Wednesday 20th April 2022.

April 20, 2022


The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported this Tuesday, April 19, that 479 new Covid-19 infections were reported in the last 24 hours, 7,176 tests were applied for a positivity of 6.7%. No deaths from the respiratory virus have been recorded in the last 24 hours. A cumulative of 8,179 deaths from coronavirus is maintained. There are currently 2,519 active cases in the country, divided into 2,441 in home isolation and 78 hospitalized. Those in isolation: 2,422 are at home and 19 in the hospital hotels. Those hospitalized are 68 in the Wards and 10 in the intensive care units.

Antony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretaries of State and National Security of the United States, respectively, were received this Tuesday, by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, prior to their participation in a ministerial meeting on irregular migration in the region. Mayorkas arrived in Panama Monday, but Blinken landed this yesterday Tuesday. The Secretary of State began the day at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where around 8:00 am he boarded the plane that would bring him to Panama. He landed on the Panama Pacifico runway at 12:20 pm, where the head of the United States embassy in the country, Stewart Tuttle, and Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Gordon were waiting for him. From the airport, Blinken went straight to the Palacio de las Garzas, in San Felipe. The State Department announced that Blinken will meet with multilateral development banks, international financial institutions and NGOs to discuss economic recovery, migration, refugee protection, anti-corruption efforts and support for civil society. Similarly, the State Department recalled that Panama continues to be a highly valued partner of the United States.

The journalistic unions and the media are working on the drafting of a bill to decriminalize the crimes of slander and insult and incorporate the concept of actual malice into the legislation. At its half-year meeting, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) conveyed the sector’s concern because in Panama slander and insult continue to be penalized; There are no limits on the amounts for civil lawsuits and precautionary measures for alleged moral damages, and the seizure of assets or goods owned by the media and users of social networks affect their operation or generate self-censorship. Precisely to promote changes in the legislation, the unions have already held meetings with the attorneys of the Nation and the Administration, Javier Caraballo and Rigoberto González, respectively, and with the magistrates María Eugenia López Arias, Carlos Vásquez and Olmedo Arrocha, who make up the board of directors of the Supreme Court of Justice.

The Korean consortium HPH Joint Venture , which is building line 3 of the metro, will also design the tunnel that will allow the monorail to cross under the Panama Canal. In August 2021, the design project had been awarded to another group of companies, which ultimately did not meet the requirements demanded by the Government.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Superintendency of Non-Financial Subjects launched the unique and private registry of final beneficiaries, a tool in which resident agents must upload information about the natural persons who control the legal structures registered in Panama. The registry is launched more than two years after the enactment of Law 129 of 2019, approved to create the tool, a rule that was later modified by Law 254 of 2021. This is one of Panama’s bets to get out of different lists that point to the country for deficiencies in the fight against money laundering and for the lack of cooperation in the exchange of tax information.

Leaders of opposition political parties shared a table again this Tuesday, in a restaurant in the capital. This is the second meeting they have held at a time when groups of independents are beginning to organize ahead of the 2024 general elections. Present at the meeting were José Blandón , president of the Panameñista Party ; Rómulo Roux , president of Cambio Democrático (CD) ; José Alberto Álvarez, president of the Social Independent Alternative Party (PIAS); and Daniel Brea, president of the Popular Party. Blandón explained that for the time being the topic of possible political alliances was excluded from the agenda “because it is still premature.” The idea of ​​this meeting, he said, is to coordinate with the opposition the presentation of proposals for the government to execute. “The country wants the opposition to make a real opposition, to monitor and propose,” he said.

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