Only 9% of deaths were due to Covid-19 alone

Comorbidities were common in those COVID-19 cases admitted to Australian sentinel hospitals (general ward or ICU), with 78% recording at least one of the specified comorbidities; only 9% recorded no comorbidity. The proportion of hospitalised cases with no known comorbidity recorded in U.S hospital surveillance system COVID-NET was also reportedly 9%. By contrast, in the UK, 22.5% of 20,133 hospitalised COVID-19 cases had no recorded comorbidities.  This UK study reports similar prevalence estimates for key comorbidities amongst hospitalised COVID-19 patients as found in Australian data. In sentinel Australian sites, chronic cardiac disease occurred in 29% of hospitalised cases (30.9% in the UK), diabetes in 32% (20.7% UK) and chronic respiratory disease (including asthma) in 31% of hospitalised cases (32% UK study).
Compared to ward-admitted patients, we observed higher prevalence rates amongst those admitted to ICU for almost all specified comorbidities
(Table 7). A history of smoking (current or past smoker) was identified in 31% of those hospitalised (52/166) and 14% those admitted to ICU (41/292).

COVID-19 Australia: Epidemiology Report 22 Fortnightly reporting period ending 2 August 2020: The symptoms reported by COVID-19 cases in Australia are consistent with a mild respiratory infection in the majority of cases. The principal symptoms reported in cases (Figure B.1) were cough (42%), fever (30%), sore throat (27%) and headache (20%). Other symptoms reported include malaise, lethargy or fatigue (20%) and loss of taste or smell (10%). These are currently not standard fields in NNDSS, and are likely to under-represent those presenting with these symptoms. A small number of cases reported more severe symptoms, with pneumonia and/or acute respiratory disease (ARD) reported in 2% of cases and in 15% of deaths.


  1. Lewis says:

    What is the point of counting cases when such a high number of those testing positive have no symptoms and don’t know they are infected. If we want to save lives we should be isolating the aged care establishments where all the Covid-19 deaths are occurring. The number in ICU and the death rate should be the main concern.

    1. Lyall says:

      It would need to be voluntary unlike the compulsory testing conducted at the Kensington Housing Commission flats. But it is hardly likely that people will sit in a queue for an hour, waiting to be tested, if they have no symptoms. That’s one of the reasons why lock down doesn’t work.

  2. Sel Murray says:

    I have just heard this morning they have detected the Covid-19 virus in Apollo Bay sewerage/waste water. How much is all this testing costing the community and how long are we expected to be in this hand brake and accelerator mode, lifting and then reimposing restrictions, subject to the number of positive tests detected?

  3. Anonyme says:

    The Lancet medical journal which measured government actions alongside COVID-19 mortality rates said, “In our analysis, full lockdowns and wide-spread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”

    And then there is Oxford University’s Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology. Professor Gupta argued, “There is no way lockdown can eliminate the virus”.

  4. Charles says:

    The World Health Orginization have stated that 99% of cases will suffer mild symptoms. Extraordinary measures should have been implemented to protect our elderly population particularly those who have pre-existing health issues. The government appear to have given priority to a lock down strategy which will devastate our economy especially small businesses. The challenge now is for Government to admit their mistake, protect the aged and restore the economy ASAP.

  5. East of Whittens says:

    We know that the 99% of those who catch the Covid-19 will have mild symptoms similar to that seasonal flu so why the lock down? Deaths from Flu at the same period last year were similar to the number of deaths from Covid-19 this year. It is strange that there has been about 90% fewer deaths from Flu this year than at the same time last year.

  6. Judith says:

    Up till September 2020 there have been 781 deaths due to Covid-19
    According to the ABS: In 2017 there were 1,255 deaths due to influenza, recording a standardised death rate of 3.9 per 100,000 persons. This is a significant increase from 2016 where 464 influenza deaths were recorded. An individual dying from influenza in 2017 was most likely to be female, aged over 75 years, have multiple co-morbidities and living in the eastern states of Australia.
    What is Influenza?
    Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. It is easily spread from person to person through methods such as coughing or sneezing and is often seasonal, occurring in winter months in Australia (Department of Health, 2015). There are 3 types of influenza virus which affect people (influenza A, B and C), but only A and B cause serious outbreak and disease. The National Influenza Surveillance Scheme (NISS) confirmed that influenza A was the most common strain of virus identified in 2017 (NISS, 2017). Persons with weakened immune systems, who are elderly, and who have other existing chronic health conditions are at greater risk of contracting and developing a severe case of influenza.

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