Covid-19: Higher death rate among men claim not fully proven, says deputy health minister

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks to reporters at the Bijih Timah Health Clinic in Ipoh January 17, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks to reporters at the Bijih Timah Health Clinic in Ipoh January 17, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Feb 22 — A study claiming that men seemed to have a weaker immune response to COVID-19 infection has yet to be fully proven, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said.

He said the Health Ministry (MOH) will not be quick to make conclusions before further detailed studies are done on the claim.

“We are all studying the virus through a ‘characteristic’ approach, although scientists do have their own theories, but we need more time for detailed studies before we can confirm anything.

“Yes, statistically speaking, more men are dying from the disease but whether this means they are more susceptible we do not know for sure yet,” he told reporters at a Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Perak-based Small-and-Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Dr Lee was commenting on foreign reports that the death rate among men, at 2.8 per cent, was higher than women (1.7 per cent). — Bernama

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