Planning for Panama’s “new normal”

Deficient sidewalks

 
2,085Views 7Comments Posted 01/05/2020

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) projects that if the trend of COVID-19 cases continues to drop, the quarantine will gradually begin to be lifted and talks are underway on hot to deal with the new normal.

How to maintain social distancing  on Panama’s notoriously deficient, narrow or non- existent sidewalks  and public transport are  major challenges says a TVN report

The cities that are beginning to emerge from confinement know that  they must be restructured so that people can move keeping their distances and avoiding more infections.

In Panama cities  some experts argue that it is time to think about the changes and sidewalks like existing ones cannot continue to be the norm.

Architect David Tapia says that keeping the required  distances will not be possible in Panama, because the sidewalks are small.

Luis Campana, Manager of MiBus, says that when company parking lots are reopened, employees should be encouraged not to travel at peak times.

The images of full buses will be unthinkable. The metro buses will have to operate as now, at 30% of their capacity. The same will happen on  the dozens of Panama West and Metro routes.

What can be done so that the system does not collapse if more cars are on the road?

Exclusive lanes are crucial for the evolution of the Metrobus system, says Tapia.

The MiBus Manager considers a strategy that is being experimented in other countries and that this measure could be applied.

Another debate centers on schools. Education specialist, Nivia Rossana Castrellón, says that the return is going to start with a process of semi-face-to-face classes because in Panama there are no classrooms designed for the distances that students need.

Victoria Tello, Technical Teaching Assistant Director of the Ministry of Education (Meduca) points out that it is in a process of

preparation for when the return is enabled.

For the experts, all these discussions must begin today, and from the government, prepare for a future that is just around the corner.



Comments 7

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3 months ago
user
Rick

Captain the socialist. Sara the communist. and west valery the witch promoter. WOW!!!! what a bunch of freaks!!! I am suprised the Panamanian government does not expel them. Actually I am not surprised.

4 months ago
user
west valary

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4 months ago
user
Captain

You guys have a very myopic view of the world. It’s not just Panama Joe that has this stay home or lockdown as you call it. You have to quarantine us all because there is no way without testing the whole populace to discover who is carrying the virus and who isn’t. You obviously haven’t read up on this as in the past it was not just the sick that got quarantined. The yellow flag on ships is there to indicate that all on board seek medical clearance before entering port whilst all await in the quarantine anchorage. I don’t know why you chase the current government for sensibly following what most every other country in the world is doing. It’s false to say only infirm people get the virus and die. Many young healthy adults and some children have also died. Good luck in finding a safe spot overseas ....maybe New York ? Happy to see you go but suspect like George you are probably going to stay.

4 months ago
user
Sara

When government controls the means of production all the problems that Jbbrown and Joe seem to lament disappear. In Panama the entitled own the land and the vast majority of people are trapped in poverty in city slums. This inequity can be solved by government ownership of all property and the people trapped in Poverty can then reside on the clean land with clean air and water. At night there are entire building dark here in the city, empty building that should be full of Panamanian families. These buildings should be government owned and the people who have suffered from poverty for generations due to the wicked capitalists should occupy them. these changes are coming. The majority rules and in Panama the poor are the majority!! God bless you Presidente Cortizo you will be our inspiration and our salvation!!

4 months ago
user
Joe

The same helpless actings combined with ridicioulus lockdowns show the no future of Panama. A corrupt administration ( the President and his gang) is obviously paid by the WHO to make tests on Panama people how they react on tryanny "laws" and what they do against. Next is to test an unprooven vaccine on Panama people to see if they die or not. They spray chlorine on visitors of the Albrook Mall which is against the constitution they lock people up in small appartements all is unlawful. And they fine people for unlawful behavior and have no right to create unlawful laws. This is Dictatorship here in Panama. The new "normal" will next change the constitution and Cortizo will be life long Dictator. There is no "side walk" problem. The upcoming problems are much more critical for living in Panama. By the way my pockets were filled to invest in parts of Panama building tourist facilities ( with Panamanian workers) and i intended to settle down in a house close to Panama City. I cancelt the contract and yesterday i send back my permanent resident card to Mr. Cortizo personal. Have fun Panama you sleep well.

4 months ago
user
Jbbrown

So how many new cases are needed before a new lockdown begins again? This is not a quarantine as it is being called, because only sick people get quarantined not healthy people. When you are forced into your home at the point of a government gun that is called Martial Law. Clever how they got around using that term and instead used fear of a virus that only kills the unhealthy. The economy in Panama is toast! Everyone knows that any business whether it be an airline, bar, restaurant, movie theater etc,,, can't survive with the number of people it can serve under social distancing rules. Just wait and see if there is not an army of police that give $1000 fines to any businesses found to not be following the new mandates. There will be an initial reopening of some businesses but they will shutter within 45 days. Most will not hire back all their employees because with distancing and occupancy rules there won't be many clients. Now let's take a look at the average Panamanian. They spend money as fast as it hit's their pocket. The idea of "savings" just doesn't exist in the general population. The people had burned through their money during carnaval and then came the lockdown. The average Panamanian is now dependent on a voucher from the government to eat. Expect high unemployment and higher crime for years to come. Tourism is dead around the world until a vaccine becomes widely distributed. When tourism does begin again what percentage will panama get? 10% of normal I would expect and since hotels and resorts will be shuttered for the next year with no income many won't even be open by then. VRBO and AIRBNB bookings might be the way to go for mom/pop operations and for people stuck in underwater condo's in the city. Whomever drops their rates and takes the discounted business will be able to starve out their dogmatic competition. Those with cash can ride the storm, those with debt payments will surrender to the banks. Suerte!!

4 months ago
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