Coronavirus: A visual guide to the pandemic

Coronavirus – a fast-moving infection originating in China – has spread to more than 120 countries and claimed more than 5,000 lives.

While the vast majority of known cases are in China, the virus is now spreading faster outside the country than within. Italy, so far, has the highest number of confirmed infections outside China.

This series of maps and charts will help you understand what is going on.

1. The virus outbreak is now a pandemic

A rise in the number of daily confirmed cases of the new coronavirus internationally has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare its spread a global pandemic.

This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.

Daily coronavirus cases outside China

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About 81,000 people in China have been diagnosed with coronavirus since its emergence in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, in December.

But there are now also about 61,000 confirmed cases outside China, according to the latest WHO figures.

However, the number of people with coronavirus internationally is thought to be a much higher number – as many of those with mild symptoms have not been tested and counted.

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After China, Italy has the highest number of confirmed cases, with more than 17,000. Europe has become the new «epicentre» of the pandemic.

Iran and South Korea also have significant outbreaks, with 10,000 and 7,900 known cases respectively.

In response to the virus’s spread, countries around the world are ramping up measures to try to slow it down.

Governments have halted flights from virus-hit nations, locked down towns, urged people to stay at home, and suspended major sporting and social events.

Map showing where US travel restrictions apply

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US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, freeing up to $50bn (£40bn) in relief funds.

He has also announced travel restrictions on 26 European countries. The measures apply to non-Americans travelling from countries which are members of the Schengen border-free travel area and came into force on Saturday. The restrictions are in addition to those applying to China and Iran.

A number of international conferences and sporting events have also been cancelled, including Six Nations rugby matches.

To better co-ordinate the global response, leaders of the world’s richest economies – the G7 group – will hold a crisis summit via videoconference on Monday.

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2. Italy has the most recorded cases outside China

Italy currently has the most confirmed cases outside China, having overtaken both South Korea and Iran.

It has more than 17,600 confirmed cases and a death toll of about 1,200.

Italian authorities have imposed stringent restrictions, closing nearly all shops, bars, hairdressers, restaurants and cafes until 25 March.

Schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues have already been shut, and people have been ordered to stay home and seek permission for essential travel.

Daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy

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A number of airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair, have cancelled Italy flights until the start of April.

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3. Numbers across Europe are also rising

European countries have seen steep rises in infections and deaths, and the region has become the new epicentre of the crisis.

Spain has more than 4,000 cases, while France and Germany now have more than 3,000 cases each.

Map of Europe showing rising numbers of cases

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Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that up to 70% of its population – some 58 million people – could contract coronavirus.

However, some German virologists dispute the high figure, suggesting a worst-case scenario of 40,000 cases.

In Spain, a state of emergency comes into force on Saturday after the number of deaths increased by some 50% in a day to reach 120. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the number of cases could top 10,000 next week.

In the UK, where cases stand at about 800, the government has told those with a high temperature or new, persistent cough to self-isolate for a week as it steps up its response.

Chart showing the growing number of UK coronavirus cases 13 March

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The UK has switched to tactics aimed at delaying the virus’s spread, rather than containing it.

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4. China still has the most cases

The number of overall coronavirus cases in China has been rising since January, but has been levelling off in recent days.

The country has the highest number of confirmed cases of any country and accounts for about 81,000 of the 142,000 global cases.

Total number of coronavirus cases in China

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Government and regional officials have imposed tight restrictions in a bid to reduce infections, including cancelling flights, closing schools and workplaces and ordering some cities to go into lockdown.

The country is now tightening travel restrictions to try and prevent imported cases, so all international arrivals in the capital Beijing will have to be quarantined for two weeks

The origins of the coronavirus have been linked to illegally traded wildlife at the seafood market in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, where the outbreak began. The exact source has not yet been identified.


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