Sunday, Apr 18, 2021

Rt sigue aumentando, ahora es de 1.17; se registran 1,272 nuevos contagios de Covid-19

Rt continues to increase, now it is 1.17; Panama reports 1,272 new Covid-19 infections

The epidemiological report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), of Tuesday, November 24, registers 1,272 new cases of Covid-19, after 9,620 tests were applied to detect the virus in the last 24 hours.

This figure increases the accumulated cases of infections to 156,930. The percentage of positivity to date was 13.2%, said Lourdes Moreno, an advisor to the Minsa.

The last reported deaths are 13 (11 of the last 24 hours and 2 of previous dates) and the deaths, since last March when the virus arrived in the country, total 2,986.

While the number of recovered patients amounts to 138,007 and active cases to 15,937, said Moreno, during the press conference held this Tuesday.

14,977 people remain in home isolation and of these 14,305 are at home and 672 remain confined in so-called hospital hotels.

960 people are hospitalized, of which 811 are in the ward and 149 are in intensive care units.

Behavior of the virus

Moreno also announced that the effective reproductive number of cases (Rt) or average value of the contagion rate, increased to 1.17. Last week, the Rt was 1.11. The ideal value is 1 or below 1.

This increase is due to the number of cases in different townships of the country, which leads to a high Rt.

The Minsa advisor mentioned among them: Río Abajo, Las Mañanitas, Don Bosco, Curundú, Parque Lefevre and Juan Díaz (Metropolitan Region); Lídice, Feuillet, Vista Alegre, El Coco, Barrio Colón and Barrio Balboa (Panama Oeste) and Omar Torrijos, Belisario Frías and Belisario Porras (San Miguelito).

Among the townships with the highest Rt are also: San Juan, Sabanitas, Cristóbal and Cativá (Colón): Caimitillo, Alcalde Díaz, Chilibre, Las Cumbres and Ernesto Córdoba Campos (North Panama); Metetí (Darien) and Tubuala (Guna Yala).

Other townships are: Santa Fe, La Mesa, Canto del Llano, Santiago and Atalaya (Veraguas); Bajo Boquete, David, La Concepción, Plaza Caisán, David Sur, Puerto Armuelles (Chiriquí); Los Asientos (Los Santos; Pueblos Unidos, Barrios Unidos and Natá (Coclé).


Some critics 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, 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 highly compromise any figures mentioned above.

In lack of better information sources, PanaTimes continues to report the government (Minsa) announced figures. Readers are adviced to use their own judgement.


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