Panama will reopen new sectors such as retail trade and construction projects paralyzed by the coronavirus crisis

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Panama authorized the reopening as of next week of a series of public and private construction projects, as well as retail stores, car sale, and beauty salons and barber shops that remained closed for several months as a result of the health emergency caused by the coronavirus in the country.

The decision came after the incidence of coronavirus infections fell and the capacity of the health infrastructure was strengthened to meet a greater demand for services, said in virtual press conference, the Minister of Health, Luis Sucre.

Panama is the country with the highest number of accumulated infections in Central America with a total of 78,446 cases, Y 1,722 deaths, according to the latest epidemiological report from the Ministry of Health as of Thursday 13 of August.

However, the Health authorities confirmed that the speed of infections has decreased and that the effective reproductive number of cases fell to 1.07 in the last week, close to the ideal number of 1.

While new sectors will reopen, Sucre said that for the moment, the measures to restrict mobilization will be maintained, including nationwide curfew, as well as departures by hours and on specific days for men and women

Sectors in detail

The government said that the reopening of the retail trade will be electronically for delivery by "delivery" or to withdraw in the establishment, since the entrance of clients to the premises will continue to be prohibited.

In the case of barbershops and beauty salons, some 2,572 companies that may reopen to attend by appointment and even with a 50% of the establishment's capacity, Car dealership agencies are also authorized to operate.

Sucre further explained that some 164 Non-governmental organizations (ONG’s) who employ 2,833 collaborators can also be reactivated.

The government also authorized the reopening of dozens of public and private construction projects that present significant progress throughout the country, including the fourth bridge over the Canal, the expansion of the Tocumen International Airport and the Amador Convention Center.

The government announced that it is analyzing the opening of other economic activities that will depend on various factors such as the strengthening of the health system with the expansion of hospital capacity, health personnel, increased tests to detect positive cases of Covid-19, and the extension of traceability.