The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Panama increased to 149,833, after this Wednesday, November 18, the country registered 1,112 new infections.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that in addition, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 rose to 2,907 after accounting for 14 new deaths, maintaining a case fatality rate of 1.94%.
It details that currently 711 patients are kept in intensive care units and 158 people are hospitalized in the ward.
In addition, 129,755 people have been recovered to date, while a total of 17,171 cases are kept as active, of which 15,689 remain in home isolation and 613 are in hospital hotels.
He adds that in the last few hours, 9,205 new tests have been performed to detect COVID-19 and the positivity rate is currently 12.1%.
Some critics have argued that the Minsa reported case fatality rate (number of COVID linked deaths / number of known cases) in reality could 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, how a "COVID death" is counted is 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.
In lack of better information sources, PanaTimes continues to report the government (Minsa) announced figures. Readers are adviced to use their own judgement.