According to a preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) carried out in 28 African countries, women are slightly less likely to die from COVID-19 than men.
The analysis which is based on gender-sensitive COVID-19 epidemiological data provided by countries revealed that women account for around 41 per cent of COVID-19 cases but with variations ranging from 31 percent in Niger to 57 percent in South Africa.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the fatality rate is 0.4 percent for women against 0.5 percent for men, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo it is 2.2 percent for women and 2.7 per cent for men, and in Seychelles 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Despite the fact that women represent a large part of the health workforce, which puts them at a higher risk of infection, highlighted studies suggested that biological, behavioural and social factors may be responsible for the high mortality rate in men.
The WHO noted in a statement that other studies report that men are significantly more likely to suffer from severe effects of COVID-19 and have pre-existing conditions, which explains the slightly lower death rate seen in women.
New data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday, February 4, 2021, showed that women are half as likely to die from COVID-19 than men.
The mortality rate in England and Wales for men in March 2020 was 97.5 deaths due to coronavirus per 100,000 people, over double that of women, who showed only 46.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
The ONS also expressed their belief that the lower mortality rate for women can be likened to lifestyle choices.
For instance a study showed that men are likely to smoke more tahn women and this might be given as a potential reason. A gender imbalance in this habit is particularly pertinent in China, where the original data was gathered (it’s estimated that 52% of men smoke there, compared with 3% of women).
Another study by the WHO showed that 36 percent of men smoke compared with 6 percent of women globally.