The coronavirus pandemic: visualising the global crisis

The WHO has declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Take a look at the data behind the spread of the virus

How many people have been affected?

More than 126,000 people globally have now been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus, out of whom 67,000 have recovered, and more than 4,600 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

global numbers

Who has experienced the most severe symptoms so far?

During the first wave of infections in Wuhan, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention analysed data from 44,672 people who had the virus. This research showed that 80.9% of patients experienced mild symptoms, 13.8% required hospitalisation and experienced severe symptoms, and 4.7% were critical cases requiring intensive care.

people affected

Which countries have experienced the largest case numbers?

Although Covid-19 has spread to 116 countries, the vast majority of cases have been confirmed in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China, where the pandemic originated. Taken with the 110,000 cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea, this amounts to 87% of cases in total.

largest cases

Are other countries following China’s case trajectory?

The rate of infection in Italy has been observed to be similar to that of Hubei. The extraordinary efforts of the Chinese state to contain the virus seem to have slowed the spread of the disease in a population used to authoritarian government. Italy’s government has ordered all shops, bars and restaurants across the country to close and has restricted travel in order to slow the outbreak.

Hubei and italy

In countries reporting more than 1,000 cases, what is the infection and death rate?

Local factors relating to healthcare systems, availability of testing for the virus, population demographics and government interventions will all have a bearing on the course of the disease in every country in which it appears. The largest European outbreak is in Italy, where 23% of the population is aged over 65 and where 6% of cases have resulted in a fatality. Major outbreaks are also occurring in South Korea and Iran where there are fewer older people.

case rate

How does this pandemic compare with others?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) were both caused by coronaviruses that came from animals. Sars had a death rate of just under 10%. In 2002, Sars spread to 37 countries, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750. The Spanish flu was the deadliest pandemic in history, killing up to 100 million people between 1918 and 1920.


• This article was amended on 17 March 2020. The death rate from Sars was just under 10%, not “more than 10%” as an earlier version had stated. This has been corrected.


Cath Levett and Paul Torpey

The GuardianTramp

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