MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. Men are more likely to contract the novel coronavirus than women (60% of men against 40% of women), Sergey Avdeev, deputy head of the pulmonology department at the First Moscow State Medical University, informed. He added that there are no grounds so far to say that men get more severe symptoms of the disease than women.”It is true, women contract the disease slightly less often than men. However, the ratio is not that big. 60% [of infected persons] are male, 40% are female. As for the severity of the disease, there are no grounds so far to say that men are more likely to develop severe symptoms,” he said on the Rossiya-1 TV channel.Avdeev noted that the share of smokers among those infected with the virus is lower than expected. “It sounds like good news for all smokers, as in if you smoke, you are less likely to get infected. However, it is too early to make such conclusions, because other data suggests that there are more smokers among the most serious patients,” he explained. The expert added that the amount of smokers in intensive care units “may be double as high as the number of smokers among patients at the pre-intensive care stage.”In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 3,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 211,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 923,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.To date, a total of 93,558 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 8,456 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 867 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.