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Tuesday, February 04, 2020, 22:55
Death rate from coronavirus pneumonia dropping
By chinadaily.com.cn
Tuesday, February 04, 2020, 22:55 By chinadaily.com.cn

Medical workers gesture to each other through the window in Zhangzhou Municipal Hospital in Zhangzhou, Southeast China's Fujian province, Feb 2, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

The death rate from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus on the Chinese mainland has declined by 0.2 percentage points and now stands at 2.1 percent, an official said.

The rate is 3.1% in Hubei province but reaches 4.9% in Wuhan, the provincial capital, Jiao Yahui, deputy chief of the National Health Commission's Medical Administration and Supervision Department, said

However, the rate -- based on data as of midnight on Monday -- is much higher in Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the place where most of the deaths have occurred, Jiao Yahui, deputy chief of the National Health Commission's Medical Administration and Supervision Department, told a news conference on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus: China reports 3,235 new cases, 64 new deaths

"If Hubei is excluded, the death rate in other regions on the Chinese mainland is 0.16 percent," she said.

The rate is 3.1 percent in Hubei province but reaches 4.9 percent in Wuhan, the provincial capital, Jiao said.

Two thirds of people who have succumbed to the virus are male and 80 percent of them are older than 60, she said.

Jiao said 75 percent of those who had died had more than one other disease, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and tumors.

She pointed out that the death rate was also high for elderly people with other forms of pneumonia that were not related to the novel coronavirus.

Jiao said the stress placed on critical care medical resources in Wuhan had been a factor in the high death rate in the city.

In the early stage of the outbreak, patients in critical condition were mainly sent to three hospitals, but they only had 110 critical care beds between them, she said.

Many patients in critical condition then had to be scattered across over 20 hospitals, which increased management difficulties. That also meant they were not cared for by teams of doctors experienced in critical care, Jiao said.

She said the death rate in Wuhan is expected to decline gradually thanks to a series of measures that have been taken.

Three more hospitals have been designated to accept patients in critical condition and their critical care units are now managed by teams from high-level Chinese hospitals, she said.

READ MORE: HK reports first death from new coronavirus infection

Doctors in the critical care units will work shifts that will relieve them of high work pressure to ensure their physical and psychological health, Jiao said.

Most patients who have been infected with the novel coronavirus only show mild symptoms, she said.

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