With a total of 609 new coronavirus infections, Panama has reached a total of 124,107 confirmed cases as of this Saturday, October 17.
The number of deaths reported due to COVID-19 in the country rose to 2,557 with a total of 11 new deaths, maintaining a case fatality rate of 2.06%.
According to the epidemiological report, of the active patients, 19,985 are in home isolation and another 455 are confined in hotels; while another 762 are hospitalized (652 in ward and 110 in intensive care).
There are a total of 100,348 clinically recovered patients.
Minsa indicated that in the last hours 4,188 tests were carried out, for a percentage of positivity of 14.5%.
According to the age group, patients between the ages of 20 and 59 continue to be the most affected in terms of contagion, however, most deaths correspond to those over 60 years of age.
NOTE: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.