Monday 15th November 2021.

November 15, 2021

Active Covid-19 cases in the last three days have seen an increase. According to the report of this Sunday, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that 1,805 active cases are reported in the last 24 hours. On Saturday 1,756 had been reported, while on Friday there were 1,665. On Thursday there were fewer cases: 1,582. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU) registers a decrease. For this Sunday 21 serious patients are reported. On Thursday, November 11, there were 28, the report highlights. In the last 24 hours, one death is reported, and another from a previous date, for a total of 7,343 accumulated deaths. And 168 new infections are registered. The health authorities applied 4,560 tests and maintains a positivity rate of 3.6%. In home isolation, 1,673 are reported, of which 1,597 are at home and 76 in hotels. The hospitalized number 132.

Despite the fact that throughout the wiretapping case the existence of a crime as serious as the violation of intimacy and personal privacy was revealed – and that there were people convicted – the justice system did not achieve the objective of clarifying what happened. For this reason, “society ended up restless, burdened with doubts and thirsty for answers.” This was expressed in the text of the Opina Chamber of this Sunday, November 14, where the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) refers to the recent decision to acquit former President Ricardo Martinelli for alleged political espionage. The decision, announced on November 9, also “undermined the little or no confidence that citizens have in the justice administration system and its components, the Public Ministry and the Judicial Branch,” the group indicated.

The Second Court of Justice confirmed the decision of the Third Court for Criminal Proceedings that validates the investigation order of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime, against former President Ricardo Martinelli for alleged money laundering in the New case Business. The decision was published in an edict of November 9, 2021 of the court, in charge of Baloisa Marquínez.

The deputy director general of the Public Registry of Panama, Agustín Lara Díaz , was assassinated this Sunday, November 14th. The event occurred while Lara Díaz was participating in a registration process for the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the Los Andes No. 2 sector (San Miguelito).

Transparency and security continue to be the issues that citizens’ are not happy about. This has been made clear in the results of the dialogue of the Bicentennial Pact: Closing Gaps, a document in which 175,992 initiatives or ideas were analyzed and which will be presented in the coming days to the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo. Citizens demand more efficiency from the security forces in matters of crime and drug trafficking, since there is a “citizen dissatisfaction” in relation to the results obtained in the actions to contain delinquency and criminality, in proportion to “the costs and resources invested in the responsible institutions ”.

The rise in prices, high unemployment and a strongly affected demand as a result of the confinement are combining to hinder the incipient recovery of the country’s economy. The National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec) reported that, as of September, the urban consumer price index (CPI) registered an interannual variation of 2.5%. Meanwhile, the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) prepared the latest report on the basic family food basket of 59 products, which shows that it has an average cost of $ 272.67 per month.

As of October 2021, the National Bank of Panama (BNP) presents a total loan portfolio balance in the order of $ 4,921.6 million. 17.2% of the portfolio belongs to the public sector ($ 847.4 million) and 84.8% is from the private sector ($ 4,172.2 million). This was announced by Javier Carrizo Esquivel, general manager of BNP, at an event with journalists held last Friday. Regarding consumer banking –which includes mortgage and personal loans, among others– the BNP shows a growth of $ 286.9 million, when comparing the $ 2,856.1 million obtained as of October 2021, with the $ 2,569.2 million achieved as of September 2020, according to Carrizo Esquivel.

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