The epidemiological report highlights this Monday, February 8, that Panama registered some 563 new cases of COVID-19, a figure that increases the accumulated infections to 327,654.
The report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) also warns that in the last hours there were 25 new deaths and a death from previous days is updated, which raised to 5,506 deaths due to the coronavirus in the country.
So far the country has some 294,410 recovered cases and another 27,738 people are reported as active cases.
Regarding this last statistic, it is detailed that 25,286 people are confined to their homes and another 454 are kept in hospital hotels.
While on those hospitalized in wards, it is reported that there are 1,793 patients and another 207 are confined in intensive care units.
In the last 24 hours in the country, some 5,521 tests were applied, for a percentage of positivity of 10.1%.
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.