Coronavirus: Panama Tribal Gathering pageant locked down

Festival site in PanamaImage copyright Katie Hughes
Image caption The Tribal Gathering pageant befell on a distant seashore on Panama’s north coast

People attending a pageant in Panama have been placed on lockdown after the nation declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus, organisers say.

The Tribal Gathering pageant mentioned officers had taken the “extraordinary step” of ordering all friends on the website to stay there till 23 March.

One attendee mentioned some 300 folks have been there.

The organises mentioned there have been no confirmed or suspected instances of the virus among the many friends.

Panama, which seems to be the hardest-hit nation in Central America, has confirmed 69 instances and one demise. It has closed its borders to foreigners and non-residents, and ordered non-essential outlets to shut, amid different restrictions.

The Tribal Gathering pageant befell between 29 February and 15 March on a distant seashore on the nation’s north coast. Its occasions included displays from indigenous teams and digital and psytrance music.

‘No data’

Katie Hughes, who performed and labored on the pageant, mentioned the occasion was allowed to proceed till its final day on Sunday, when the federal government was anticipated to supply transport to take all attendees to the capital, Panama City.

Image copyright KATIE HUGHES
Image caption Buses got here to take festival-goers to Panama City – however then the attendees have been detained

But she mentioned issues had modified after there was a suspected case of coronavirus among the many friends, and all people was pressured to remain on website till the results of a take a look at on Monday, which got here again detrimental.

On Monday afternoon, she mentioned she and others had boarded a bus after being examined however the evacuation was interrupted once more amid rumours that the federal government had imposed a lockdown on the pageant and that no one can be allowed to go away.

“It’s been a complete nightmare,” Ms Hughes, who lives in Manchester, instructed the BBC from Panama City. “We weren’t really given any information, no authorities or bosses from the festival came to give us any information.”

After two hours on the bus, they have been instructed to return to the pageant’s website.

“Luckily,” she mentioned, “one of the drivers said he would be able to get back to Panama City and drove us and 10 others who refused to go back.”

‘Contact your embassy’

Ms Hughes estimated some 300 folks had been unable to go away, together with residents from the UK, the US, Germany and France. The nearest city to the pageant website, Sabanitas, is a few two hours away, in response to the occasion’s web site.

“We don’t really know what’s happening in the festival now, some of our friends are still there but there’s no phone signal and very limited WiFi,” Ms Hughes mentioned. “We don’t know what’s going to happen about them getting food or water as the festival is obviously all closed down, no music, nothing.”

In a put up on Instagram, the organisers suggested family members of attendees to contact their respective nation’s embassy for data.

On Twitter, the UK embassy in Panama mentioned it had been knowledgeable of the scenario on the pageant and that it was working with the native authorities.

The BBC has contacted Panama’s overseas ministry for remark.

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