The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health of Panama (Minsa) highlighted this Friday, January 29, that 1,445 new cases of coronavirus were registered, which raised the accumulated infections to 318,253.
In addition, the report informs that in the last 24 hours there were 24 new deaths and 1 death that was updated, giving a total of 5,221 deaths caused by this virus in the country.
The case fatality of the virus is 1.64%
So far in Panama 272,180 people have recovered and another 40,852 remain as active cases .
Of this number, 37,733 people are confined to their homes and another 486 stayed in hotel-hospitals.
While 2,391 patients are in hospital wards and 242 are confined under intensive care.
In the country in the last 24 hours some 11,985 tests have been applied, for a percentage of positivity of 12%.
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.