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COVID-19 – Facts for the sake clarity

Misinformation is the enemy of health. 1False data can threaten life and social control of this crisis. Three experts from […]

Misinformation is the enemy of health. 1False data can threaten life and social control of this crisis. Three experts from Panama present us with a tried and true guide to answer the most common questions about the pandemic.

Dr. Eduardo Ortega - El Faro - Canal de Panamá
Dr. Eduardo Ortega, pediatric infectologist and researcher

Dr. Eduardo Ortega, pediatric infectologist and researcher, shows us the extent of the vaccine research, what it is, and how the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease acts. “We have more than 200 years developing vaccines, and more than one billion doses are produced per year for various diseases,” Ortega points out. For her part, Dr. Ivonne Torres Atencio, professor of pharmacology at the University of Panama, highlights the role of the interoceanic waterway in global vaccination because “the Canal is key to taking the vaccine and its inputs everywhere,” and emphasizes the growth of science in Panama.

Dra. Ivonne Torres Atencio - El Faro - Canal de Panamá
Dr. Ivonne Torres Atencio, professor of pharmacology at the University of Panama.

To guarantee the continuity of the service and preserve the health of its employees, the Canal has implemented sanitary measures in all its areas and a rigorous control at all entry points. Dr. James Denham, occupational physician at the Panama Canal, explains that the safe return to work “has made us redesign our work areas and innovate to make our work safer and more hygienic, without affecting the quality of the final product, in addition to valuing the role that each collaborator plays in the collective health of the Panama Canal.

The YESE’s

– The virus is transmitted from person to person through the respiratory tract by droplets of saliva that are expelled when the person talks, shouts, sings, coughs or sneezes.

– The Covid-19 vaccine is more than 30 years in research. The study of the nucleic acid as a vaccine candidate began in the early 1990s. It then gained momentum with the SARSCOV1 outbreak in China 17 years ago. In 2012, the emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) also boosted research. Today we have two new technologies: nucleic acid and viral vectors.

– Biosecurity measures are a shield that protects us from the spread of the virus: constant hand washing, use of alcohol gel and physical distancing are the most important.

– We will overcome this crisis by collaborating. The Panama Canal signed an agreement to support the efforts of the Supply Chain and Transportation Industry Task Force (SCT) in the inclusive, safe and sustainable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. The Panama Canal also signed memorandums of understanding with Panama Ports Company (PPC), PSA Panama International Terminal (PSA Panama), Colon Container Terminal (CCT) and Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), to help optimize supply routes for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine and other health supplies to Latin America.

El Dr. James Denham, médico ocupacional del Canal de Panamá
Dr. James Denham, Panama Canal occupational physician.

The NO’s

– Covid-19 is not just a cold.

– Covid-19 virus causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

– The Covid-19 vaccine cannot alter our genetic material. On the contrary, vaccines have eradicated from the planet diseases that kill or reduce the quality of life of many people, such as smallpox, polio, measles, chickenpox, rubella and pertussis.

– Not everything on the Internet is true. Information shared on social networks should be evaluated according to the seriousness of its sources. False information is always inopportune and can cause serious damage to health.

– Panama is not a passive country in terms of its science. With the emergence of Covid-19, Panamanian scientists have developed studies on diagnosis, isolation, epidemiology, treatment and new technologies, thanks to a sustained investment in human resources.

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