The shocking findings from a team of researchers in Beijing were revealed as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned people to remain cautious as China reported its lowest death toll for a week. Virologists at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) analysed 72,314 cases of Covid-19 to get a better understanding of the mysterious pneumonia-causing sickness. These included suspected, confirmed, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases in China as of February 11.
They found 80.9 percent of infections were in the “mild” category while 13.8 percent were deemed “severe”.
Less than five percent (4.7 percent) were classed as “critical”.
Virologists at the Beijing-based body also discovered the overall death rate from coronavirus is 2.3 percent.
The results of the latest study have been published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology.
Another interesting finding was that males are more likely to die than females.
Men have a 2.8 percent chance of succumbing to coronavirus if infected, while women have a 1.7 percent chance.
When it comes to age categories, over 80s showed the highest fatality ratio at 14.8 percent.
Patients aged between 70 and 79 had an eight percent chance of dying while those in their sixties had a 3.6 percent chance.
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The death toll currently stands at 1,873 while the overall number of confirmed cases has skyrocketed beyond 73,000.
The death rate is lower than for Sars and Mers, diseases caused by coronaviruses related to the one that causes Covid-19.
But the new virus could ultimately prove more deadly if it spreads to far more people than the others did.
The Covid-19 cases include relatively few children, and the risk of death rises with age or other health problems and was higher in Hubei province versus elsewhere in China.
The study warned that while cases seem to have been declining since February 1, that could change as people return to work and school after the Lunar New Year holidays, typically the busiest period for Chinese travellers.
Chinese officials this week reported a decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus.
But WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was too early to know if the reported decline would continue.