Expat Coronavirus Report

Coronavirus in Boquete, Panama

By PanamaJackie

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Mar 18, 2020 Update

We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. She replied...

Panama closed their borders last week. Only Panamanians and foreigners with a permanent residency Visa can get in ( they must self-quarantine for 14 days)

Malls are closed, Gyms are closed. Beaches are closed. Movie theaters are closed.

Immigration is closed to everyone except a lawyer. Many government offices are closed.

In Boquete and Chirqui Province, there is a curfew from 9pm to 5am. Other areas in Panama have a curfew too.

Tourists ( those without a Visa) are not allowed in to Boquete.

Several restaurants have closed temporarily. Other restaurants can only offer carry out or home delivers - no dining in is allowed.

As of March 17th, Alcohol sales are prohibited at stores or restaurants.

Everyone is encouraged to STAY HOME and only leave to buy groceries or get medications.

They only allow 50 people in a grocery store at a time to avoid being around a lot of people. There are lines to get in (with blue tape to keep 6 feet apart) but everyone is being patient. There is no hoarding. We even have toilet paper.

Flights out of Panama are getting cancelled. The window to leave Panama is closing.

Yet... yet...

The skies are blue. The air is fresh and the weather is perfect. It's a beautiful place to live. I would not want to anywhere else during this pandemic.

How People are Coping

We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? She replied...

Everyone was very calm about the situation until the government announced no alcohol sales. That has really upset some people.

Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads

We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? She replied...

People are starting to take it more seriously as the numbers have climbed. Today, March 18th, we have 86 cases and one death. Most cases are in Panama City.

There have been some road blocks to prevent people in Panama City from getting to the rest of the country.

Government Response

We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. She replied...

Panama is being very proactive and keeping everyone informed about what is going on and what to do if you suspect that you have the virus.

Government Response with Regard to Expats

We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. She replied...

The government is keeping everyone informed daily. Sometimes several times a day.

Supplies and Shortages

We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? She replied...

No, there is no shortage of supplies or food as of March 18th.

Preparing for the Future

We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? She replied...

I have enough food to last several months.

Lockdown & Passing the Time

We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time? She replied...

Yes, I'm staying home.

I own PanamaRelocationTours.com and obviously had to cancel tours.

I'm working on a new online project and working in my garden more.

Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals

We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? She replied...

I'm enrolled in the public health care system but also have international health insurance so I can use the private hospitals too.

The public and private hospitals have prepared for a rise in cases. There are plenty of test kits and they can get the results back quickly.

Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals

We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. She replied...

Both public and private hospitals are well prepared.

There would be fewer people/less crowding at the private hospitals.

Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment

We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? She replied...

I would definitely go to the private hospital, either Hospital Chirqui or Hospital Mae Lewis.

Returning Home

We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. She replied...

No. I feel safer in Panama where there are fewer people.

Advice for People Outside of Boquete, Panama

We Asked: If you live in an area already heavily affected by coronavirus, what advice would you share with others elswhere in the world who may be facing the same challenges in the future. She replied...

We have no cases of Corona Virus in Chiriqui province, including Boquete. Advice is for everyone to STAY HOME to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Comments & Questions

tiredofsnow replied on March 21, 2020 00:02:

Im verry happy to hear your doing well.im also imprrssed how the panamanian gov and people apprar to be handling this situation.we plan on ( Lord willing) to visit panama in fall we hope the dust will have settled by than.we live in yukon canada.the main city is whitehorse the shelves are said to be fairly empty from people who have visited there and returned to the small town where we live.the store where we live has asked local people to limit the number of some items and 45 percent argue and give excuses and dont want to do as the store asks.there has been a verry small amount of items that the store cant order in normal amounts but most things are still available.as of today there are still no cases in the yukon and canadians are asked not to visit or travel inside canada..as a daily life here not much has changed except resturants and motels are closed but with the number of workers traveling to and from the large mines near here we expect covid 19 to arive before long..to many people here dont seem to take this seriously the local native gov still has thier shuttle carrying people around town but in small numbers alcohaulism and drugs are high here and they dont seem to care and have not altered thier lives or use any social distancing...so if or when it arives here the this town as most towns in yukon will be in verry bad shape.

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