument took place. “This is very serious. Remember that the first territorial ordering action in our management was on San Francisco, because in this area there was urban chaos and it was also the fastest growing corregimiento, but the balance of coexistence between the residential and the commercial was being affected”, the urban planner concluded.

With the resolution that awarded the works for the rehabilitation of 69.8 kilometers of streets in the province of Colón, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) concluded the bidding program for 27 projects that will be executed under the turnkey modality. After resolving the claims presented during the tender, the MOP awarded the works in the province of Colón to the IRC Constructores consortium, made up of the Itecpa, Retaneq and Concor companies for an amount of 27.7 million dollars. The rehabilitation works include the corregimientos of Escobal, Cristóbal, Cativá, Sabanitas, Buena Vista and Santa Rosa.

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