The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) detailed that in the last hours 45 new deaths and 4 updates were raised; which increased to 4,738 deaths from coronavirus in the country.
The case fatality rate of the virus is 1.6%.
The number of recovered rose to 236,954 this Saturday, January 16, and the number of active cases rose to 54,577.
Regarding this last statistic, it was specified that there are 51,155 people confined to their homes and 741 are staying in hospital hotels.
While in hospital wards there are 2,448 patients and 233 are confined in intensive care units victims of COVID-19.
In the last 24 hours, 16,130 new tests have been applied, which show a positivity of 16.5%.
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.