Panama registered 2,943 new cases of COVID-19, in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 249,733, according to the latest epidemiological report of Ministry of Health (Minsa).
Meanwhile, 42 new deaths were reported, for a total of 4,064 deaths from this virus in the country.
The case fatality rate remains at 1.6%.
11,297 new tests were carried out to detect coronavirus, for a percentage of positivity of 26%.
There are a total of 197,928 recovered patients and 47,741 active cases.
Of the total active cases, there are 45,470 people who are in isolation, of which 44,847 are at home and 623 in hotels; while 2,271 patients are hospitalized, of them 2,067 are kept in ward and 204 in intensive care.
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.