COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has killed about 3.4 percent of confirmed cases, globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) – a figure higher than previous estimates and far above the seasonal flu’s fatality rate of less than 1 percent.
However, the global spread of the new type of virus can still be controlled, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, urging countries to step up containment efforts and measures to protect front-line doctors and nurses.
“Globally, about 3.4 percent of COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected,” he told reporters in Geneva, outlining the main differences between the two respiratory illnesses.
“To summarise, COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu. Transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick, and it causes more severe illness than flu. There are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it can be contained, which is why we must do everything we can to contain it.”