- Coronavirus fatality rate varies between 0.4% and 4% depending on the region.
- Death rates can spike in areas that are not ready to handle a large number of patients.
- Coronavirus has started to spread to regions that are yet to be affected, causing heightened fear.
The fatality rate of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can widely vary based on the region and the safety precautions it has in place. That makes it nearly impossible to establish a unified death rate for the virus.
Why does the fatality rate of coronavirus vary so much?
According to COVID2019—an aggregation platform that arranges official data from the Chinese government and the Hubei province—the fatality of coronavirus in Hubei is 4%.
Other major cities like Tianjin, Hainan, and Xinjiang have also reported high coronavirus death rates at 2.2%, 3%, and 3.9%.
The fatality rate of coronavirus has widely been reported to be 0.4 to 1%. But because it can change by a factor of more than four based on the region the outbreak takes place in, it is not accurate to conclusively confirm the death rate of the virus to be 1%.
Top virologists and scientists at institutions in the U.K. and Hong Kong, who successfully predicted the total number of patients surpass 100,000 by as early as January, warned that the peak of the virus will be hit in May.
While many countries like India, South Korea, and Japan have vamped up safety precautions and medical centers to prevent further coronavirus infections, it is still spreading rapidly with no signs of slowing down.
The fatality rate of coronavirus can spike to 4% as seen in Hubei when medical centres and hospitals are overloaded to the point in which it is difficult to take new patients.
For countries that are yet to see sizable local epidemics, the real problem lies in diagnosing patients who are not showing clear symptoms.
Problem is diagnosis
According to a newly released study by the New England Journal of Medicine, coronavirus spread throughout China with many patients not showing fever or other symptoms.
The study read:
During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings.
It is challenging to detect individuals infected with coronavirus that are not showing symptoms of the virus, and other studies show that the virus is soon to reach regions that have not been as severely affected.
A paper released on The Lancet shows coronavirus is expected to reach Egypt, South Africa, and Algeria in the near-term, despite a relatively low number of cases in Africa to date.
A modelling study published in The Lancet estimates that Egypt, Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing new coronavirus cases in Africa. The three countries are estimated to have the most prepared health systems in the continent and be least vulnerable.
Coronavirus is spreading fast, with high fatality rates and basic reproduction number to regions that are yet to see large outbreaks.
The death rates in newly infected regions will primarily be swayed by whether the local authorities are prepared with enough medical equipment and centres to support patients.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.