These Striking Animated Charts Show How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Unfolded so Far

As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, two new animated charts are helping to make sense of what has unfolded over the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a few seconds, the charts created by the MIT Technology Review (a magazine owned by but independent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) lay bare how cases and deaths caused by the new coronavirus grew outwards from China since the end of last year.

China is shown as the initial epicentre of the disease, before a ship quarantined off the coast of Japan emerged as a hotspot in February, followed by South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan towards the end of that month. Before long, cases spiked to their hundreds of thousands, with the U.S. overtaking all other countries in terms of cases last week.

The timeline of fatalities, meanwhile, similarly shows China leading, before its deaths are eclipsed by those in hard-hit Italy and Spain.

The visualizations are based on data from Johns Hopkins University, which confirms new cases using data from official sources such as the World Health Organization the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team also identifies potential cases from Twitter, online news services, and information sent to the dashboard.

As previously highlighted by Newsweek, there are a number of data visualization tools available online which help make sense of the vast amounts of information coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include the oft-cited Johns Hopkins University dashboard, as well as more detailed offerings such as NextStrain which maps the evolution of the new coronavirus and is designed with experts such as virologists, epidemiologists, public health officials, and community scientists in mind.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University and visualised in the Statista graph below, more than 800,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far. At least 39,000 people have died, and over 172,000 people have recovered.

Number of worldwide coronavirus cases March 31
The graph shows the number of coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide, as of March 31, 2020. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

About the writer

Kashmira Gander is Deputy Science Editor at Newsweek. Her interests include health, gender, LGBTQIA+ issues, human rights, subcultures, music, and lifestyle. Her work has also been published in the The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The i Newspaper, the London Evening Standard and International Business Times UK.

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