MortalityCOVID-19: One in Five over-80s Need Hospitalization and Death Rate 0.66 Percent

Published 1 April 2020

This is one of the conclusions of an analysis of 3,665 cases in mainland China, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Laura Gallagher writes for Imperial College London that it also estimates that the overall death rate, including unconfirmed cases, is 0.66%. The estimated proportion of deaths from both diagnosed cases and from milder, unconfirmed cases is strongly influenced by age. The estimates are slightly lower than others that have been made for the virus, but are still much higher than for previous pandemics such as 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1, which was estimated to be fatal in around 0.02% of cases. The new estimates are based on an analysis of 70,117 laboratory-confirmed and clinically-diagnosed cases in mainland China, combined with 689 positive cases among people evacuated from Wuhan on repatriation flights.