The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that for this Friday, January 22, in Panama a total of 307,793 accumulated cases of COVID-19 are counted, of which 2,041 are new infections.
It also details that the number of confirmed deaths due to the new coronavirus rose to 4,980, with a total of 33 new deaths registered in the last 24 hours and 3 update.
The fatality rate in the country remains at 1.6% .
There are 49,310 cases that remain active, of which 45,974 remain in home isolation at home and 577 are in hospital hotels.
A total of 2,500 patients are hospitalized in the ward and 259 are kept in intensive care units.
On the other hand, he adds that for today 253,503 people who have recovered are reported.
The Minsa adds that in the last hours, 13,302 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19 and the positivity rate is 15.3% in the country.
Some observers have argued that the Minsa reported case fatality rate (number of COVID linked deaths / number of known cases) in reality should be much lower, as the number of reported cases does not necessarily reflect the truth, as the testing does not cover the whole population, and many cases go undetected. At the same time, the government can't report what they don't know, but readers should note that the numbers may tell a different story from the reality.
Also, the method used in Panama to define how a 'COVID death' is counted is also unclear, as many of the deaths correspond to underlying previous conditions, such as cancer, blood diseases, other age related diseases etc., and are reported as COVID deaths since the patient also had the coronavirus. On the other hand, many viruses are known to lower the patient's immunity and expose them to other diseases. As an example most HIV/AIDS patients don't die from the virus itself, but from other derived diseases such as pneumonia or regular flu.
There have also been reports on the inaccuracy of the PCR test, which would compromise the figures mentioned above.
In lack of better information sources, PanaTimes continues to publish reports with the government (Minsa) announced figures. Readers are adviced to use their own judgement. We are happy to publish more accurate reports, if they become available to us or our contributors.