Zero Active COVID Cases in Bocas del Toro Archipelago!

Zero Active COVID Cases in Bocas del Toro! is the headline we have been waiting to publish for 18 months. On October, 28, 2021, that headline became a reality when our editorial team received a report from the Guillermo Sanchez Bourbon Hospital on Isla Colon: 0 casos activos, meaning that at the moment, for the first time since May 2020, there were no active COVID-19 cases to report in the district of Bocas del Toro, which is basically the archipelago area of the province.

Bocas del Toro District vs. Bocas del Toro Province

This figure of zero active Covid cases is for the district of Bocas del Toro, which is not to be confused with the province of Bocas del Toro. The province includes the districts of Changinola, Chiriqui Grande, Almirante, and Bocas del Toro, sometimes referred to as Bocas del Toro Distrito Cabecera, denoting that it is the “head district” of the Bocas del Toro province. Whatever you want to call it, this is our community and it is made up mostly by the more populated islands of Colon, Bastimentos, Carenero, Solarte and San Cristobal, as well as villages in Popa, Cayo de Agua, smaller outer islands and the mainland communities of Tierra Oscura (Darklands) and Punta Laurel. The township of Cauchero, which is pictured as part of Bocas del Toro on this older map, was switched to the Almirante district in December of 2020.

a colored map detailing the four districts of the Bocas del Toro province

The 2010 census registered 16,585 inhabitants and 21,936 is the latest official estimate (from 2020), according to the Bank of Inter American Development. Out of this estimated 22,000 or so inhabitants and after receiving one year of visitors already, the Bocas del Toro archipelago community has accumulated 1,326 cases and registered 21 COVID-19 deaths as of November 8, 2021. The first registered case was on May 28, 2020 and -according to our regular reports from the medical director of the Guillermo Sánchez Borbón Hospital on Isla Colon- the number of active cases in the community never reached more than 134 (March 19, 2021). Alas, the amount of active COVID cases in Bocas del Toro reached zero on October 28, 2021.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On November 8, we received an updated report which still indicated 0 active COVID-19 case in our community. We will keep up our readers as updated on this situation on this website, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages. Of course COVID-19 has not been eradicated worldwide, so it is not time to bajar la guardia, or not time to let our guard down as the Ministry of Health’s messaging goes. Though right now we can definitely say that we are winning the fight against COVID-19 in Bocas del Toro.

Cover image courtesy of Alfredo Jurado Martínez of @bocasislove

Active COVID Cases in Bocas del Toro

a chart of active COVID-19 cases in Bocas del Toro March 2020 - November 2021

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The Bocas Breeze is a digital and print newspaper proudly serving the Bocas del Toro community since 2004; reporting news, advertising local businesses and promoting tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

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