The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that for this Friday, January 8, a total of 273,037 accumulated cases of COVID-19 are counted in Panama, of which 3,946 correspond to new infections.
It also details that the number of confirmed deaths due to the new coronavirus rose to 4,365, with a total of 42 new deaths registered in the last 24 hours, with which the case fatality rate in the country stands at 1.6%.
The report adds that for today 215,361 people who have recovered are reported.
There are 53,311 cases that remain active, of which 50,216 remain in home isolation at home and 722 are in hospital hotels.
On the other hand, a total of 2,153 patients are hospitalized in the ward and 220 are kept in intensive care units.
The Minsa adds that in the last hours 16,170 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19 and the positivity rate is 24.4% 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.