Chinese boy hugs relative amid coronavirus outbreakChinese boy hugs relative amid coronavirus outbreak

A boy hugs a relative as she leaves to board a train at Beijing Railway station on January 21, 2020. Health officials have stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like coronavirus, which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images


  • A rapidly spreading coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has infected at least 900 people and killed 26 worldwide, as of Friday evening.
  • The virus appears to be spreading from person to person, and Chinese authorities are scrambling to treat a flood of new patients.
  • By Friday, Chinese authorities had quarantined people in 12 cities, halting transportation and cutting off nearly 33 million people while officials attempt to quell the outbreak.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

At least 900 people have been infected by the mysterious Wuhan coronavirus worldwide, and 26 people have died.

In just a matter of weeks, the virus has spread from an initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, to nine other countries, and has resulted in the quarantine of at least 12 Chinese cities.

Chinese authorities are scrambling to contain the virus and treat an influx of new patients, but a reported lack of medical tests and protective gear are making matters difficult.

From issuing masks, to putting cities on lockdown and panic-building a new hospital, here’s a look at how the virus has spread across China.

The first case of the coronavirus was reported in Wuhan in December, and is thought to have originated at the Huanan Seafood Market, a wet market that sold live animals next to seafood and meat.

wuhan wet market

A woman walks in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market.

NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images


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The Huanan Seafood Market was closed on January 1.

wet market

Poultry vendor selling live chicken at wet market in Kowloon City.

Felix Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images


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Chinese authorities began an official investigation into the disease in early January, after fear began spreading that this could be like SARS, another coronavirus that originated in China and killed 774 people in the early 2000s.

Vietnam's Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son (R) talks with a man at an isolated section of a hospital where two Chinese citizens had tested positive for coronavirus, in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam January 23, 2020. Thanh Chung/VNA via REUTERS

Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son talks with a man at an isolated section of a hospital where two Chinese citizens had tested positive for coronavirus, in Ho Chi Minh city

Reuters


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After the initial outbreak, people began wearing masks to protect themselves from the virus.

masks Wuhan in China

A woman wears a mask while riding an electric bicycle near the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

Getty Images


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Medics wearing Level D Hazmat suits were seen scanning passengers arriving from Wuhan on January 22.

Health Officials in hazmat suits check body temperatures of passengers arriving from the city of Wuhan Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, at the airport in Beijing, China. Nearly two decades after the disastrously-handled SARS epidemic, China’s more-open response to a new virus signals its growing confidence and a greater awareness of the pitfalls of censorship, even while the government is as authoritarian as ever. (AP Photo Emily Wang)

Health Officials in hazmat suits check body temperatures of passengers arriving from the city of Wuhan on January 22, 2020, at the airport in Beijing, China.

Emily Wang/AP


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As the death toll climbed to nine, the Chinese government urged people to avoid traveling to Wuhan and stay away from public spaces — a warning that came just as millions of people were planning to migrate for the Lunar New Year.

lunar new year hong kong china masks wuhan coronavirus

Passengers wear protective face masks at the departure hall of the high speed train station in Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung


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On January 23, the death toll grew to 17 and the city of Wuhan was put on official lockdown. All transportation was stopped and wearing a protective mask became mandatory.

Wuhan lockdown footage The Paper Twitter video coronavirus virus January 23

A row of Chinese soldiers block the entrance to the central Hankou Station in Wuhan, China, after the government put the city in lockdown.

The Paper/Twitter


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During the quarantine, people in Wuhan are left to stockpile food and fuel, and urged to avoid the streets.

Wuhan

Wuhan residents wearing masks but groceries on January 23.

Getty Images


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As panic began to spread throughout China, videos surfaced of infected people being shoved into plastic boxes and tubes as authorities try to contain the virus.

Business insider metal cages


Twitter/MissXQ/RFA_Chinese/Business Insider


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Shortly after Wuhan, two other Chinese cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, closed its transportation, as well. At this point, 19 million people were put on lockdown.

Train Shanghai to Wuhan January 23 lockdown coronavirus outbreak

Mask-wearing passengers in Shanghai catch one of the final trains into Wuhan before a lockdown was imposed on January 23, 2020.

Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images


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But the virus continued to spread. By the end of the day on January 23, the death toll grew to 26.

Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with the country's busiest travel period, as millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.

Associated Press


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By the afternoon of January 24, the virus had infected more than 900 people and spread to nine countries. Authorities in Wuhan struggled to contain an influx of patients.

wuhan hospital

Hospital staff wash the emergency entrance of Wuhan Medical Treatment Center.

AP Photo/Dake Kang


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One doctor in Wuhan said thousands of patients have been left waiting hours for treatment, and many were advised not to work over fears that they could become infected.

wuhan doctor

This photo taken on January 22, 2020 shows medical staff members wearing protective suits at the Zhongnan hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province.

STR/AFP via Getty Images


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Protective gear and test-kits have become so sparse in Wuhan that people have reportedly likened their chances to receiving them as “winning the lottery”.

wuhan ambulance

A security official stands guard as an ambulance arrives with a patient to the Infectious Disease Centre of Princess Margaret Hospital on January 22, 2020 in Hong Kong.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images


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As hospitals struggle to treat an influx of new patients, the Chinese government announced plans to build a new hospital in Wuhan in just six days.

wuhan

A composite image showing construction on a new hospital in Wuhan, China on January 24 and medical staff in the city on January 22.

STR/AFP via Getty Images/Xinhua/Cheng Min via Getty Images/Business Insider


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The hospital will be located on the outskirts of the city. It’s set to open on February 3 with 1,000 new beds to treat patients.

patients being carried out at hospital in Wuhan

Medical staff members carry a patient into the Jinyintan hospital, where patients infected by a mysterious SARS-like virus are being treated, in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on January 18, 2020.

STR/AFP via Getty Images


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By Friday, January 24, more than 900 people have been infected worldwide, and 12 Chinese cities have now been quarantined. An estimated 33 million people have now been put on lockdown.

Wuhan lockdown composite January 23 coronavirus

A composite images shows (left) Chinese soldiers enforcing the blockade of a major railway station in Wuhan, (top-right) a departure board showing shut-down services, and (bottom-right) passengers in face masks on one of the last trains into Wuhan.

The Paper/Twitter/Getty Images/Business Insider


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People are being screened for the virus at major transportation hubs around the world.

wuhan coronavirus

Health Officials in hazmat suits check body temperatures of passengers arriving from the city of Wuhan at the Beijing airport on January 22, 2020.

Emily Wang/AP Photo


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As of Friday, countries affected by the disease include: China, US, France, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Nepal.

The dramatic spike in Wuhan virus reported cases upadted jan 24


Ruobing Su/Business Insider


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