With a total of 558 new coronavirus infections, Panama has reached a total of 125,739 confirmed cases until this Tuesday, October 20.
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the country rose to 2,585 with a total of 11 new deaths, maintaining a case fatality rate of 2.1%.
According to the epidemiological report, of the active patients, 19,926 are in home isolation and another 483 are confined in hotels; while another 717 are hospitalized (604 in ward and 113 in intensive care).
There are a total of 102,028 clinically recovered patients.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) indicated that in the last hours 5,683 tests were carried out, for a percentage of positivity of 9.8%.
According to the entity, Panama performs 13,825 tests per inhabitant.
According to the age group, patients aged 20 to 59 years continue to be the most affected in terms of contagion, however, most deaths correspond to those over 60 years of age.
In the last six weeks there has been a trend towards stabilization of cases, said Dr. Israel Cedeño, Metropolitan Health Director.
He added that the RT for the epidemiological week that closed on October 17 is 1.02.
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.