Monday 7th March 2022.

March 7, 2022



The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) for this Sunday, March 6, detailed that three new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19. With these three new deaths reported this Sunday in Panama, there is a cumulative total of 8,114 deaths and a lethality of 1.1%. In the country, according to the Minsa, there are 81 new positive cases. 1,731 tests were applied to detect the newly infected, for a positivity of 4.7%. Active cases total 3,308, of which 3,159 people are in isolation and 149 are hospitalized. There are 3,126 in isolation and 33 in the so-called hospital hotels. While of the 149 hospitalized, a total of 124 are in the wards and 25 in the intensive care units.

The Ministries of Health (Minsa) and Education (Meduca) reiterated this Sunday that vaccination against Covid-19 is voluntary and that it is not conditional on any benefit provided by the government. “We reiterate to the population that vaccination against Covid-19 at the national level is voluntary and is not considered a mandatory requirement for returning to classes,” the Minsa highlighted on its Twitter account. The Minister of Education, Maruja Gorday de Villalobos , stated that about 80% of the student population over 12 years of age is vaccinated against the new coronavirus. Of the immunized teaching staff, the figure exceeds 95%.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) highlighted that the return to classes in person represents a new opportunity to face the urgent challenge of achieving quality education.  As we mentioned the 2022 school term begins in person, after two years that the teaching-learning process was interupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In its weekly letter, the business association states that with this return to the classroom, one cannot lose sight of the fact that this step also returns the country to the educational reality that existed before the pandemic, when students did not assimilate the expected knowledge, which was later reflected in the international tests. “The foregoing leads us to remember that, with the return to the classroom, we will have to face that other challenge that cannot be postponed: quality education. For nearly four decades, we have dragged this debt, which, surely, the pandemic deepened”, raised the Cciap.

Looking ahead to the start of the school year, the country continues to report a trend towards a decrease in Covid-19 cases and the epidemiological week that ended last week was no exception. Statistical reports from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) detail that this epidemiological week (February 27 to March 5) there were 2,582 new cases and 38 deaths, which represents an average of 369 cases and 5.4 deaths per day.

Francisco Bustamante, deputy director of the Social Security Fund (CSS) up until February 23, spoke of the imperative need for a true national pact to solve the crisis in the pension system, bearing in mind that “it will be up to all of us to put the hand in pocket.”“The so-called solidarity IVM is unsustainable. The economy can grow at 20%. You can double the worker-employer quota. You can increase the retirement age to 80 years. Those measures alone are useless. The reason: it is a closed system. No new contributors enter and every year there are more retirees, ”he said

The Third Liquidator Court for Criminal Cases will hold a preliminary hearing on Monday for 42 people investigated for alleged money laundering in the so-called Lava Jato case. The trial was initially scheduled for June 1, 2021, but Judge Baloisa Marquínez suspended it and set a new date due to the absence of four lawyers. On that occasion, the judge fined the lawyers who did not appear with $100 fines and for this time appointed ex officio public defenders, with the purpose of assisting the accused in the event that one of the regular lawyers does not appear. . The investigation began in 2014, based on reports linking the now defunct firm Mossack Fonseca with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering, in relation to the so-called Lava Jato operation deployed in Brazil.

The Third Criminal Court Liquidator issued an acquittal verdict in favor of Manuel Antonio Domínguez Walker , Magalys Esther Cuevas, Manuel Rivas Cruz and José Víctor Arnaes, accused of the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering, and declared the criminal action prescribed on the charge of conspiracy to commit a crime. The sentence is related to the Águila operation –carried out in 2010–, and its notification was produced through edict No 196, posted in the Third Liquidator Court on March 4 at 3:00 p.m.

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