Panama reported this Sunday, January 3, 1,972 new cases of COVID-19, which bring the accumulated infections in the country to 253,736.
The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa ) also records some 37 new deaths from this coronavirus, which increase the total number of deaths to 4,140.
So far the country reports 201,816 people recovered and the number of active cases rose to 47,780.
Of this figure it is detailed that there are 45,481 confined in their homes and 651 are housed in hospital hotels.
While 2,081 patients were hospitalized in wards and 218 remained in intensive care units.
In the last 24 hours in Panama, some 7,838 new tests have been carried out, which have yielded a positivity of 25.1%.
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.