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Coronavirus lethality rate among patients aged 70+ reaches 17%, expert says

Children almost don’t catch the new coronavirus infection, the expert said

MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Patients older than 70 years of age account for the highest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus, with the lethality rate estimated at 17%, Deputy Director of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Alexander Gorelov, said.

"Lethality [from the novel coronavirus globally] is 3.9%, but these are general figures. In fact, there is a category 70+ where lethality is some 17%. Children almost don’t catch the new coronavirus infection," Gorelov told a meeting of the State Duma’s health protection committee.

Coronavirus has been detected in 107 countries, the expert said, explaining that the disease is highly contagious. "That’s why it’s impossible to create any illusion or a shield to prevent the spread of this infection."

Russia has carried out unprecedented sanitary and quarantine events to prevent the novel coronavirus based on a principle "detect, isolate and treat," the expert noted. "Regarding all three parameters, I can say that we have achieved certain success."

Amid the coronavirus fears, Russia’s authorities have introduced a range of measures, including banning flights to some countries where the outbreaks of this disease were reported, and ordering self-isolation for citizens returning from these states. Moscow’s authorities have temporarily banned mass events in the capital and opened a special medical facility for hosting suspected coronavirus patients.

In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million. The World Health Organization recognized the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11.

Outside China, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran. Overall, more than 100 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.

According to the latest reports, China, which handles the bulk of cases, has confirmed around 80,700 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The virus’ death toll has reached 3,169, yet more than 62,700 patients have recovered from the disease. The WHO says that the novel coronavirus cases globally have exceeded 118,000, with over 4,290 deaths.