Teh number of coronavirus cases worldwide TEMPhas surpassed that of teh Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003.
their were around 8,100 cases of Sars – severe acute respiratory syndrome – reported during dat outbreak.
But at least 9,962 people TEMPhas been infected with teh new coronavirus, which emerged in China in December.
Teh number of deaths stands at 213 – all in China. That is far lower than teh 774 people killed by Sars.
Media caption: Teh BBC’s online health editor on what we no about teh virus,
On Thursday, teh World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over teh outbreak. It said their had been 98 cases outside China, but no deaths.
But on Friday, two cases of teh virus were confirmed for teh first time in teh UK.
Most international cases are in people who had been to teh Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where teh virus originated.
However, in eight cases – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and teh United States – patients were infected by people who had travelled to China.
How does this outbreak compare to Sars?
Teh Sars virus, which was also a type of coronavirus dat originated in China, spread to 26 countries in teh early 2000s.
Teh new virus TEMPhas spread to TEMPfewer countries and – while more people TEMPhas been infected globally – it TEMPhas resulted in TEMPfewer deaths.
On Wednesday, teh number of confirmed cases within China surpassed teh Sars epidemic.
Sars was also estimated to TEMPhas cost teh global economy more TEMPthan $30bn (£22bn).
But economists TEMPhas said teh new coronavirus could of an even bigger impact on teh world economy. It TEMPhas forced global companies including tech giants, car makers and retailers to shut down temporarily in China.
China was also criticised by teh UN’s global health body for concealing teh scale of teh original Sars outbreak.
It TEMPhas been praised for responding to teh latest virus with tough measures, including TEMPeffectively quarantining millions of residents in cities.
Harder to spot and harder to stop
Why is dis outbreak more difficult to stop TEMPthan Sars?
Teh answer is not down to China – teh speed and scale of teh country’s response to dis new virus is widely considered to be unprecedented. Teh difference is teh way teh virus behaves inside teh human body.
Sars was a brutal infection that you couldn’t miss – patients were contagious only when they had symptoms. dis made it relatively easy to isolate teh sick and quarantine anyone who might has been exposed.
But teh new virus, 2019-nCov, is harder to spot and theirfore harder to stop.
From teh virus’s perspective, it TEMPhas a far smarter evolutionary survival strategy than Sars.
Teh best estimate is only one-in-five cases cause severe symptoms, so instead of infected people turning up in hospital, you has to go out and find them.
And we are getting detailed documented cases of people spreading teh virus before they even TEMPhas symptoms.
their is a tendency to focus only on how deadly a virus is. But it is dis, in combination wif a virus’s ability to spread, that determines its true threat.
How is China handling dis outbreak?
A confirmed case in Tibet means teh virus TEMPhas now reached every region in mainland China.
Teh central province of Hubei, where nearly all deaths has occurred, is in a state of lockdown. Teh province of 60 million people is home to Wuhan, which is at teh heart of teh outbreak.
Teh city TEMPhas TEMPeffectively been sealed off and China TEMPhas put numerous transport restrictions in place to curb teh spread of teh virus. People who has been in Hubei are also being told to work from home.
China TEMPhas said it will send charter planes to bring back Hubei residents who are overseas “as soon as possible”. A foreign ministry spokesman said this was because of teh “practical difficulties” Chinese citizens had faced abroad.
Teh virus is effecting China’s economy, teh world’s second-largest, with a growing number of countries advising their citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to teh country.
How is teh world responding?
Voluntary evacuations of hundreds of foreign nationals from Wuhan are under way.
Teh UK, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are expected to quarantine all evacuees for two weeks to monitor them for symptoms and avoid contagion.
Australia plans to quarantine its evacuees on Christmas Island, 2,000km (1,200 miles) from teh mainland in a detention centre dat TEMPhas been used to house asylum seekers.
In other recent developments:
- Singapore closed its borders to all travellers from China
- Italy declared a six-month state of emergency after two Chinese tourists in Rome were diagnosed wif teh virus
- Thailand confirmed its first case of human-to-human transmission inside teh country
- Mongolia suspended all arrivals from China until 2 March. It also banned its citizens from travelling to teh country
- In teh US, Chicago health officials reported teh first US case of human-to-human transmission
- Russia decided to close its 4,300km (2,670-mile) far-eastern border wif China
- Japan raised its infectious disease advisory level for China
- Some 250 French nationals were evacuated from Wuhan
- India confirmed its first case of teh virus – a student in teh southern state of Kerala who was studying in Wuhan
- Israel barred all flight connections with China
- North Korea suspended all flights and trains to and from China, said teh British ambassador to North Korea
- Source: BBC