Two-thirds of the victims of the virulent coronavirus were men and 80 per cent of the dead were over 60 years old, a Chinese health official said on Tuesday. The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak rose to 426 on Monday while the total number of cases increased to 20,522, according to Chinese health officials.
The majority of people who died were men accounting for about two-thirds and women for one-third, Jiao Yahui, an official of China’s National Health Commission, told the media here.
More than 80 per cent of the dead were over 60 years old, and over 75 per cent had at least one underlying disease such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and tumours, Jiao said. Elderly people with underlying diseases infected with any kind of pneumonia would be at a higher risk, she said.
With more hospitals being made available, she said, "we believe the fatality rate of Wuhan will drop gradually."
Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan became the epicentre of the province with vast majority of the fatalities so far.
Jiao said the average hospital stay of discharged patients with novel coronavirus ranges from five to 20 days in different Chinese regions.
Statistics showed that patients in Hainan province spent five days on average in the hospital before being discharged, while hospital stays for those in Hubei province where the virus was first detected lasted for 20 days, Jiao said.
Those infected with the virus outside Hubei are hospitalised for an average of just over nine days, she added.
The longer hospital stay of the infected people in Hubei is closely related to the fact that the province has more patients in severe condition compared with other regions, Jiao said.