Since 12 March 2020, Panama has been under a state of emergency, with closed borders, as a result of the measures imposed to contain the virus. Due to the closing of the Costa Rican borders on 16 March, Operation Controlled Flow has been severely affected. Currently, there are 2,480 migrants stranded in the national territory, distributed as follows: in the migrant stations of the province of Darién there are 1,532 in MRS La Peñita, 101 in Bajo Chiquito, and 178 in MRS Lajas Blancas. Furthermore, there are 669 migrants in the province of Chiriquí at MRS Los Planes. Borders continue to be closed until 23 July.
The number of migrants in MRS Los Planes has varied due to some voluntary withdrawals of migrants in recent days. A few of them located directly at the border area. The National Migration Service (NMS) has reported that this population will be transferred to one of the MRS’s in Darién, and the corresponding isolation protocol will be applied, as dictated by the Ministry of Health (MINSA by its Spanish acronym).
As of 2 July, Panama has registered 35,237 confirmed cases, of which 18,125 are active cases; and a total death count of 667. In terms of border provinces, Darién reports a total of 961 cases, and Chiriquí a total of 1,476 positive cases.
As for the MRSs located in Darién, five positive cases were registered during the week at MRS Lajas Blancas and one positive case at MRS La Peñita. Patients with moderate virus disease have been managed under a stay-at-hotel/hospital protocol in Panama City. At the time of writing this report, six COVID-19 positives were reported (one currently in Panama for being moderate), 132 migrants among suspects and 41 recovered in MRS Lajas Blancas. This week there were 2 births at the mother and Child Center of Metetí, and are reported as stable.
The NMS reported the death of a 2 year old child due to respiratory complications at MRS Los Planes de Gualaca in Chiriquí, on Friday 26 June, who was part of migrant population at the MRS. The child was hospitalized due to fever. 291 tests were applied, and 100% resulted negative.
Two people continue to require specialized health care, and declare that they do not have the economic resources to access medical services. The adults and children with leishmaniasis continue under medical treatment. A minor, treated at Obaldía Hospital, was released.