COVID Deaths on the Rise Among Elderly

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    December 06, 2022 13:28

    Deaths from COVID-19 are on the rise again with the arrival of colder weather, and the fatality rate has doubled since the summer. 
    According to health officials on Monday, the fatality rate stood at 0.09 percent in the second week of November, up 0.02 percentage points compared to a month ago. 
    The number of severe cases in hospital also surged from 294 in early November to 460 at the end of the month. The average number of weekly deaths rose from 32 to 49 over the same period. 
    The vast majority of victims were elderly. At the end of November, 89.3 percent of the serious cases were over 60, as were 95.9 percent of those who died. 
    That means the cumulative fatality rate for the over-80s stands at 2.07 percent and among people in their 70s at 0.48 percent. 
    The Omicron variants that are now dominant are less harmful overall but still deadly for the elderly, who often suffer from chronic diseases. 
    Health experts attribute the surge in the death rate compared to overall infections to the fact that fewer people are getting tested all the time. 
    Chung Ki-seok, a government adviser on infectious diseases, said, "People who are infected with the coronavirus are not as active in reporting their cases or getting tested, resulting in a decline in infections figures, which is the denominator of the fatality rate, so on paper the death rate rises." 
    "It is likely that hidden infections are rising sharply," he added. 
    Kim Tak at Sunchunhyang University stressed the importance of getting vaccine booster shots. "As coronavirus mutated into the Omicron variant, it did not become weaker but only appears that way as more people became immune due to vaccinations," he claimed.  
    The daily tally of new infections stood at 77,604 on Tuesday morning with 24 deaths and 443 severe cases.  
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