PANAMA CITY, May 11 (Reuters) - Panama announced plans on Monday to begin a phased reopening this week of its economy, including e-commerce, mechanical workshops and fishing, after slowing the spread of coronavirus infections.
The reopening will take place in six phases from Wednesday, weighing factors such as virus transmission, its strength and economic impact, said Commerce Minister Ramon Martínez.
Earlier, on Twitter, President Laurentino Cortizo said, “Let’s not let our guard down and let’s comply with sanitary measures,” adding, “This is everyone’s responsibility.”
Health Minister Rosario Turner said Panama was in a position to start a slow reopening as it has managed to hold its contagion rate close to 1 and attained a case fatality rate of 2.8 %, below the world average of 7%.
On Monday, Panama reported 168 new infections, for a tally of 8,616, while five more deaths took its death toll to 249.
Although the number of cases is high for a nation of 4.1 million, Turner said its stable health system is not in danger of collapse.
The government said there are still no definite date to reopen other sectors, such as education, air transport, hotels, restaurants, sports leagues, or places for leisure and entertainment, such as bars, discos and concerts.
(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)
Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Clarence Fernandez