"A few days ago we informed the country that we had already identified in Panama a family of three people with the Brazilian strain. Yesterday we told them that we had a total of 9 people in whom the strain had been identified, and today we have 9 more people under study", he specified.
However, Sucre clarified that they cannot yet be confirmed as new cases with these variants since they are still being evaluated.
These are cases captured at the airport of people from South America, according to the minister.
"We must wait for the Gorgas to say what variants are, approximately a week. The epidemiological and genomic surveillance system has been strengthened, the tests of runs have been duplicated," he said.
Sucre explained that of the nine, some are Panamanians. "We are waiting and trying to find out if they are part of the community transmission or a cluster. We have a case in Bella Vista, another in Don Bosco, the surveillance and traceability team has been doing investigations to find out who their contacts have been", added.
Preventive measures of Panama
For these cases, Panama established that every person who enters Panama from any country in South America must bring a PCR test or negative antigen with a maximum of 48 hours before arrival.
In addition, when you arrive in the country, a PCR or antigen test must be carried out at your cost, prior to entering the country.
If it is positive, it must be governed according to the Minisa protocol, and if it is negative, the person must comply with a 5-day quarantine at their home or hotel, and on the fifth day of isolation, the Minsa will perform a new test to rule out that they have developed the illness.
This Wednesday the director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute, Juan Miguel Pascale, announced that in Panama there are two strains of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19, and these could be circulating since before the first P1 Sars Cov-2 case reported by the Ministry of Health.