The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health of Panama (Minsa) reports that for this Wednesday, January 27, some 1,566 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered, which increases the total infections to 315,400.
This report also highlights that in the last 24 hours there were some 34 new deaths due to the coronavirus and 5 more deaths from previous days were updated; and the country reflects a death toll of 5,176.
The case fatality rate of the virus is 1.6%.
So far some 266,534 people have recovered from COVID-19 and another 43,690 remain as active cases.
Of this figure, it is detailed that 40,502 people are confined to their homes and 493 remain in hospital hotels .
In addition, in the country there are 2,455 patients with COVID-19 confined in hospital wards and 240 are in intensive care units.
In the last 24 hours, some 11,277 tests have been applied, for a percentage of positivity of 13.8%.
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.