More than 80% of COVID-19 cases have been mild, says new Chinese health report

Health officials in China have published the first details on nearly 45,000 cases of the novel coronavirus that originated there, saying more than 80 per cent have been mild and new ones seem to be falling since early this month, although it’s far too soon to tell whether the outbreak has peaked.

Monday’s report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives the World Health Organization a “clearer picture of the outbreak, how it’s developing and where it’s headed,” WHO’s director-general said at a news conference.

“It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue. Every scenario is still on the table,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The new disease, called COVID-19, first emerged in late December in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, and has spread to more than two dozen other countries. China says more than 70,000 people have been infected and 1,770 have died in mainland China, but numbers are squishy because the country is counting many cases based on symptoms rather than the methods WHO uses.

The new study reports on 44,672 cases confirmed in China as of Feb. 11. The virus caused severe diseases such as pneumonia in 14 per cent of them and critical illness in five per cent.

The fatality rate for these confirmed cases is 2.3 per cent-2.8 per cent for males versus 1.7 per cent for females.

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