In the last 24 hours, Panama registered 3,315 new cases of Covid-19, raising the total number of infections to 288,408, detailed the Ministry of Health (Minsa) in its epidemiological report, 13 January.
Meanwhile, 29 new deaths were reported, and 4 deaths from previous dates were also updated, totaling 4,594 deaths due to this virus in the country.
The case fatality rate is at 1.59%.
16,267 new tests were performed to detect coronavirus, for a positivity percentage of 20.6%.
There are a total of 227,141 recovered patients and 56,673 active cases.
Of the total active cases, there are 54,020 people are in isolation, of which 53,329 are at home and 691 in hotels; while 2,653 patients are hospitalized, of them 2,424 in ward and 229 in intensive care.
Most of the deaths correspond to those over 60 years of age.
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.