COVID-19 Fatality Rate (30th March 2020)

by Luca Schnettler
 on 30 Mar 2020
3 min read

COVID-19 is a virus affecting countries all over the world and we know that your timelines are filled with information on ways to avoid spreading or catching the virus so we won’t repeat them but will advise that you follow the advice of medical and government authorities at this time.

Many countries have implemented different levels of ‘social distancing’ measures and strict priority rules for masks, ventilators, tests and other essential materials that are in limited supply. And these are having very different impact.

Here we take a look at the key differences in mortality rates and the key factors that require most of our attention.

Mortality rate varies in every country

The mortality rate is a direct result of several factors including the efficiency of the national care system, the spread of the virus over time among the population, the distribution of the population demographic (age-group) and the distribution of pre-existing conditions among each age-group.

Today’s mortality rates are around 4% for China, 0.9% for South Korea, 6.8% in Italy and 2.4% in the US.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of these rates, looking at the US flu statistics, these mortality figures range between 12 to 24 times higher than the usual seasonal flu rates.

Mortality rate is positively correlated with age

We looked at the mortality rate for COVID-19 in relation to age group to get better insights and found that the correlation between mortality and age is very strong for all the countries included. Fatalities appear to increase monotonically with age and most of the fatalities occur in the 60 years+ age-group.

Mortality rate appears to be compounded by pre-existing conditions

In a recent study on the Italian COVID-19 cases, 99% of their fatalities had pre-existing conditions, with high blood pressure reported in 76% of the cases. The most prevalent pre existing conditions in the Italian fatalities are:

● Ischemic heart disease 33%

● Atrial fibrillation 24.5%

● Stroke 9.6%

● High blood pressure 76.1%

● Diabetes mellitus 35.5%

● Dementia .8%

● COPD 13.2%

● Active cancer in the past 5 years 20,3%

● Chronic liver disease 3.1%

● Chronic renal failure 18%

In China, the following pre-existing conditions were also identified as very high factors of vulnerability for individuals:

● Cardiovascular diseases

● Diabetes

● Chronic respiratory diseases

● Hypertension

● Cancer

Why Qumata is gathering this type of data?

Qumata specialises in evaluating the risk to be diagnosed for hundreds of medical conditions and the mortality likelihood for most medical conditions. Our model is based on wearable trackers, mobile phone data and national health statistics.

We must understand who are the most vulnerable among us for COVID-19 to allow us to prioritise the resources needed to limit the virus’ impact.

Qumata is offering support for the community by tracking COVID-19’s fatality rates and factors so we have more information to help prevent further fatalities.

What can you do to help?

If you would like to contribute to our efforts and have read the latest studies, reports and information on COVID-19, please contribute to our research by adding more sources and reports in the comments below so that we can keep up to date on this valuable information.


  1. ● Fatality per country : Report from Mc Kinsey Covid 19 Update 16 of March. Case Fatality calculated as ( total deaths) / (total cases) – this rate is evolving and dependent upon several factors, including number of suspected cases that are tested. For the US, WHO data is lagging news reports for the US; In the US, CDC & WHO reports >1,600 cases; NYTimes reports >3,600 cases Source: WHO situation reports, US CDC, press search
  1. ● Comparison with the flu. " Case fatality rates: COVID-19 vs. US seasonal flu ". https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus
  1. ● Fatality per age group : Report from Mc Kinsey Covid 19 Update 16 of March. For Italy: Data reported from China Feb 11 reports 2.3%, however latest deaths/cases from WHO indicates this may be higher. Source: l’institution Superiore. Di Sanità (ISS) Italy, WHO, Korea CDC, China CDC
  1. ● Coronavirus: early-stage case fatality rates by underlying health condition in China " https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus