The stay at home measures imposed by Panama's government to curb the spread of the coronavirus has led to layoffs in the Central American country plunging thousands of people into dire economic straits while street vendors and informal workers struggle to survive.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the leftist Communal Movement "Federico Britton," has been repeatedly questioning the lack of aid provided to some sectors and communities. In various areas of the capital, Panama City, vulnerable people and families are being neglected.
Panamanians have thus been forced to take to the streets Wednesday and break their quarantine to demand aid. The protesters have been repressed by police, Jorge Guzman of the Federico Britton Communal Movement said.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Panama reached 6,378 Wednesday, a rise of 178 from the previous day, and deaths climbed by two to 178, the country’s health ministry said.
Central America reacted to the spread of the pandemic by implementing strict quarantine and lockdown measures. But in countries where more than 30 percent of the population live in poverty, desperate citizens have been forced to take to the streets to protest against measures that could save them from the deadly disease but starve them to death.
As hungry street vendors have protested in Guatemala, street vendors, laid-off workers, and trash collectors have blocked roads in Honduras to protest a strict curfew that has aggravated conditions for half of the population that already lives in poverty.