The death rate from the novel coronavirus is higher than first thought, the World Health Organization has admitted.
“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Tuesday — markedly higher than all the initial predictions.
Early reports had pegged the death rate at 2.3 percent, while a study of the virus’ spread in China published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine had it even lower, at just 1.4%.
“By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected,” Tedros noted, saying that COVID-19 “causes more severe disease.”
“While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity,” he said, noting 3,110 deaths recorded as of his remarks Tuesday.
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