Coronavirus: A visual guide to the pandemic

  24 March 2020    Read: 1680
Coronavirus: A visual guide to the pandemic

Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the world, affecting more than 160 countries and claiming more than 16,000 lives.

There are more than 360,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Europe is now at the epicentre of the crisis and the US is facing a surge in cases.

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

1. The global pandemic continues to grow

The virus is spreading rapidly in many countries, with more than 270,000 confirmed cases outside China, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The true figure for the number of people with coronavirus is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

Italy has the highest death toll of any single country in the world with more than 6,000 deaths, many in the worst-hit region of Lombardy.

The US, Spain, France and Germany also have a large number of confirmed cases.

The US now has the third highest figure globally, and almost 100 deaths recorded in New York City, according to John Hopkins data.

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and announced a travel ban on European countries, including the UK and Ireland, as well as China and Iran.

Mr Trump has also ordered the deployment of National Guard troops in New York, California and Washington - the three states hardest hit by the virus outbreak. They will help deliver medical aid and set up medical stations as the number of infections and deaths continues to rise.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has described his country as being "at war" as the number of cases there also escalates.

The coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March.

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

The WHO said it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases worldwide, but only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.

More than 80,000 people in China were diagnosed with the infection after its emergence in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, in December.

China says it has now all but stopped the spread of the disease, and that all new recorded cases are imported infections from other countries.

Countries around the world are ramping up measures to try to slow the virus down. Governments have halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home.

2. The virus has killed more people in Italy than China
Italy currently has the most confirmed cases outside China, where the virus originated.

While Italy has about 63,000 confirmed cases compared with China's 81,000, its death toll of 6,000 exceeds China's by several hundred.

However, Italy's daily confirmed deaths from the virus have dropped for two consecutive days.

The majority of Italy's deaths have occurred in the northern Lombardy region, which contains the city of Milan. Hospitals there are reportedly at breaking point and retired doctors and nurses have been asked to return to work.

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

Schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues have been shut, and people have been ordered to stay at home and seek permission for essential travel in a bid to slow the virus's spread.

The lockdown, imposed on 12 March, has now been extended beyond the original 25 March end date.

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

3. Numbers across Europe are rising

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

As well as Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK now have thousands of confirmed cases each.

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.

Spain, which now has the fourth highest number of cases outside China, after Italy and the US, brought in a state of emergency on 14 March.

In the UK, confirmed cases stand at 6,650 and 335 people have died.

On 16 March Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a shift in strategy, urging everyone in the UK to avoid unnecessary social contact and work from home where possible.

On 20 March he said that pubs, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres and gyms should all close.



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