The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that Panama registered 724 new cases of COVID-19, raising to 321,103 infections of the virus at the national level.
According to the epidemiological report for this Monday, February 1, 2021, in the last 24 hours there have been about 24 new deaths. In addition, 2 deaths from previous dates are updated, increasing the figure to 5,296.
The case fatality of the virus is 1.65%.
To date, 5,057 tests have been applied, for a percentage of positivity of 14.3% and 278,442 recovered patients from COVID-19 have been reported in the country.
The report adds that active cases total 37,365. 34,864 people are reported in home isolation, of which 34,387 are at home and 477 in hotels.
There are 2,501 hospitalized and 2,249 of them are in the ward and 252 in the ICU.
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.