With a total of 38 new deaths, Panama reached the cumulative figure of 4,321 deaths due to COVID-19 this Wednesday, January 6 , maintaining a a case fatality rate of 1.6%.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that in addition, for today 4,135 new infections of coronavirus are reported, with which the total number of cases in the country rises to 269,091.
Currently, a total of 2,098 patients remain hospitalized in the ward, while 226 are in intensive care units.
On the other hand, the epidemiological report details that 52,114 cases that remain active, of which 49,109 are in hospital hotels and 681 remain in isolation at home.
To date, 212,656 people have recovered.
In the last 24 hours, 16,136 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19 and the positivity rate is 25.6%.
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.