Expert explains why Hubei has higher mortality rate of coronavirus

Strained medical resources could partly explain why the mortality rate of coronavirus in central China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, is higher than elsewhere, an epidemiologist with China’s National Health Commission has said.

As of 24:00 on February 2, the death rate of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, excluding Hubei Province, was 0.18 percent, slightly higher than the seasonal flu. Meanwhile, in Hubei Province, the mortality rate stood at 3.13 percent.

Several reasons are behind the high mortality levels from the virus in Hubei, Li Lanjuan told Chinese broadcaster CCTV on Monday.

“One doctor has to treat many patients in Hubei and in Wuhan City… In addition, this period of time is the peak of the pneumonia, the number of patients has suddenly increased,” said Li, adding that the lack of medical resources has been well documented.

Medical power to control outbreak

The expert said mortality rates will drop significantly after Wuhan has received support from across the country amid mass mobilization of medical professionals and donations of emergency equipment to the virus-hit city.

Li, who is also a professor at Zhejiang University, brought medical personnel from east China’s Zhejiang Province to Hubei, and hoped to enhance the emergency treatment of the new coronavirus patients.

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