The epidemiological report of this Friday, December 25, indicates that Panama registered 2,986 new cases of COVID-19, which raised the number of accumulated infections to 226,660.
The Ministry of Health ( Minsa ) also reported that in the country in the last 24 hours some 41 new deaths were registered, figures that increase the number of deaths accumulated by this coronavirus to 3,756. The case fatality of the virus remains at 1.7%.
So far, some 181,749 recovered people have been reported and the number of active cases rose to 41,155.
Of this last figure, it is detailed that 38,457 people are confined to their homes and 697 are staying in hospital hotels.
It is also reported that there are 1,813 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in wards and 188 are confined in intensive care units.
In the last 24 hours in Panama some 11,380 tests have been applied, for a percentage of positivity of 26.2%.
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.