The Ministry of Health (Minsa) of Panama reported 638 new cases of COVID-19 and 7 deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours.
With these figures, the country reached a total of 124,745 accumulated cases and 2,564 deaths, for a 2.1% case fatality rate.
4,774 new tests were performed to diagnose COVID-19, for a percentage of positivity of 13.4%.
There are currently 21,140 active cases and 101,041 recovered patients.
Of the total active cases, 20,379 patients are in home isolation, of which 19,901 are at home and 478 in hospital hotels; while 761 are hospitalized, of them 654 in ward and 107 in intensive care.
Minsa stressed that the number of recovered reported to date corresponds to 81% of the people who have been infected with the virus, and have managed to get out of the situation in a positive way.
Luis Sucre, Minister of Health, reiterated the call to citizens not to lower their guard and to follow the established biosafety guidelines and protocols, to prevent the virus from spreading.
Some critics have argued that the Minsa reported case fatality rate (number of COVID linked deaths / number of known cases) in reality could 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, how a "COVID death" is counted is 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.
In lack of better information sources, PanaTimes continues to report the government (Minsa) announced figures. Readers are adviced to use their own judgement.