Thursday 16th June 2022.

June 16, 2022


The Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) revealed Wednesday, that a new death was reported corresponding to the last 24 hours due to covid-19.In addition, the Minsa clarified that one of a previous day is updated, for a cumulative of total of 8,314 deaths, with a lethality that remains at 0.9%. There were 2,080 new positive cases. 11,133 tests were applied in the country, for a positivity of 18.7%. While the active cases total 21,130, of them 20,853 are in isolation and 277 hospitalized. Those that are in isolation are divided into 20,820 in their homes and 33 in the so-called hospital hotels. Those hospitalized are 243 in a room and 34 in intensive care units.

The next decision that the Government must make in handling the covid-19 disease pandemic is whether to eliminate the mandatory use of the mask in closed or indoor spaces. On the subject, the Minister Counselor for Health, Eyra Ruiz, said that the use of the mask as a preventive measure could be eliminated “at a not-so-distant moment”, depending on specific criteria such as the number of patients in intensive care units (ICU ) and deaths. “It is not the number of cases that stops us, because it can be as if it were a mild respiratory infection, like the flu. It is that there are patients in intensive care, people who get complicated, people who continue to die, ”he said.

The Superior Court of Appeals confirmed on the morning of this Wednesday, the decision of the compliance judge who ordered José Luis Saiz to serve a 47-month prison sentence, revealed the superior prosecutor Anilú Batista. Saiz, who was convicted of money laundering, had an effective collaboration and penalty agreement with the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, validated by a court. However, he did not comply with the payment of the entire assigned fine. In 2017, Saiz had promised to return 750,000 dollars to the Panamanian State and was sentenced to a total of 47 months in prison. He had already paid part of the money. As part of the collaboration agreement, he revealed to the Prosecutor’s Office that he served as an intermediary to receive at least 7 million dollars from Odebrecht. Saiz said he had served as figurehead for Frank De Lima, Minister of Economy and Finance in the government of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

In the last month, the public works ministry (MOP) has intervened in three tenders due to complaints filed by participating companies criticizing the performance of commissioners appointed to review economic proposals. Last Monday, June 13, the MOP minister, Rafael Sabonge, ordered the total annulment of the analysis carried out on the proposals received by the institution in the tender for the rehabilitation of 12.1 kilometers between the Centenario bridge and the bridge located before the community of Gamboa on the banks of the Panama Canal Sabonge’s decision comes after 3 of the participants in the tender, which has a reference price of $11.2 million, expressed their dissatisfaction with the actions of the evaluation commission, which rated the $9.8 million proposal presented by PC Engineering with 95 points, leaving with the best option of being awarded the contract

After a meeting held Tuesday, the cleaning workers who remained on a work stoppage decided to return to work. This was stated by the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre. “We reached some agreements on Tuesday night, giving answers to the workers where it was agreed to lift the strike yesterday Minister Sucre announced in statements to TVN Noticias . Sucre said that many of the points that the workers were requesting were agreed upon, such as salary adjustments, the rapid delivery of equipment and uniforms, as well as compactor trucks.

The director of the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu) , Bernardo Meneses, had no intention of responding in writing to the request for information that, based on Law 6 of 2002 —which dictates rules for transparency in public management—, presented the independent deputy Gabriel Silva this week, to know the amounts and the names of the people awarded scholarships by the entity. “Deputy Silva has the power to go to the institution and review the information,” said Meneses. Silva sent a letter to the superior office of Ifarhu, dated June 6, in which he requests the list with the names of the beneficiaries and the amounts of scholarships and economic aid granted by Ifarhu that exceed $25,000. He asks for the details of the information from the beginning of his management (July 2019) to date.

The Ministry of the Environment (Miambiente) rejected the appeal for reconsideration presented by the developer company LGS Panama Tourism Development to carry out the Amador Maritime Development project. The appeal was filed by the company after Mi Ambiente, after carrying out an evaluation process, rejected the category III environmental impact study for this landfill project on May 13. Environment Minister Milciades Concepción said that the company was called to be notified last week.

At least 23 people have been arrested recently for allegedly integrating a criminal structure dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering. The so-called Operation Fortaleza has been carried out in different points of the provinces of Veraguas, Herrera and Chiriquí. This is an operation carried out by personnel from the Drug Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the National Police, which has included nearly 30 raids. According to the investigations of the Drug Prosecutor’s Office, this criminal group would be dedicated to the reception of illicit substances from Colombia, for their subsequent storage, custody, and security.

The gallon of 95 octane gasoline will increase 53 cents; the 91 octane, 42 cents; and the gallon of diesel will rise 63 cents, as of this Friday, June 17, 2022, according to the prices released by the National Energy Secretariat. In liters, 95-octane gasoline will increase by 14 cents, 91-octane gasoline by 11 cents, and low-sulfur diesel by 16 cents. The prices, which reflect fuel costs in the international market, will be valid from 6:00 am this Friday, June 17, until Friday, July 1, at all fuel stations.

The Federico Guardia Conte water treatment plant in Chilibre will reduce its production by 50% this Saturday. This is due to the interconnection works of the Aguas Claras suction tank to the new module, as part of the expansion project, reported the National Aqueduct and Sewer Institute (Idaan). According to the entity, the project is expected to contribute 15 million gallons per day to the water treatment plant.

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