With some 43 new deaths, reported in the last 24 hours plus 11 updated deaths, Panama reached 5,034 deaths due to COVID-19 this Saturday, January 23.
The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) also limits that 2,058 new cases of coronavirus were detected, which raised the accumulated infections in the country to 309,851.
The virus maintains a case fatality of 1.6%
While those recovered increased to 256,597 and active cases are reported in 48,220.
44,918 people are confined to their homes and 559 are staying in hospital hotels.
While 2,492 are confined in hospital wards and 251 remain in intensive care units.
In the last hours, some 13,177 new tests were carried out, which showed a positivity of 15.6%.
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.