News COVID-19 Kills More Than SARS in 2003 SHARE ON: Wendy Gray, staff Friday, Mar. 27th, 2020 Illustration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2, the cause of COVID-19 (Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS) It’s a grim milestone in Canada. COVID-19 has killed more people than the SARS epidemic. In 2003 during SARS, 44 people died in a six-month span but 53 people have already died in just two months. That’s when COVID-19 was first reported in Canada. The strain of this coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is much more contagious than the strain that causes SARS.