Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a pandemic disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 started to spread globally since December 2019 from Wuhan, China. Fever has been observed as one of the most common clinical manifestations, although the prevalence and characteristics of fever in adult and paediatric COVID-19 patients is inconclusive. We aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the overall pooled prevalence of fever and chills in addition to fever characteristics (low, medium, and high temperature) in both adult and paediatric COVID-19 patients. Methods The protocol of this systematic review and meta-analysis was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020176327). PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar databases were searched between 1.sup.st December 2019 and 3.sup.rd April 2020 without language restrictions. Both adult ([greater than or equal to]18 years) and paediatric ( Results We identified 2055 studies, of which 197 studies (n = 24266) were included in the systematic review and 167 studies with 17142 adults and 373 paediatrics were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled prevalence of fever in adult and paediatric COVID-19 patients were 79.43% [95% CI: 77.05-81.80, I.sup.2 = 95%] and 45.86% [95% CI: 35.24-56.48, I.sup.2 = 78%], respectively. Besides, 14.45% [95% CI: 10.59-18.32, I.sup.2 = 88%] of the adult COVID-19 patients were accompanied with chills. In adult COVID-19 patients, the prevalence of medium-grade fever (44.33%) was higher compared to low- (38.16%) and high-grade fever (14.71%). In addition, the risk of both low (RR: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.69-3.22, p Conclusions The prevalence of fever in adult COVID-19 patients was high, however, 54.14% of paediatric COVID-19 patients did not exhibit fever as an initial clinical feature. Prevalence and risk of low and medium-grade fevers were higher compared to high-grade fever.