The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that Panama registered 3,735 new cases of COVID-19 , raising to 276,772 infections of the virus at the national level.
According to the epidemiological report for this Saturday, January 9, some 43 new deaths have been registered in the last 24 hours, increasing deaths from coronavirus to 4,410. The case fatality rate of the virus is 1.6%.
It indicates that 16,825 tests were applied to date, for a percentage of positivity of 22.1% and 217,544 patients recovered from COVID-19 have been reported in the country.
Active cases total 54,818. In home isolation, 52,423 people are reported, of which 51,646 are at home and 777 in hotels.
The number of hospitalized is 2,395 and of them 2,176 are in the ward and 219 remain in intensive care units.
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.