President Laurentino Cortizo met with representatives of the business sector on Wednesday, May 20, to discuss the process of reopening the businesses and industries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The president exchanged information with delegates from the Panama business sector on the current situation of the pandemic. The group heard the Minister of Health, Rosario Turner, and the epidemiologist and advisor to the Ministry of Health (Minsa
), Rodrigo DeAntonio, about the behavior of the coronavirus
, said a statement from the Presidency.
Turner and DeAntonio highlighted that currently, the pandemic registers a reproductive number of cases (Rt) less than 1, except in some regions, such as Chiriquí, Panamá Oeste and San Miguelito.
The process of reopening towards the so-called “new normality” was also discussed and the minister reported that it is calculated that a block of activities will be reopened every 14 days, although that will depend on the Rt being below 1.
The economic reopening plan was divided into six blocks of activities. The first was launched on May 13 and includes retail stores, electronically; spare parts workshops; technical services; artisanal fishing, and aquaculture.
The second block includes construction (halted since March 25), non-metallic mining, industry and churches and parks, but only with 25% of its capacity and keeping a distance of 2 meters between people.
Turner stressed that all companies must prepare to comply with the reopening health protocols, which implies that each location must provide masks to staff, promote frequent hand washing and the use of alcohol gel, and create a health committee, which will be responsible for monitoring that these measures are met and that the care and follow-up of workers with symptoms of the disease are met.
"We agreed on the national priority of saving lives, maintaining and generating jobs", Cortizo said on his Twitter account.
"We are your best allies in this situation, but we also have to save lives", the president told the businessmen.
The president reiterated to the group the support from the government, so that they can maintain jobs and alleviate the economic situation of Panamanians.