Wednesday 18th August 2021.

August 18, 2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported this Tuesday, August 17, that in the last 24 hours 8 people died due to Covid-19 , so the accumulated number of deaths rises to 6,970. Leonardo Labrador, head of epidemiology at the Minsa, indicated that 656 new cases have been reported in the last hours, after the application of 10,287 tests (positivity 6.2%) The cumulative number of cases is 448,924. Of this number, 431,990 patients have recovered. Active cases amount to 9,964. In home isolation, 9,506 are reported, of which 9,227 are at home and 279 in hotels. The hospitalized number 458 and of them 346 are in ward and 112 in intensive care units.

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, announced this Tuesday, August 17, that in the districts of Remedios (Chiriquí), Kankintú (Ngäbe Buglé region), Chepigana and Cémaco (Darién) and Puerto Obaldia (Guna Yala region) the curfew is lifted. The measure will take effect from next Monday, August 23 , since in those places there are no cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks. In the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Colón, Darién, Coclé, Herrera and Panama Oeste and in the regions of Panama north, Panama metro and Panama east , the previously established measures are maintained.

Panama received on Tuesday, a new shipment of vaccines against Covid-19 from Pfizer to exceed the figure of 1.1 million doses purchased in the month of August. This new batch is 375 thousand 570 doses is to continue with the massive vaccination campaign in different circuits of the country. This month Panama has received three shipments from Pfizer, each with 375 thousand 570 doses, for a total of one million 126 thousand 710 doses.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), Jose Ramón Icaza, warned of the irreversible losses caused to the economy by street closures by groups that demand solutions from the Government. The consequences of these measures have a doubly negative weight when the country tries to recover from the economic crisis that has left the confinement imposed as a result of the pandemic.

An appeal caused the suspension for the second time of the preliminary hearing to the former Ministers of Public Works Federico Suárez and Jaime Ford and nine other people for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement in the design and construction project of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway. This highway project had a cost of 161.8 million dollars and was assigned to the company TransCaribe Trading, SA (TCT). In October 2018, the Discharge Anticorruption Prosecutor forwarded to the Judicial Branch the tax hearing in which it requested a trial for 11 people, among whom are Suárez, Ford and TCT directors David and Daniel Ochy.

The third liquidator judge of criminal cases, Baloisa Marquínez, denied an incident of controversy presented by the defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli to annul the order of investigation, as part of the New Business case . When presenting her arguments, the judge cited article 18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure , which refers to the loyalty and good faith of the parties involved in a process. This legal provision also establishes that the judge will reject any request or act that implies a manifest delay of the parties. This investigation follows the trail of the purchase of Editorial Panamá América SA (Epasa) with supposed public funds. The incident occurred in 2010. The prosecution requested a trial for 25 people, including Martinelli

The 2022 budget hearing process started on the morning of this Tuesday, with the participation of the National Council of Siacap and the National Land Administration Authority (Anati). The meeting took place in the Budget Commission of the National Assembly , led by deputy Raúl Pineda, vice president of the commission.

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