Wednesday, Mar 03, 2021

Urge frenar contagios; 1,552 casos en una semana

Panama must stop the COVID spread: 1552 new cases in a week

The week between April 26 and May 2 recorded 1,552 new COVID cases, which is the highest number in a week since the start of the epidemic. The numbers of infected during the protests have not been counted yet, the final numbers would be even higher.
We are nine days from the date, for which the Ministry of Health made their contagion projections. At the moment, with 7,197 infected, it's not looking too good.

Although, according to the authorities, last weeks numbers were high due to late reports. They have also said that only respect for quarantine and social distancing would avoid reaching the "pessimistic scenario."

The future of the country in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic doesn't look bright because we are 2,715 cases of surpassing the "moderate" scenario and reaching the "pessimistic", one in which the number of infected would be almost 10,000.

This Sunday alone, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported 107 new cases of the disease and a total of 1,105 new tests were completed. 370 cases were registered on Saturday.

Rodrigo DeAntonio, an epidemiologist who prepares projections for Minsa, established three scenarios for next Tuesday, May 12, using a mathematical model: the pessimistic (9,912), the moderate (7,398) and the optimist (5,877). We are already very close to the moderate scenario with nine days to go.

For DeAntonio, reaching the pessimistic scenario would be the result of a population that does not comply with quarantine and social distancing measures, and would result in the saturation of the Health system.

The infectologist and member of the Advisory Commission for Coronavirus of Minsa, Javier Nieto, considers that the situation has multifactorial causes, for example, the cases in Minera Panama, and the situation that has arisen in the women's prison, where another cluster would exist.

Other specific epicenter has been identified in the province of Veraguas, which must be considered when trying to explain the situation, Nieto said.

Another aspect that affects the number of cases reported per day is administrative and is due to the delay of the institutions at the time of reporting them to the Minsa, so the number of new infections increases when they are confirmed and included in the daily report.

According to Nieto this should be looked at as an opportunity to improve.

Last Saturday, when Minsa reported the case count for the last 24 hours, the infectologist and member of the Coronavirus Advisory Commission, Xavier Sáez-Llorens, explained in his Twitter account, that those 370 new ones corresponded to the last four days, due to a delay in the preparation of reports.

In addition, he agreed with Nieto that the increase in cases in certain communities in the country corresponds to infections that occurred between 10 to 14 days ago.

José Terán, former Minister of Health, indicated that so far a great job has been done, but the most difficult remains: getting out of this situation. "If we do it with awareness that we are risking our future, then we will avoid infecting or being infected."

He recalled that the average transmission of the virus (Rt) by region will be a key factor in lifting the quarantine.

The vice minister of Health, Luis Sucre, said that we are not meeting the requirements, referring to the number of reported cases.

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