Panama registered this Thursday, January 21, some 26 new deaths from COVID-19 and another 6 were reported as updates, which raise the accumulated deaths from this virus in the country to 4,944.
The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) also stated that 1,975 new cases have been detected in the last hours, increasing total infections to 305,752.
The case fatality of the virus remains at 1.6%.
The report of recovered persons rose to 250,215; while active cases occur in 50,593.
This figure shows that 47,339 people are confined to their homes and 621 have stayed in hospital hotels after contracting the virus.
In addition, 2,390 patients are hospitalized in wards and 243 have been confined in intensive care units.
In the last 24 hours in Panama, some 13,197 new tests have been carried out, which reflect a positivity of 14.9%.
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.