Speaking purely in terms of the death toll in mainland China, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has now officially surpassed the SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003.
On Monday, the official death toll from the coronavirus reached 362 people, all but one of whom died in China. SARS only ever killed 349 people in China, according to The New York Times — illustrating the gravity of the ongoing 2019-nCoV outbreak.
With added context beyond the death toll, however, it still seems that SARS was arguably the more dangerous of the two diseases. The NYT reports that about 9.6 percent of people who caught SARS in China died as a result. With the coronavirus 2019-nCoV, that number is closer to two percent.
The higher absolute death toll comes from the fact that vastly more people have been infected with 2019-nCoV than were with SARS. As of Monday, the number of confirmed cases is more than twice that of the entire SARS outbreak.
Meanwhile, 524 people in China have fully recovered.
Troubling, however, is the fact that the SARS deaths occurred over the course of the nine-month-long outbreak, according to CNN. In contrast to that, the first coronavirus-linked death only happened a little over three weeks ago.
In response to the dire outbreak, CNN reports that officials in China are closing borders and placing cities on lockdown, effectively stranding 60 million Chinese residents.
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READ MORE: The death toll in China exceeds that of the SARS outbreak. [The New York Times]
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