The total death toll from COVID-19 in South Korea has reached 200 on Wednesday. It has been 79 days since the first confirmed case and 49 days since the first death in the country. The fatality rate as of Wednesday stood at 1.93 percent with the much higher 20.43 percent for those over the age of 80. In particular, male patients over 80 are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 with the mortality rate of 25.9 percent.
According to The Dong-A Ilbo’s analysis of 200 deaths from COVID-19, the average period between diagnosis and death is 11 days, excluding 12 patients who were diagnosed posthumously. Such a period is becoming shorter, however. Sixty patients who tested positive until the end of February died 13.6 days later on average while the average period until death for 140 patients confirmed in March is 10.7 days. Such a change is deemed to be caused by the difficulty of finding sickbeds due to the surge of patients since the end of February. The mass infection of the elderly patients from long-term care hospitals in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province was another contributing factor.
All deaths in the nation, except one, had underlying illnesses. The most common form of illnesses was circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure and strokes, for 159 people (79.5 percent), followed by 101 cases with metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and gout (50.5 percent); 81 cases with mental disorders, such as dementia (40.5 percent); and 57 cases with respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia (28.5 percent).
Sung-Min Park email@example.com