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Panama Takes Restrictive COVID-19 Lockdown to New Level: Men and Women Can't Be Outside Together

Panama Takes Restrictive COVID-19 Lockdown to New Level: Men and Women Can't Be Outside Together
Aerial view showing an empty highway in Panama City on March 25, 2020.
While it may seem as though America’s stay-at-home orders are becoming increasingly strict, the nation of Panama has taken things to a whole new level.
The Central American country has begun a gender-based nationwide lockdown. Men and women are not allowed in public at the same time.
Both men and women are allowed allowed three days of the week to enter public spaces. All citizens are to stay home on Sundays.
On March 25, Panama President Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo announced a mandatory national quarantine to take place indefinitely. In the following week, over 2,000 people were detained for disobeying the order, according to the New York Post.
Then, on Monday, Cortizo announced the new order on Twitter.
“Starting April 1, women will circulate Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and men Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sundays everyone should stay at home,” the president wrote in a translated tweet.
“The great quantity of people circulating outside their homes, despite the obligatory national quarantine, has led the national government to take more severe measures,” a statement by the government read, according to the Post.
Reuters reported that the country’s number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 1,475 as of Thursday, an increase of 158 from the day before.
While Panama’s restrictions may seem harsh, several U.S. states seem to be heading in a similar direction.
Some political figures in America believe that the federal government should have the same power to quarantine the entire country.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, for example, criticized President Donald Trump on March 25, demanding on Twitter that the president issue a national stay-at-home order.
“The President needs to issue a stay at home order today. His further delays will cost more lives,” Scarborough wrote.
Retired Army Col. and conservative commentator Kurt Schlichter responded to Scarborough’s demand in a tweet of his own, arguing that the president of the United States has no such authority.
“What is the enumerated power that allows the president to order Americans to stay at home?” Schlichter asked.
For now, that authority is left up to America’s state and local governments, many of which are enacting strict stay-at-home orders similar to Panama’s.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to “permanently” close all churches that congregate during the state’s stay-at-home order.
Similarly, in California, the penalty for violating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order is a punishable misdemeanor. One Malibu paddleboarder was arrested for disobeying the governor’s order and could soon face charges, according to KTLA.
As more states continue to fall in line with the strict enforcement of these orders, Panama’s current situation is beginning to seem like a realistic, if unlikely, possibility for the U.S.

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