Panama Health and security personnel are prime targets for the coronavirus with a report from the Pan American Health Organization revealing that between March 9 and August at least 5,234 employees have been affected.
3,014 infections were confirmed among personnel working at the Gorgas Memorial Institute and the hospitals of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Social Security Fund (CSS).
These are personnel who work in both administrative and healthcare areas of health facilities and laboratories, or who perform social and health tasks, such as rapid response teams or community traceability.
The document details that the median age of the cases is 55 years and 63.3% of Covid-19 cases in healthcare workers are women.
Before the pandemic, Panama had 6,932 doctors and 6,913 nurses to attend the more than 800 facilities of the Minsa and the CSS;. To these are added the technicians and laboratory workers, among other professionals.
According to reports published by the Ministry of Security 2,130 agents have been affected.
The coordinator of the National Negotiating Medical Commission (Comenenal), Domingo Moreno, says, perhaps that is not the exact number of infected health personnel, since there are many who are not tested. "We have requested that swabs be applied to all doctors and nurses, because it is only done to those who have symptoms," Moreno said.
He estimates that, in the coming months, six out of 10 doctors and nurses will be infected, since many are in the first line of care, either in health centers or in hospitals and polyclinics.
Comenenal has recommended the hiring of at least 700 new doctors and nurses, due to the large number of reported infections and also to provide rest to many specialists -such as pulmonologists and intensivists- who have been working with Covid-19 patients. since the beginning of the pandemic
The pulmonologist Fernando Márquez says that there are only 30 pulmonologists in the country and a good number of them are working up to 16 hours a day.