President of Panama announces arrival of one million doses of vaccines against Covid-19

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo announced the arrival of a million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 during July, which would allow to expand immunization and accelerate the economic reactivation of the country, which decreased almost 18% in 2020 hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have authorized the purchase of more than 9 million doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines covering the national population”, Cortizo said when offering the management report of his second year of government in the National Assembly.

The president explained that the vaccination program is "the most important public policy for economic recovery.", since it will allow to achieve the so-called herd immunity, and continue with the reopening of the country with greater security.

He added that Panama has a sufficient quantity of “safe” vaccines, and effective ”to immunize the population over 16 years.

The Central American country with 4.2 million inhabitants began to vaccinate in January, since then it has supplied around 1.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer pharmaceutical companies, and AstraZeneca, Cortizo recalled.

In total he has received little more than 1.8 million doses, mostly from Pfizer, which is the main supplier of vaccines in the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

Cortizo assured that the pandemic has been “a monumental test” for the country, However, he predicted that if biosafety measures are maintained, and the vaccines arrive according to the program "we can celebrate the new year, God willing, no need to wear masks in open spaces”.

In the last weeks, Panama registered an increase in infections despite all restrictions on mobility, even make the use of a mask and face shield mandatory, attributed in part to the development of unauthorized mass parties and gatherings.

Until Thursday he accumulated 404 contagions thousand Covid-19, of which some 6,500 have passed away, according to official figures.

In the middle of that panorama, the government has been questioned not only for its approach to the pandemic, but also on issues such as corruption, decline in economic growth, rising unemployment, and the lack of a reactivation plan for the country, according to analysts.

Economic reactivation

Cortizo explained that there is a reactivation plan based on five main pillars, including the safe vaccination strategy, effective and well planned. "Without a vaccine there can be no reactivation", Indian.

The strategy also includes support for small, medium and micro enterprises, the reactivation of public infrastructure projects, preserve the capacity of the financial sector through moratorium measures and bank flexibility, and attract foreign direct investment.

He stressed that the country has begun to show levels of recovery, an achievement considered by international organizations that project growth between 8 Y 12% in 2021, depending on the source, in line with the 9% planned by the government. "Without economic growth, there is no job creation", he claimed.

The investment plan of the Cortizo administration includes projects for 12 billion dollars that includes the construction of the line 3 of the subway that will connect the capital with the west.