The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across 61 countries hit 86,000 till Saturday with nearly 3,000 deaths globally.
The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment to its top level with the global health crisis edging closer to a pandemic, reported AFP.
The profile of those most at risk of dying came into focus after a recent study. Some types of people are more likely to die if they contract coronavirus: the elderly, the unwell and men than women, BBC reported.
In the first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, the death rate was ten times higher in the very elderly compared to the middle-aged.
"All of the findings interact with each other and we don't yet have a complete and confirmed findings of the risk for every type of person in every location," according to the experts.
Elderly at the highest risk
A recent study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the virus most seriously affected older people with preexisting health issues.
The death rate was ten times higher in the elderly compared to the middle-aged, according to the cases study. The death rates were lowest for the under 30's - there were eight deaths in 4,500 cases, reported BBC.
More men than women
Men in the China study were more likely to die than women by a margin of almost 3-to-2.
Death rates were at least five times higher among people with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems.
Children are on safe side
One striking finding from the China study is the near absence of cases among children.
The 10-19 age comprised one percent of infections, and a single death. Children under 10 made up less than one percent, with no deaths reported.
The tally of confirmed cases to deaths suggests a mortality rate of 3.4 percent, but several studies have concluded that up to two-thirds of infections in China and elsewhere have gone undetected, which would make the virus far less deadly.
The novel coronavirus, which has killed nearly 3,000 people globally is believed to have first emerged late last year in a Wuhan market that sold wild animals.
China on Sunday reported 35 more deaths from the new coronavirus, taking the toll in the country to 2,870.