A new data published by the Chinese government about the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease has shown that elderly people and the sick are most at risk of dying from the disease.
Data from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) finds that more than 80 per cent of the cases have been mild, with the sick and elderly most at risk.
The data was also shared with the World Health Organisation on Monday.
The data is the first of its kind, with details of more than 44,000 cases of the Covid-19 disease. This is the biggest study since the outbreak of the disease in China.
The research also points to the high risk to medical staff.
China, in the last ten weeks, has been battling the scourge of the ongoing Covid-19 disease.
The disease, which was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China, in December, has spread to every part of China. This has been putting a heavy strain on the health system and medical supplies in the country.
Also, the disease has been exported to about 26 countries and there is no evidence of when the outbreak will be contained.
As at Tuesday, China’s latest official figures on the status of the disease put the overall death toll at 1,868 and 72,436 infections.
Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities said more than 12,000 people have recovered from the disease.
Hubei, the province, where the disease first broke out, is the worst affected province in the country.
The new study published in the Chinese journal of epidemiology looked at about 44,000 cases of the Covid-19 disease diagnosed in China as of February 11.
The findings from the study put the overall death rate of the Covid-19 virus at 2.3 per cent.
The report shows that Hubei has the highest province’s death rate at 2.9 per cent compared with 0.4 per cent in the rest of the country.
Also, medical workers have accounted for nearly 4 per cent of confirmed virus cases as of the end of February 11, according to the National Health Commission.
The study, pointing out the risks among medical workers, said that a total of 3,019 health personnel have been infected so far. Out of these, 1,716 cases were confirmed.
The study largely confirmed the previous description of the disease’ pattern of infection. A detailed classification showed that 80 per cent of the cases were classified mild, 13 per cent as severe and 4.7 per cent as critical cases.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths among the overall cases has remained low, but higher among the adult population.
Also, the death ratio is higher among men (2.8 per cent) than women (1.7 per cent).
The study identified the types of illness that place infected people at more risk. It said people with underlying diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and hypertension are more likely to succumb to the disease.
In all, the study noted that the infection rate was relatively low among children and the reasons for this are unknown.
The WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said more research is needed to understand why it is so among the children.
He said an international team of experts are already on the ground in China working with Chinese counterparts to better understand the gaps yet to be filled by the study and “improve our understanding of the outbreak”.