Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Yuri Gonzalez-Hernandez Reports on Cuba, Panama, and Peru on the Front Lines of COVID-19 in Latin America

In anticipation of the Webinar Conference/Roundtable, Coronavirus and International Affairs, scheduled for 17 April 2020 from 9.30 am to 12.30 PM US East Coast Time, we have been looking at the way that states in different regions have responded to the challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Register online (free) HERE.

Yuri Gonzalez-Hernandez,  has been kind enough to report on the situation in Cuba as the pandemic began to run its course through that nation (see, here, and here; see also here). Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez will continue to report on the evolving situation in Cuba, looking next to the ways in which Cuban civil society has responded to the crisis. 

Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez is also looking to the way that other Latin American States have sought to respond to the pandemic, both as studies in their own right and to provide a point of comparison within the Latin American region.  As a first step, Mr. Gonzalez considered the response of Peru and Panama. This is undertaken with an eye to responses in neighboring states in the region.

Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez is a Cuban Lawyer (University of Havana 2009) who is currently in residence at Penn State where he is working on his LLM degree. Before his arrival at Penn State, Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez worked as legal advisor for different Cubans companies, and the tax office of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. Since 2016 he has provided legal advice to self-employed workers, and also has participated in non-profit entrepreneur projects, aimed at the development of some communities of the City of Havana. He may be contacted at glezyuri15[AT]gmail.com 

The Initial Report focusing on Cuba-Panama-Peru, Three countries, one feeling and the COVID-2019 Crisis, follows. It may also be found at the "Inputs" Section of the COVID-19 and International Affairs Roundtable Website (click here).

Cuba, Panama, and Peru
Three countries, one feeling and the COVID-19 Crisis
Yuri Gonzalez Hernandez
7 April 2020

Humans being had new challenges every day, and that has allowed us to evolve. I was entitled to talk about the challenge of three countries of Latin America to keep their people a life and as safe as they can.

One of the reasons is to plead of the awareness of this person. Another reason is that I have really good friends form those countries and I’m suffering from the spread of this virus in their home countries as in my home country. But the main reason to talk about this is to make the people remember that this is time to take care of each ether and the people around us, because life is all that we have. Each human being must respect the right to be a life and health.

In this report, I’m going to talk about the situation in Panama, Peru, and Cuba. There is not my intention to compare the quality of the health care system but I’m going to make a comparison between those countries referring to the evolution and spread of the COVID-2019. Let’s analyze the spread of these three countries.

At the beginning of March, the three countries didn’t have any reported cases. From this point I intend to progress in the evolution of this critical situation in alternatives days, involving the mentioned countries.

On March 6th this apparent stability changed bringing for the people of Peru the first reported case and the start point of the unstoppable chain of infections. The first case turned out to be a Peruvian citizen who had recently visited some European countries. [1]

Panama for its part began to deal with this lethal challenge on March 9th. The Panamanian government were being taking different preventive measures to assure the population. One of those was to have control over each person arriving just from countries with high numbers of cases like China and Italy. However, the first case in Panama came from Spain and this person wasn’t subject to the health systems control. [2]

Cuba on March 11th faced the tree first cases of COVID-19, those persons were tourists that arrived from Lombardy, which at that time was the region of Italy with the highest number of infections. In march 12th were reported the first Cuban citizen infected which was been on Italy previously with his wife who was tested negative. [3]

To March 11th, Peru already counted with 11 positives COVID-19 cases. To this, the Peruvian government establishes that people from Italy, Spain, France and, China will be isolated for 14 days, from the moment of departure from the aforementioned countries. This, due to the rise of coronavirus-infected in the country. [4]

Panama, just four days after having the first reported case, already had 36 positive cases for COVID-19, 33 Panamanians and three foreigners. The government with the fast spread prohibits the entry of flights from Europe and take other preventives measures like activities and social events suspended, temporarily suspend boarding and disembarking of cruise ships and Implement the placement of tents for care in areas with the highest influx of patients and thus avoid the accumulation of people in the areas where the greatest number of cases of COVID-19 have occurred. [5]

In March 16th, Peru has 86 cases tested positives for COVID-19. To avoid the spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health recommends to the population, in the context of the health emergency arranged by the Government, home isolation (quarantine) for 14 days. The Peruvian government the same day it is decreed in National Emergency for 15 days. [6]

On the same date, Panama has reported 69 COVID-19 cases with one fatal victim and implements the "Protégete Panama" sanitary hygiene plan, which consists of the application of measures, which were called rings, to confront the situation the country is facing before COVID-19. [7]

In Cuba, the sanitary authorities reported on March 20th that had been rise 21 cases positives for COVID-19. On this date the Cuban government announced the closure of the borders, understanding the serious consequences that would continue to receive foreign visitors. As it was supposed the first local transmission event happened, derivate in the following days, four relatives and a friend of a Cuban citizen infected, were positive for the coronavirus. [8]

Peru on March 21th had 318 cases tested positives and 5 deaths reported for COVID-19. Five days later the country counted 580 cases tested positives and 9 deaths. [9]

For the day March 23th Panama reported 345 confirmed cases and 6 deaths. With this increasing situation, the Panamanian government keeps taking measures like curfew and dry law making sure to enforce the most number of people insolated. [10]

Despite the measures of each country take for avoiding the spread of the virus it was not sufficient. The data show that for the date March 31st, the number of cases had increased considerably as show below:
· Cuba 212 tested positive cases, 6 deaths.
· Peru 1 065 tested positive cases, 30 deaths.
· Panama 1 181 tested positive cases, 30 deaths.
Sadly, any of this government have the immediate solution in their hands. The solution most begins in the awareness of each citizen of these countries that even though the number of cases is going up, they don’t understand that the virus evolution work through person to person and each time that they go out there is a high percentage of spread it.

Ever since the human being began to organize in society, he has ensured the safety of the places he considers his territories. As it is difficult to have consensus on the decisions to be taken in a society, society allowed to have people who direct those decisions. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have left all the responsibility in the governments without thinking that we have the greatest burden ourselves.

IF each person decided to appeal to their sense of humanity and assumed command of their territory to protect their health, it could be said that once we all agreed, we did something to safeguard the common good more precious, “The life”.

The map below shows the data until this date.


[1] https://www.gob.pe/institucion/minsa/noticias/86983-ministra-hinostroza-pidio-tener-confianza-en-el-sistema-de-salud-tras-confirmarse-primer-caso-de-coronavirus-en-peru

[2] https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/mujer-de-40-anos-es-el-primer-caso-de-coronavirus-en-el-pais/

[3] https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemia_de_enfermedad_por_coronavirus_de_2020_en_Cuba

[4] https://www.gob.pe/institucion/minsa/noticias/108693-gobierno-anuncia-aislamiento-preventivo-a-viajeros-provenientes-de-china-espana-francia-e-italia

[5] http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticia/comunicado-ndeg-7

[6] https://www.gob.pe/institucion/minsa/noticias/108958-comunicado-oficial-de-prensa-coronavirus-n-13

[7] http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticia/los-seis-anillos-del-plan-protegete-panama

[8] https://oncubanews.com/cuba/cuba-primer-evento-de-transmision-local-del-coronavirus/


[10] http://www.minsa.gob.pa/noticia/comunicado-no25-ministerio-de-salud-anuncia-nuevas-medidas-de-movilidad-para-combatir-la

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