The Ministry of Health (Minsa) of Panama reported 891 new cases of covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 329,367.
Meanwhile, 17 new deaths were registered for a total of 5,550 deaths due to this disease and a case fatality rate of 1.7%.
The epidemiological report of the Minsa indicates that 2 deaths from previous days were updated.
8,983 tests were applied to detect coronavirus in the last hours. The positivity is 9.9%.
To date, 23,207 active cases and 300,610 recovered patients have been counted.
Of the total infected, 21,505 are confined, of them 21,095 are in their residences and 410 in hospital hotels.
While 1,702 are hospitalized, 1,505 are in ward and 197 in intensive care units.
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.