The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Panama increased to 214,038, after this Monday, December 21, the country registered 1,699 new infections.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that there are also 31 new deaths due to COVID-19 , raising the total number of deaths to 3,597, and the fatality rate remains 1.7%.
The epidemiological report details that 178 patients are currently kept in intensive care units and 1,595 people are hospitalized in the ward.
In addition, 174,951 people have been recovered to date, while a total of 35,490 cases remain as active, of which 32,976 remain in home isolation and 741 are in hospital hotels.
The report adds that in the last hours 10,346 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19 and the positivity rate is currently 16.4%.
reported that Panama already has four freezers to store the first batch of vaccines
-19, which should arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021.
Two of these freezers are in the Gorgas
Commemorative Institute for Health Studies, one more in Currency, in central provinces and the fourth is located in the Institute for Scientific Research (INDICASAT), in the City of Knowledge", highlights a release.
Meanwhile, the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) reported that it is working on the creation of a digital database that will allow monitoring of vaccine
batches, their distribution and national application through the Ministry of Health, the Expanded Program of Immunization (PAI ) and the Social Security Fund (CSS).
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.