BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The current case fatality rate (CFR) of the novel coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland has dropped to 2.1 percent, Chinese health authorities said Tuesday.
The CFR remained stable after an initial 2.3 percent recorded at the beginning of the outbreak, said Jiao Yahui with the National Health Commission at a daily press briefing on the epidemic.
The CFR is calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the number of individuals diagnosed with the disease.
By the end of Monday, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on the Chinese mainland had reached 20,438, and a total of 425 people had died of the disease, according to the commission.
"China is going all out to improve admission and survival rates and reduce infection and fatality rates," said Jiao.
The CFR in Hubei Province was 3.1 percent, as the majority of the deaths occurred in the province, which saw a death toll of 414, over 97 percent of the total, Jiao said.
In Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei, the CFR stood at 4.9 percent and the death toll was 313, accounting for 74 percent of the national total, Jiao said.
The fatality rate outside Hubei was only 0.16 percent, Jiao added.
"This fatality rate is pretty low in other regions in China. So we are very confident, and there is no need for panic," Jiao said.
The city has allocated more hospitals dedicated to treating coronavirus-infected patients and invited top experts and doctors to Wuhan, according to Jiao.
"We believe the fatality rate of Wuhan will drop gradually," she said.
Jiao added the majority of those who died were male, with males accounting for about two-thirds and females for one-third.
More than 80 percent of the deaths were elderly people over 60 years old, and over 75 percent had at least one underlying disease such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and tumors, Jiao said.
Elderly people with underlying diseases infected with any kind of pneumonia would be at a higher risk, she said.