WHO Announces Coronavirus Mortality Rate Has Jumped to 3.4 Percent

Ambulances to transport coronavirus infected patients parked in Daegu, South Korea, March 1, 2020. (Yonhap via Reuters)

The World Health Organization on Tuesday announced that 3.4 percent of COVID-19 patients worldwide have died from the illness.

The mortality rate of the coronavirus was previously thought to be around two percent. The illness has a much stronger chance of causing death in sick and elderly patients (around 14 percent), while among children and healthy adults the mortality rate is close to zero.

The WHO’s announcement came as Washington State officials confirmed a total of nine deaths in the state caused by coronavirus. That outbreak is centered in Seattle suburb of Kirkland in King County, where authorities were investigating the possibility of an outbreak at a local nursing home.

Meanwhile, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle released a statement on Tuesday confirming that a patient transferred to the center from the nursing home, and who died last week, had suffered from the coronavirus. Harborview said that some medical workers may have been exposed to coronavirus because the patient was not previously confirmed to have the illness.

President Trump on Tuesday said that while the U.S. was mulling further restrictions on foreign travel, no restrictions on domestic travel were being weighed.

“We’re not looking at that at all. There’s only one hotspot [in King County],” Trump told reporters. “But we’re looking at other countries and we’re being very stringent.”

Coronavirus cases have cropped up in several other states including California, New York, Georgia and Florida.

Outside of China, the countries most affected by the illness are South Korea, Iran and Italy.

While South Korea and Italy have moved to enact quarantine measures, Iranian parliament members have accused the government of concealing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country. Iran announced on Tuesday that almost 10 percent of the country’s lawmakers have been infected.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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