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LatinNews Daily - 27 May 2020

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In brief: Panama to begin second phase of lockdown easing

* Panama’s health ministry has announced that the second phase of the gradual easing of containment measures implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) will begin on 1 June. Sectors concerned include: prioritised public infrastructure construction, non-metallic mining, and places of culture, parks, and sporting areas at 25% capacity and with two metres’ physical distancing. The first phase began on 13 May and concerned, amongst other businesses: e-commerce; mechanics’ workshops, and general repairs; plumbers and electricians; systems maintenance; fishing and industrial aquiculture. The government led by President Laurentino Cortizo has faced pressure to reopen the economy, as the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (Eclac) forecasts that Panama’s GDP will shrink by 2% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.