Data | Is COVID-19 spreading faster outside mainland China?

On February 29, 75% new cases of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) were recorded outside China

Updated - December 03, 2021 06:55 am IST

Published - March 03, 2020 04:06 pm IST

A policeman and pedestrians wear masks to help guard against the Coronavirus, in downtown Tehran, Iran. File

A policeman and pedestrians wear masks to help guard against the Coronavirus, in downtown Tehran, Iran. File

In the last week, the novel coronavirus has spread at a faster rate outside mainland China than within the country. Some nations in Western Europe, Western and Eastern Asia have emerged as the new epicenters of SARS-CoV-2. The rate at which people succumbed to the virus in nations outside mainland China increased sharply in the past week.

Not confined to China

Until February 18, a relatively small proportion of new COVID-19 cases were reported outside mainland China. Since then, the share has increased exponentially. On February 29, 75% new cases were recorded in other nations.

Global spread


New epicentres

South Korea, Italy and Iran have recorded the most COVID-19 cases outside mainland China since the outbreak. Map depicts cases recorded until February 29 from day zero. The bigger the circle, the higher the number of cases reported.

Case map


Death rate spikes

Outside mainland China the virus has claimed 106 lives as of February 29. Iran has reported the most deaths (43).

The table lists the number of deaths reported by the six most affected countries. Since February 23, the deaths have multiplied at an alarming rate in Iran and Italy and to an extent in South Korea.

Deaths by country


Source: Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

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