The epidemiological report of this Sunday, February 7, indicates that in Panama about 627 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered, which brings the accumulated infections to 327,091.
The report from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) also indicates that in the last 24 hours some 23 new deaths have been recorded and two deaths from previous days are updated, bringing the total number of deaths from this coronavirus to 5,480. The lethality of the virus is 1.68%.
To date, there are 292,302 people recovered in the country, while there are 29,309 among active cases.
Of this figure 26,824 people are confined to their homes and 461 remain in hospital hotels.
While there are 1,815 patients in hospital wards and another 209 are confined in intensive care units.
In the last hours, some 6,316 tests have been applied, for a positivity percentage of 9.9%.
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.