Panama reached 256,230 accumulated coronavirus infections, after accounting for 2,494 new cases for this Monday, January 4.
The Ministry of Health of Panama ( Minsa ) reported that for today there are 57 new deaths due to COVID-19 , for a total of 4,197 deaths, maintaining a case fatality rate of 1.6%.
The report details that 48,345 cases are considered as active, of which 45,261 remain in isolation at home and 658 are in hospital hotels.
The epidemiological report adds that 2,191 patients are hospitalized in the ward and 235 patients are in intensive care units.
On the other hand, it indicates that in the last 24 hours a total of 11,022 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19, with a positivity of 22.6%.
The report adds that to date some 203,688 people have been recovered.
NOTE: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.