Thursday 20th January 2022.

January 20, 2022

In the last 24 hours, 8 people died from Covid-19 , reported the Ministry of Health (Minsa) on Wednesday . In its report, the ministry details that it updates a death from an earlier date and the accumulated number of deceased is 7,554. 10,763 new infections of the respiratory virus are reported, in the last 24 hours they applied 29,685 tests for a positivity of 36.3%. Active cases continue to rise. For this Wednesday they amount to 69,369, of which 68,706 are in home isolation and 663 hospitalized. Those in isolation are divided into 68,183 at home and 523 in the hospital hotels. Those hospitalized are 606 in the wards and 57 in intensive care units.

According to a report from the Expanded Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), coverage of the target population with the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines of 71.6% has been achieved. In Panama since January 7, the vaccine began to be applied to the population between 5 and 11 years of age. For this reason, the target population in the country changed, which previously was from 12 years of age. The immunization process against the new coronavirus began in the country on January 20 and vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca have been used.

The Vice President of the Republic, José Gabriel Carrizo, confirmed this Wednesday, January 19, that he tested positive for Covid-19 and will remain in isolation. On his Twitter account, Carrizo called on citizens to continue wearing masks and complete the vaccination schedule against the virus. Carrizo appeared last night accompanying the president, Laurentino Cortizo, in his message to the country about the agreement reached with Minera Panamá. All those who were accompanying the president had a mask.

The United States Department of State once again included Panama on the list of countries to which it recommends that US citizens not travel due to cases of Covid-19. In a statement from the US government it is specified that the warning is given after a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that have issued a level 4 travel health advisory for Panama due to the increase in cases of the new coronavirus in the country.

There are about six injured after an explosion at the Hermanos Cedeño fireworks, located in the Las Cenizas sector, district of Bella Vista de Guararé, province of Los Santos, this Wednesday. Valentin Pérez, chief of operations of the Los Santos Fire Department, indicated that the call for help was received at 11:30 am and was answered by 10 firefighters, supported by an extinguishing vehicle and two ambulances: one 911 and the other from the Fire Department. He said that there are six injured, five of them were transferred in private vehicles to a hospital center and only one was treated by 911 personnel.

In an operation by the Drug Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the National Aeronaval Service (Senan), six agents of the security entity and an official of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) were apprehended, allegedly linked to a criminal network dedicated to drug trafficking. According to reports, other former Senan officials were also apprehended in the operation.

The Third Liquidator Court for Criminal Cases rejected an appeal filed by Importadora Ricamar, SA, within the process that is being followed for the bribes that the construction company Odebrecht confessed to having paid to Panamanian officials and politicians. This is a controversial incident promoted by Shirley Castañeda, a lawyer for Importadora Ricamar, against diligence No. 10 of September 28, 2020, which ordered the investigation of Alejandro Garuz Adames, who at that time was listed as the legal representative of the company. The prosecution investigated Importadora Ricamar, since it received money from Odebrecht through the company Caribbean Holding Services, Ltd. from Aaron Ronny Mizrachi, brother-in-law of former President Ricardo Martinelli. Martinelli and his two children, as well as Mizrachi, are on the list of defendants. Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares have even accepted having received bribes from Odebrecht, which is why they are currently detained in New York; in May they are to be sentenced.

In the midst of the scandal due to the excessive mobilization expenses charged by mayors and representatives of the country’s corregimiento, the mayor of the Municipality of Panama, José Luis Fábrega , assured yesterday that he is not obliged to support the mobilization expenses ($5,000) that he receives each month. He said that no municipal agreement says that he must support those funds. “That is like the representation expenses of the different ministers… and that I have to present a monthly report on the expenses that I represent.

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