Wednesday 18th May 2022.

May 18, 2022


The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported this Tuesday, May 17, that in the last 24 hours 4 people died from covid-19 . According to the report issued by the Department of Epidemiology, the total number of deaths from this respiratory virus amounts to 8,210. In the last 24 hours, they applied 17,618 tests that yielded 3,910 new positive cases throughout the country, which translates into a positivity of 22.1%. The corregimientos of Rufina Alfaro, Juan Díaz, Ancón, San Francisco and Ocú lead the statistics for this Tuesday with the most new cases detected. To date, Panama has 814,152 accumulated cases of covid-19 and 780,312 people recovered. Meanwhile, the active cases total 25,630, of which 25,406 are in home isolation and 224 hospitalized. Those in isolation are divided into 25,346 at home and 60 in the hospital hotels. Those hospitalized are 189 in the ward and 35 in intensive care units.

The Coalition for the Unity of Colón (Cuco) is in its ninth day of general strike, awaiting the government’s response to their requests, and announced this Tuesday that they will not go to the Presidency of the Republic, to meet with President Laurentino Cortizo . On Tuesday, from early in the morning, the teachers’ unions and members of other groups gathered in the Cuatro Altos sector to continue protesting against the surveillance of the crowd control units that did not allow the closure of the roads. Edgardo Voitier , leader of Cuco, reported that they will not participate in the meeting called by the president for 3:00 pm this Tuesday, May 17, at the Presidency of the Republic. Voitier said that they learned that community leaders and leaders who are not part of this group and who have not been in this fight have been summoned, and that they want to take advantage of the situation. “The problems belong to Colón and we are not going to lend ourselves to the same thing happening as in the meeting at the Abel Bravo school, which included people who had nothing to do with Cuco,” he said.

A group of university students clashed this Tuesday afternoon, with members of the National Police Crowd Control Unit, after they went out to protest the increase in the basic food basket and fuel prices. Due to this, the Transístmica road was closed around noon, which affected vehicular traffic in the area. The Manuel Espinosa Batista road was also blocked

The Compliance Judge, Héctor Zarzavilla , ordered to issue official notices to the Comptroller General of the Republic so that the head of said entity, Gerardo Solís , makes the respective endorsements of two payments to Odebrecht from the Panama Metro ($5.6 million) and the Tocumen International Airport ($2.3 million) and thus the State will receive this money as part of the payment of the $220 million fine that the construction company has, as part of an agreement with the Public Ministry. The decision was communicated by Zarzavilla in a hearing held this Tuesday, at the request of the Public Ministry, given that Odebrecht had not complied with the payment of the agreed fees in 2017. Odebrecht’s lawyer, did not discuss the issue of money amounts that are awaiting approval from the Comptroller’s Office. However, he focused his concern on the payments that the State has pending, especially for the Panama Metro, which Odebrecht requires to pay subcontractors and provide maintenance to lines 1 and 2.

The Court of Honor and Discipline of Cambio Democrático (CD) set for May 25, 26 and 27 oral hearings for 15 deputies considered dissidents, who face a process of expulsion and revocation of mandate.

The Minister of the Environment, Milciades Concepción, announced on Tuesday the rejection of the study of the category III environmental impact study of the Greenfield Mining project or known as the old Remance mine, in San Francisco, Veraguas. Concepción communicated the rejection of the mining project to the local authorities during a courtesy room offered by the Provincial Council of the province of Veraguas he based his decision on the “recommendations” made by the ministry’s technical evaluators. According to the minister, all the evaluations of this study were carried out, according to the environmental norms of the country and he clarified that in “strict right” the Ministry of the Environment made the decision to reject it.

The banking regulator views the so-called “Crypto” law with some misgivings, approved in the third debate in the National Assembly and awaiting the sanction or veto of the Executive. The Superintendent of Banks of Panama, Amauri Castillo, clarified that although they are in favor of modernization to incorporate innovation and new payment systems, he considers that the law has elements that may be detrimental to the evaluation of Panama and the effort made to get out of the Gafi gray list. He explained that there should be a specific law for digital means of payment and another that deals with the issue of crypto assets. He also stated that it is necessary to carry out an analysis of the risks inherent in avoiding money laundering through the crypto market, before applying this system in the country. He added that the law proposes that crypto assets be used as means of payment, but a sectoral analysis of the risks has not been made in Panama. He argued that the volatility and instability of virtual assets also generates great concern to guarantee the health and stability of the financial system. “We have to analyze the risk of the entire issue of money laundering at a time when the country is trying to comply with an action plan to get out of a discriminatory list,” he insisted. He argued that the law does not contemplate the safeguards that must exist to guarantee users’ money and investments in cryptocurrencies.

The administration of the Tocumen International Airport reported this Tuesday that the air terminal mobilized 1.2 million travelers in the month of April. According to data from the entity, a flow of 1,243,475 passengers was registered in April, a figure that reflected 787,211 more travelers compared to the same period in 2021. The Department of Statistics of Tocumen SA, registered in April direct connections to 78 destinations, through 20 airlines. Likewise, it is highlighted that users from South America led the movement of passengers through the terminal with 46%. Travelers from North America followed with 29%, from the Caribbean 10%, from Central America 10% and from Europe 5%.

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