Panama: More Covid-19 cases and a possible corruption scandal
28 de abril de 2020, 19:58Panama, Apr 28 (Prensa Latina) Bad news has characterized the fiftieth day of the Covid-19 pandemic in Panama on Tuesday, when an increase in contagions was reported, while a scandal over alleged corruption in the purchase of medical supplies caused the resignation of a deputy minister.
'I want to make it very clear that we committed to presenting the real situation and the preliminary report that we have now is that the Rt (contagion rate per person) is 1.1%,' Health Minister Rosario Turner said. Last week's Rt was 0.95%.
She warned on Monday night, at the regular press briefing on the health crisis, that the quarantine has not ended, that there was somehow a distortion in the message, and expressed concern about the increase in the circulation of vehicles.
The other event that has shaken Panamanian society on Tuesday is the resignation of the deputy minister of the Presidency, Juan Carlos Muñoz, who tried to defend publicly a direct purchase of 100 respirators for which the State would pay an amount that is several times higher than the market price
Regarding Muñoz, President Laurentino Cortizo twitted that he had accepted his resignation, while he lauded his performance, which he described as 'a fundamental work to guarantee the supply of medical equipment and inputs in a correct manner, under the current conditions and the world demand'.
Amid the maelstrom created by quoting each respirator at more than 48,000 dollars, while the same model was acquired during the pandemic at less than 10,000 dollars, Muñoz attributed that cost to the international trade war due to the increased demand for those pieces of equipment.
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