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SCIENCE > Health

COVID-19 mortality rate begins to drop

  • September 5, 2020
  • , Mainichi, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Saturday’s Nikkei wrote that the number of people dying due to the novel coronavirus has begun to decline since early September, with the seven-day rolling average on Sept. 3 being 13.43, marking the first drop in eight days. The number of patients in serious condition has also been declining from a peak on Aug. 23. The figure as of Sept. 2 was 218, down 20% from the highest level marked on Aug. 26. The peaks of both indexes during the ongoing second wave were not as high as those marked during the first wave in the spring.

 

According to an estimate produced by the National Institute of Infectious diseases (NIID), the COVID-19 mortality rate in August was 0.8%, as opposed to 7.2% in May. The mortality rate for people aged 70 or older was 8.1% last month, in comparison with 25.5% in May. The NIID reportedly attributed the plunge to improvements in treatment methods and the detection of a large number of patients with mild or no symptoms as a result of aggressive testing.

 

In a related story, Sunday’s Mainichi wrote that more than 25% of hospital beds secured for COVID-19 patients were occupied in nine prefectures as of Sept. 2, including Okinawa (56%), Fukuoka (53%), and Ishikawa (51%). In the previous week, over 25% of such beds were occupied in eleven prefectures. According to the GOJ coronavirus taskforce advisory subcommittee, the 25% occupancy rate is one of the criteria for assessing whether COVID-19 infection is picking up momentum in a given prefecture.

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