Lining up for swab tests.
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture Cciap), is pressing the authorities to continue the "timely review" of isolation time for those infected and quarantined for their direct contacts.
According to the union, the guidelines proposed by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) should be adopted. "This is important so that Panama can face the new wave of infections, without impacting, again, the functioning of the daily activities of society," said the Chamber on Sunday, January 16.
In addition to these measures, the organization added, it is "convenient to implement" effective and convenient actions in covid-positive patients. “Both nationals and foreigners must have the right to choose their place of isolation, so that they can be guaranteed fair and dignified treatment to avoid saturating hospital hotels”.
"In this new phase of the pandemic, the number of cases is greater, but the preparation to attend to them is better," added the union.
Defining “close contact”
The Ministry of Health recently issued a resolution which defines the terms of close community contact (family, work, and social), and health environment.
“Close community contact (family, work and social) is defined as contact (close, direct physical or in a closed space), with a confirmed Covid-19 patient, within 2 meters for a period of 15 minutes or more, without a mask or with improper use of it ”, highlights the ministry.
It explained that the 5-day quarantine is for people who were defined as close contact with the positive. It ends with a negative test result on the fifth day.
Isolation with a positive result is 10 days, counted from the first day that symptoms or a positive test appear. "The first day is understood to be the full day after the symptoms appear (in symptomatic patients) and the collection of the sample of the screening test that was positive (in asymptomatic patients)," the ministry said.