Well, from this Saturday, 4 February, vaccination with the bivalent vaccine against Covid-19 will be available to everyone. Until now it had been reserved for those most at risk.
In other news, the health ministry say that there are 287 cases of dengue, but with just 1 severe case to date. Then there is hantavirus, with 4 cases currently. and 30 cases of leishmaniasis have been confirmed. The latter is caused by sandfly bites and , in Central America, exists in the form that can cause skin ulcers. On the other hand, some good news if that, to date, the ministry reports no cases of Zika and Chikungunya (another mosquito-spread disease).
After showing no improvement in the latest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, we here that the First Superior Court of Justice has cleared the way for the trial of 32 people accused of establishing an international money laundering scheme through offshore companies, in the so-called “Panama Papers” case
If you fancy a new car, and presumably a safer one, being blessed, the Archdiocese of Panama is to raffle the car used by Pope Francis during his visit to Panama for World Youth Day in January 2019. Tickets for a chance to win the Toyota Prius car (there are other prizes too) will be available at all Catholic bookstores and in the 94 parishes of the Archdiocese. They cost $10, and the draw will be in August.
On 3 February Artnet reported that auction houses in the US have been hit with a new round of subpoenas as part of a federal investigation into how Russian tycoons and others have used art to evade sanctions or launder money.
On 3 February, OFSI announced that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is hosting a webinar on 7 February to help industry understand recent changes to UK sanctions relating to commercial services trade with Russia. The briefing is to assist organisations to stay up to date and understand how to comply with recent changes. The new measures expand the services export prohibitions to cover audit, architecture, engineering, advertising, and IT consultancy and design services.
On 3 February, a Statement (dated 4 February) said that members of the Price Cap Coalition reached consensus on the maximum prices for seaborne Russian-origin petroleum products. This follows the G7 Finance Ministers Statement on 2 September and the Coalition Statement on 2 December 2022 on a price cap for seaborne Russian-origin crude oil. The Price Cap Coalition is composed of Australia, Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.
On 3 February, OFAC announced that it was designating 8 senior executives of Paravar Pars Company, an Iran-based company that was previously sanctioned by the US and EU for manufacturing Shahed-series UAV for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force. OFAC is also identifying 2 Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) vessels, the IRIS MAKRAN and the frigate IRIS DENA, as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest.
On 2 February, a report from Verisk Maplecroft, a risk intelligence company, says that global political risk levels, including the risks of civil unrest and government instability, are at a 5-year high. Its 2022 civil unrest index registered a significant uptick in risk in 48 countries, from Europe to emerging markets. Among other things, the report says that half of world’s population live in countries rated high or extreme risk for climate vulnerability.