Panama- Emergency Tracking: Migratory Receiving Stations-COVID 19 Pandemic (5-11 June 2020)

Idiam Osorio,
Period Covered
Jun 04 2020
Jun 11 2020
  • Flow Monitoring Survey
  • Flow Monitoring


Since 12 March 2020, Panama has been under a state of emergency, with closed borders, as a result of the measures imposed to contain the virus. Due to the closing of the Costa Rican borders on 16 March, Operation Controlled Flow has been severely affected. Currently, there are 2,536 migrants stranded in the national territory, distributed as follows: in migrant stations across the province of Darién there are: 1,663 in MRS La Peñita, 118 in Bajo Chiquito, and 211 in MRS Lajas Blancas. There are also 3 migrants at MRS Ponuloso, but this specific migration station is not covered in this report. Furthermore, there are 541 migrants in the province of Chiriquí at MRS Los Planes. Borders continue to be closed until 22 June.

Due to the increase in cases at the provincial level, the authorities of Darién represented by the Governor of the Municipality of Pinogana in coordination with the Regional Director of the Ministry of Health (MINSA by its Spanish acronym), the Provincial Director of SINAPROC and the National Border Service (SENAFRONT by its Spanish acronym), under resolution number 003 of 9 June, 2020, decided to implement a sanitary fence at Agua Fría in order to control the entry and exit of people into the province of Darién. At the same time, another sanitary fence was established in the community of Yaviza to guarantee the safety of the population of the Emberá-Wounam region. As of 11 June, Panama has 18,586 confirmed cases and a total of 418 deaths. In terms of border provinces, Darién reports a total of 429 cases, and Chiriquí a total of 573 positive cases.

Following the 3 June protest, on Friday, 5 June, the director of the National Migration Service (NMS), the Minister of Security and the director of SENAFRONT visited the first phase of construction of the San Vicente MRS (known as Nicanor) to follow up on the work and installation of the infrastructure for the new migration station.

Since the beginning of community transmission of COVID-19 in Darién, the number of cases in MRS La Peñita has decreased; patients with moderate virus disease have been managed under a stay-at-hotel/hospital protocol in Panama City. At the time of writing this report, 7 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported (4 currently in Panama City for being moderate cases), 6 accumulated cases and 1 new case; 192 recovered cases, and 12 remain at MRS Lajas Blancas because of possible contacts.

At MRS Los Planes de Gualaca in Chiriquí, the health situation remains like the previous weeks. Adults and children with leishmaniasis continue under medical treatment, and this week a pregnant woman was transferred to the José Domingo de Obaldía Maternal and Child Hospital. Recreational activities with children and adults were resumed, such as soccer and volleyball games, donation of recreational equipment such as games and board games were distributed, and a film was shown as an integration activity. So far, zero cases of COVID-19 have been reported at MRS Los Planes.