The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that for this Tuesday, February 16, in Panama there are 572 new infections of coronavirus, which rises to 333,251 the accumulated number of cases in the country.
Also as of today there are a total of 5,655 deaths due to COVID-19, with 13 new deaths.
The case fatality rate that remains at 1.7%.
To date, a total of 314,797 people have been recovered.
Some 12,799 cases remain active, of which 10,964 remain in isolation at home and 390 are in hospital hotels.
On the other hand, 1,230 patients are hospitalized in the ward and 215 patients are in intensive care units.
The Minsa adds that in the last 24 hours a total of 7,239 new tests have been carried out to detect COVID-19, maintaining a positivity of 7.9%.
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.