The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama ( CCIAP ) described the socioeconomic situation in the country as alarming , and considers that this crisis exceeds the health crisis. Because of this, the union called on the authorities to stop and the "incoherent restrictions" implemented by COVID-19.
The union compared the health situation in the country with the socioeconomic situation, based on the report to the nation by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo. “The hospitals are not saturated. According to the report, the installed hospital capacity went from 175 to 698 beds in the ICU and similar numbers are observed in the UCRE, what is appropriate is to reallocate these resources to the areas most affected by the virus,” CCIAP specified.
They added that despite the fact that the rate of vaccination "calls for more teaching and an openness to everyone who can and wants to be vaccinated," the percentage of immunization of the population is increasing and acts in favor of public health.
For the CCIAP, mobility restrictions such as curfews and quarantine are "incoherent." “The socioeconomic situation presents an alarming picture. Unemployment has increased from 7% to 18%, the number of closed businesses, vacant hotels, empty or abandoned premises and homes, and individuals in the informal sector is devastating ”.
To this is added domestic violence, which is becoming more and more frequent news.
"For all the above, it is incomprehensible that the Ministry of Health insists on repeating the formulas that have plunged the country into this debacle," says the CCIAP.
Another measure that the union questioned was the obstruction of the entry of tourists through the Tocumen airport, and the restrictions on internal mobility, which "not only constitute a disrespect for individual rights and freedoms, but experts epidemiologists consider that quarantines result in agglomerations due to mobility in fewer days, which may rather increase the risk of contagion.”
By virtue of the foregoing, the CCIAP asks that the decisions taken to face the pandemic do not fall solely on the Minsa, but that they involve all related ministries.
"We demand that the Executive Branch respect the rights and freedoms of citizens and comprehensive actions that allow small, medium and large companies to face this situation," they concluded.