Death rate of hospitalised COVID-19 patients at 6.2 pct in Poland - study

Leszek Szymański/PAP

The fatality rate of Covid-19 patients hospitalised in Poland has reached 6.2 percent, while that of hospitalised adults amounted to 7.3 percent, according to the Polish Society of Epidemiology and Physicians of Infectious Diseases.

The data were collected by the medical organisation as part of a SARSTer study, a retrospective non-intervention research programme conducted by the Polish Society of Epidemiology and Physicians of Infectious Diseases in order to evaluate the effectiveness of Covid-19 therapies, which have been applied in Poland since March 1, 2020.

The analysis of the Covid-19 death rate covered the situation up to December 6, 2020. Its findings have been published on the society's website at http://www.pteilchz.org.pl/.

"The Covid-19 fatality rate in Poland evaluated in relation to the number of identified coronavirus cases with a positive result of a genetic or antigen test does not exceed 2 percent, which is considered a low value in comparison with the SARS and MERS epidemics. This has led to a false message suggesting a mild Covid-19 course in comparison with these diseases caused by coronaviruses (death rate at 10 percent and 45 percent, respectively). However, never before has the number of deaths been related to the results of lab tests, but to the number of clinically-confirmed cases," reads the society's report.

The Society's experts recalled that the fatality rate, in epidemiology, is the proportion of people who die from a specified disease among all individuals diagnosed with the disease over a certain period of time.

"This means that the real SARS-CoV-2 fatality rate calculated in a proper way will be few times higher than the one presented by the Health Ministry in its everyday reports since it has been based on the number of registered positive results," reads the report.

"If we only take into account the number of Covid-19 hospitalised patients, the percentage of deaths will be considerably higher than 2 percent," the experts wrote, adding that in this situation "the fatality rate of Covid-19 hospitalised patients registered on the SARSTer database reached 6.2 percent, and that of hospitalised adults amounted to 7.3 percent."