The latest Covid statistics, for the week to 11 February, show a continuing decline in cases, with 444 recorded (compared to 512 the previous week), and just 1 more fatality. The overall testing positivity rate is down to 2.8%, and there are 617 active cases (down 130), with 2 patients in ICU and 53 in other wards (last week it was 1 and 52).

Preliminary estimates form the census indicate that the country’s population is around 4,427,078, with around 92% completion of the exercise, which runs to 4 March. It is said that the country’s population has risen by 58% over the past 23 years. In my research of the wartime years, the population was only around half a million.

The fuel subsidy has been extended to 1 April, setting the maximum price of road fuel at $3.25 a gallon (note that, with over 90% of the country’s electricity coming from renewables, not fossil fuels, electricity prices are very low compared to, say, the UK).

In the newspapers today, a story of a cafe in Australia selling cups of Panamanian coffee at $140 a cup! It is said to be made of the “Black Jaguar” coffee bean. While Costa Rica is one of the top coffee producers in the world, and produces good coffee too, Panamanian coffee tends to be more select, and much more expensive – though not usually to the extent of costing $140 a go…

14 FEBRUARY 2023

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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