As the coronavirus outbreak continues to tighten its grip around the world, new research has concluded that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is lower than what was previously estimated, however, it still remains largely lethal than normal flu. The study published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases has estimated that at least 0.66 per cent of all those who are infected with the COVID-19 will die. The death rate is thus lower than previously expected by still larger than fatality rate of flu which kills 0.1 per cent of infected people.
According to the published report, when undetected mild infections of the coronavirus are not taken into account, the death rate becomes 1.38 per cent which lies closer to the statistics derived from previous reports. Earlier in March, the director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr Anthony Fauci had said that if doctors do the math, the fatality rate is about two per cent.
However, Fauci had stressed that the death rate depends completely “on what the factor of asymptomatic cases is”. It implies that death rates significantly differ as reported cases of coronavirus infections are those which are more severe and gets attention from the medical workers leaving mild or asymptomatic cases unregistered.
In the recent study, the researchers tried to predict the “infection fatality rate” that means if everyone gets infected and not just the severe cases of COVID-19, how many people will die. However, the overall death rate which is about two-thirds of one per cent goes up for adults. For people who are 80 or older, the fatality rate is 7.8 per cent while the figure is 0.00161 per cent for those who are below the age of nine. Meanwhile, for 40-year-olds and younger, the death rate is 0.16 per cent.
The coronavirus, which originated in China in December 2019, has now claimed over 37,830 lives worldwide as of March 31. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 200 countries and has infected at least 786,332 people. Out of the total infections, 165,660 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries including Spain, and the economy is struggling.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic on March 11 while the virus has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, resulting in the thousands of deaths worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word 'Pandemic' cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.