Panama City’s mayor José Luis Fábrega apologized to constituents on Saturday after he was caught and fined for breaking his own city’s quarantine rules.
In a statement on his social media Saturday, he said:
I’ll be clear, I am the first to demand compliance with the rules and compliance with the health regulations in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Because I went out I was also fined, and in a responsible manner I paid the fine.
The mayor said he was met by a judge and the police in front of his beach house. “I apologize for this situation and commit to and invite everyone to strictly follow the measures dictated by MINSA (Ministry of Health),” Fábrega said in the statement published hours after photos of police approaching him at the beach circulated on social media.
Panama has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in Central America with 66,383 cases. More than half of these 37,866, have been confirmed in Panama City where Fábrega is mayor. The country has reported 1,449 deaths.
An executive decree establishing a weekend quarantine was issued two weeks ago in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. The four provinces with the highest infection rates were ordered to maintain quarantine from 7 p.m. on Fridays to 5 a.m. on Mondays.
Panama City and Panama Oeste, where the mayor’s beach house is located, are both under weekend quarantine rules.