Mapped: How coronavirus outbreak started in China and is spreading world over

The coronavirus outbreak that started in China’s Wuhan city early December last year has now spread to over 25 countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as on February 17, there were 71,429 confirmed coronavirus reported world over, with nearly 99 per cent of them being in China. The global death toll stands at 1,775.

The WHO has declared this epidemic a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Several countries have imposed travel restrictions to and from China as the viral infection (now officially named COVID-19) continues to spread. Every day hundreds of new cases are being reported from China and elsewhere, triggering a global health scare.

To help explain the nature and scale of the coronavirus outbreak, IndiaToday.in has analysed all key data related to this epidemic and brings you this in-depth data-driven analysis. (These charts and figures will be updated regularly to provide you the latest figures on COVID-19 infection.)

1) Wuhan: Where it all started

Investigations into the coronavirus outbreak so far have revealed that the infection started from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province.

IndiaToday.in had earlier reported that on December 8, a person in Wuhan is said to have complained of pneumonia-like symptoms and sought medical help at a local hospital. In the following days, many others reported similar symptoms, prompting authorities to investigate the matter.

China officially informed the World Health Organisation about these strange pneumonia-like symptoms emanating from “unknown causes” on December 31. Since then, the WHO has been regulalrly monitoring the situation and issuing guidelines and precautions.

The Hubei Province has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, accounting for 81 per cent of all cases and 95 per cent of all deaths so far.

The map below shows the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The above map shows that while Hubei Province remains the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak, the COVID-19 infection has spread to all provinces with at least one case being reported from each of them.

The yearly migration in China on account of the Lunar New Year festivities is said to have contributed to the spread of this infection across China. The country’s Transport Ministry had estimated that nearly 3 billion trips will be made during the festivities, which trigger the world’s biggest annual human migration every year.

The interactive below shows the rate at which coronavirus cases spread from Wuhan to different provinces in China.

2) Coronavirus outside China

The viral COVID-19 infection that started at a seafood market in Wuhan, has now infected people in at least 25 countries. In the early phase of the outbreak, it was believed that the viral infection cannot transmit between humans. However, as cases mounted in China and many were reported in other countries, health experts found evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The first batch of confirmed coronavirus cases outside China was reported in mid-Janaury: two cases in Thailand and one each in Japan and South Korea.

IndiaToday.in had reported that all of them had traveled to Wuhan. The first confirmed case in Thailand was reported on January 13 and the one in Japan on January 14.

Following this, several countries started screening passengers arriving from China at their airports.

To explain the geographical spread of coronavirus outbreak, here is GIF that captures how COVID-19 infection started in China and spread to other parts of the world within few weeks.

Geographical spread of coronavirus

As on February 17, there were 794 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths outside China. These were reported from at least 25 countries, the WHO said.

The chart below organises countries based on the number of confirmed cases reported in each of them.

3) The travel link to China

Analysis of the daily data released by the World Health Organisation in its situation report on coronavirus shows that nearly 50 per cent of the people who were infected outside China had a history of traveling to China prior to getting infected.

While studying the nature of coronavirus cases outside China, it is important to see country-wise variation of how people there are contracting the COVID-19 infection.

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The chart below shows that in most countries that have reported confirmed coronavirus cases, a majority of the patients had a travel history to China. However, in Singapore, Germany, the UK and South Korea, the share of people who contracted the infection without any travel histroy to China is significantly high. This shows that COVID-19 infection is capable of transmitting in totally new locations.

4) The daily trends

The trend of daily increase in new cases and deaths is another important indicator that is useful in understanding an outbreak. It helps in figuring out the scale at which new cases/deaths are being reported globally.

The following chart shows that number of daily new cases kept on increasing till February 5 (the day when 3,925 new cases were reported) and saw a slow decrease thereafter, indicating that fewer new cases were being reported.

However, on February 13, China changed its methodology of reporting confirmed cases by introducing clinical diagnosis as a method to confirm cases in addition to laboratory tests. The clinical diagnosis was limited to Hubei Province (where the epicentre of this outbreak–Wuhan–is located), but this methology saw an overnight exponential rise in the daily number of new cases.

WHO data show on February 13, China reported 15,158 new coronavirus cases. However, the numbers have fallen since then.

In contrast to the trend for daily new cases, the trend for daily deaths due to coronavirus shows that the number of daily deaths have been gradually increasing.

5) Appeals for funds

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed to the international community to come forward and contribute funds to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The WHO has set the target of raising $61.5 million to fight this epidemic.

As on February 17, the WHO had received only $1 million in form of donations for this cause. However, various countries and international organisations have pledged to contribute and pledged amount so far is $24.4 million. Put together, the amount received and pledged comprise 41.3 per cent of WHO’s target.

(NOTE: This report will be regulalrly updated to incorporate latest data and insights on the coronavirus outbreak.)

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Clicknow. Source:India Today

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