2019-nCoV fatalities far lower than H1N1, Ebola

The fatality rate of confirmed novel coronavirus-related pneumonia cases in China was 2.1 percent as of Monday night, February 3, far below previous international outbreaks of H1N1 flu, MERS and Ebola viruses, Chinese officials said.

The death rate for this novel coronavirus epidemic is around 2.1 percent in China, much lower than other epidemics, and since Saturday, we have seen more people recovering from the disease than dying from it, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks on Tuesday’s online media briefing.

The death rate from the 2009 H1N1 flu in the US was 17.4 percent, and the 2012 MERS death rate was 34.4 percent, while the number for Ebola was 40.4 percent.

However, the fatality rate of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Wuhan was 4.9 percent, significantly higher than the national rate of 2.1 percent, the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) said at a press conference on Tuesday, explaining that the gap was due to the fact that Wuhan’s early treatment capacity was way below demand.

There were only three designated hospitals to treat severe novel coronavirus-related pneumonia patients in Wuhan at the early stages, with only 110 beds which were far from enough, said Jiao Yahui, an official with the NHC.

Apart from the designated hospitals, patients infected with novel coronavirus were distributed in more than 20 medical institutions across the city, lacking unified management and efficient distribution of high-quality medical resources, causing a relatively high fatality rate, Jiao said.

The shortage of medical supplies in the fight against the novel coronavirus is still very prominent at the frontline, especially the shortage of medical protective suits and N95 masks, the commission confirmed.

The number of medical personnel dispatched to Wuhan in efforts to combat the outbreak is expected to reach 10,000 in total by Wednesday, Jiao said.

A total of 15,000 fever clinics and 2,092 designated hospitals were set up across the mainland to fight the epidemic, meeting basic needs of patients, except for Hubei, center of the epidemic.

More than 3,000 medical staff from major hospitals in a dozen of provinces will be dispatched to take over the newly designated inpatient wards in Wuhan that receive critical patients suffering from the virus, Jiao said.

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