Statistics on the 2019-2023 novel coronavirus outbreak

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 20 May 2023


Data presented on these pages are drawn from the the Johns Hopkins CSSE Coronavirus 2019-nCoV dashboard, the World Health Organization (WHO) situation reports, and the Humanistic GIS Lab of the University of Washington (with some supplementary information from news reports).

Statistics generally cover officially reported confirmed cases, though on 14 Feb 2020 PR China began including unconfirmed cases in data for Hubei province only. Reported case numbers underreport actual cases due to challenges in accurately detecting infections, likely overwhelming of health care services in locations such as Hubei, PR China, and Iran, and apparent underreporting by Chinese authorities. Unless otherwise specified, case fatality rates are crude rates, cumulative fatalities per cumulative known cases to date.

The first 2019 novel coronavirus cases were identified in Dec 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei, PR China. By the end of Dec authorities had linked most of the early cases to a seafood market in Wuhan. Subsequent research indicated that the first symptomatic case developed on 1 Dec with the first hospital admission on 16 Dec. Cases outside PR China were first reported in mid-January in several East Asia countries including Thailand (13 Jan), Japan (16 Jan), Rep. of Korea (20 Jan), and the Rep. of China (21 Jan). The first case outside Asia was reported in the United States on 23 Jan, and the first cases in Europe were reported in France on 25 Jan.

Outside PR China, localized large numbers of cases (over 100) were reported for the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama harbor, Japan, on 11 Feb, followed by South Korea on 20 Feb, Japan on 22 Feb, Italy on 24 Feb, and Iran on 27 Feb. On 11 Mar WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic. On 16 Mar both cumulative cases and fatalities outside PR China exceeded those within PR China. On 21 Mar rates per population in the United States exceeded those for PR China (cumulative nationwide).

It is clear that, as the outbreak began in Dec 2020, Chinese government authorities suppressed recognition of the outbreak by health professionals and news media. This increased the opportunity to spread the virus abroad before appropriate travel restrictions were put in place. Initial outbreaks in multiple countries are linked to travelers from PR China. Further, WHO succumbed to political pressure from PR China resulting in compromised international response to the outbreak. This included WHO dissemination of early PR Chinese claims that the disease was not spread by humans along with suppression of information flowing to and from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

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© 2020-2022, 2023 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 20 May 2023.
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