Middle-aged people and not the elderly alone who have a dramatically higher risk of contracting coronavirus and dying, according to a comprehensive study of patients in China.

The new study unveiled in Britain on Tuesday analyzed 3,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases in China as well as patients who traveled from Wuhan to other parts of the world. Age is a key factor in determining the seriousness of the case. The researchers said that nearly one in five over-80s required hospitalization compared to around 1 per cent among people under 30.

The rate of hospitalization in patients in their fifties is 8.2 per cent. The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, said the mortality rate for confirmed cases was 1.38 per cent.

Coronavirus
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COVID-19 deadlier than previous pandemics

Taking unconfirmed cases into consideration, the new coronavirus has a death rate of 0.66 per cent. The study authors said although it was comparatively less when compared to previous estimates, coronavirus is much deadlier than any other pandemic viruses.

According to Azra Ghani, a study co-author from Imperial College London, the study can be used to analyze the best containment policy in each country. The author also said people over the age of 50 are more likely to get hospitalized when compared to people under the age of 50.

Several countries have started lockdowns to contain the disease. The number of deaths across the world continues to rise with confirmed cases steadily rising. Experts continue to ask for widespread testing to know how many have been infected and have recovered. Some people have also has relapsed into the virus in certain rare cases.

The study, therefore, suggested that the actual mortality rate could be lesser than the numbers that have been displayed until now. The cases in China suggest that 18.4 per cent of the people over the age of 80 had been hospitalized.

The study also suggested that around 50-80 per cent of the people around the globe could contract the disease.