In the last 24 hours, Panama registered 910 new cases of covid-19 and 23 deaths, reported the Ministry of Health (Minsa) through its epidemiological report, 12 February.
With the reported figures, the country accumulates a total of 330,985 infections and 5,595 deaths from this disease.
The case fatality rate is 1.7%.
11,625 tests to detect coronavirus were applied in the last 24 hours , for a positivity of 7.8%.
To date, 18,756 active cases and 306,634 recovered patients have been counted.
Of the total active cases, 17,268 patients are isolated, of them 16,855 at home and 413 in hospital hotels.
While 1,488 patients are hospitalized, of which 1,286 are in the ward and 202 are in intensive care units.
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.