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So far, Panama is losing its battle against COVID-19

Cinta Costera, Panama City, June 2020

We have been allowed to move out of the our flats for around 5 days now. The country seemed to have been ready for opening-up gradually. After three long months of one of the strictest confinement in the world, it was such a wonderful and hopeful piece of news.

Yesterday and today, the Panamanian Ministry of Health seems to be preparing us for some bad news. Clearly, the spread of the diseases is not stopping, quite the contrary, and there are fears that the country's health facilities will break.

All signs show that there will be some sort of announcement tonight, reversing back to the restrictions. We will still need to see, how bad it will be, but it seems inevitable.

The problems with Panama, as I see it, is that there is no good solution anymore. The people are desperate, people have no income, and really struggle. There is essentially no support to the poorest. Reintroducing the confinement and closing all the businesses again, without increasing the social protection package is likely to break the people, and is an invitation to the civil unrest. Let's hope that there is a plan in whatever is to come…