Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; warning that Germany faces 19,200 cases a day | World news

Global deaths from Covid-19 have reached 1 million, but experts are still struggling to figure out a crucial metric in the pandemic: the fatality rate – the percentage of people infected with the pathogen who die.

Here is a look at issues surrounding better understanding the COVID-19 death rate.

How is a death rate calculated?

A true mortality rate would compare deaths against the total number of infections, a denominator that remains unknown because the full scope of asymptomatic cases is difficult to measure. Many people who become infected simply do not experience symptoms.

Scientists have said the total number of infections is exponentially higher than the current number of confirmed cases, now at 33 million globally. Many experts believe the coronavirus likely kills 0.5% to 1% of people infected, making it a very dangerous virus globally until a vaccine is identified.

Researchers have begun to break down that risk by age group, as evidence mounts that younger people and children are far less likely to experience severe disease.

“The death rate for people below age 20 is probably one in 10,000. Over the age of 85 it is around one in 6,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Gravediggers in Indonesia have struggled to cope with demand from Covid-19 deaths.

Gravediggers in Indonesia have struggled to cope with demand from Covid-19 deaths. Photograph: Ed Wray/Getty Images

What is a “case fatality rate”?

There has been an apparent decline in death rates when measured against the number of new infections confirmed by coronavirus testing. In places like the United States, that “case fatality rate” has fallen dramatically from 6.6% in April to just over 2% in August, according to Reuters statistics.

But experts said that the decline has largely been driven by more widespread testing compared with the early days of the pandemic, detecting more people who have mild illness or no symptoms. Improvements in treating the severely ill and protecting some of the highest-risk groups, are also credited with improving survival.

“We are much more aware of potential complications and how to recognize and treat them,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore. “If you are a patient who gets COVID-19 in 2020, you would much rather get it now than in March.”

A Covid-19 test being conducted in Guwahati, in northeastern India.

A Covid-19 test being conducted in Guwahati, in northeastern India. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

What does that mean for individuals, and governments?

That highlights the need for continued vigilance, as some countries begin to experience a second wave of infections.

For example, researchers in France estimate that country’s case fatality rate fell by 46% by the end of July compared with the end of May, driven by an increase in testing, improved medical care and a greater proportion of infections occurring in younger people, who are less likely to experience severe disease.

“Now, we are seeing a fresh rise in hospitalisations and ICU (intensive care unit) registrations, which means this discrepancy is about to end,” said Mircea Sofonea,

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Russian Interior Ministry Wants To Question Navalny In Germany

Russia’s Interior Ministry wants to question opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in Berlin, where he is being treated after German doctors reported “unequivocal evidence” that he was poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, contradicting their Russian counterparts who said they had found no trace of poison.

The ministry’s transportation police directorate branch in Siberia said on September 11 that with Navalny coming out of a medically induced coma earlier this week, it is preparing a request that German authorities allow its investigators to take part in questioning the 44-year-old Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner.

A German government spokesman said Berlin had yet to receive an official request from Moscow on the issue.

Navalny fell ill aboard a plane en route from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow in late August and was hospitalized after the plane made an emergency landing in the city of Omsk.

He was then flown to the Charite clinic in Berlin, where German authorities said that “unequivocal evidence” indicated Navalny had been poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent, which the Kremlin has vehemently denied and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called “groundless” on September 11.

Russian human rights defenders, opposition politicians and activists, and Navalny’s relatives and associates, however, say the use of Novichok indicates that the Russian state only could be responsible for the poisoning.

Western politicians have said they also believe the poisoning was likely ordered by authorities in Russia and have urged Moscow to prove its lack of involvement.

The case has prompted international calls for Russia to carry out a transparent investigation or risk sanctions, but the country has not opened a criminal investigation, saying its medics did not find evidence of poison in tests.

In its September 11 statement, the Siberian transport police said they had been conducting “checks” into what happened and published some findings on Navalny’s activities.

According to the statement, Navalny had snacks and drinks at the Xander Hotel, Velvet restaurant, and an apartment where he held meetings with his team members in Tomsk. He also stopped at the Vienna Coffeehouse at the Tomsk airport for a tea before boarding the plane.

The statement also says that five of Navalny’s associates who were accompanying him in Tomsk have been questioned by police, while a sixth associate, Marina Pevchikh, who is a permanent resident of Britain, was not available for questioning.

Police are now working on tracking down other passengers who were aboard the plane, the statement said.

The Kremlin says Berlin has not answered its request to see the medical data that led to the declaration that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok.

However, doctors in Omsk said earlier that they had used an antidote to nerve agents while treating Navalny and that medical personnel in the Charite clinic also used it while treating the anti-corruption campaigner.

Germany’s Defense Ministry has said the data about Navalny has been provided to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Moscow’s UN

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