Here are the facts you need to know about the new coronavirus, its widespread effects in China, and what you can do to help contain its impact.
1. Thousands of people in China have contracted the new coronavirus.
More than 75,000 confirmed cases of the pneumonia-like virus—named COVID-19—have been reported, mostly in China. Scientists believe the virus originated in bats and made the leap to humans through contaminated food at an open-air market in China.
Sources: CNN + Bloomberg
2. The virus has claimed more than 2,000 lives in China.
The elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions face a greater risk of developing serious virus-triggered complications. Most people who contract the virus get cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, fever, and congestion.
3. The virus has spread to some places outside of China.
COVID-19 has spread to more than two dozen countries outside of mainland China, resulting in more than 500 confirmed international cases. The World Health Organization declared a global public health emergency due to the virus’ potential to spread. At least 14 of the identified cases are in the United States; however, according to the CDC, the immediate health risk to the American general public is low. As with other respiratory viruses, to protect yourself, avoid exposure, wash your hands thoroughly, and disinfect frequently touched objects.
Sources: Al Jazeera, ABC, and CDC
4. Travel is restricted for millions of people in China.
To prevent further spread of the virus, the Chinese government has restricted or banned travel for 150 million people who live in various Chinese cities, specifically in the Hubei province. That means about 10% of the country’s population can’t come and go as they please.
Source: The New York Times
5. Conditions at the outbreak epicenter are especially challenging.
In Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, there is a lockdown, with no public transportation available in to or out of the city. Long lines have been reported at hospitals, and food and water is scarce, with many grocery store shelves completely emptied. There is also an urgent need for medical services and supplies. Chinese authorities are building two makeshift hospitals in Wuhan, with a total added capacity of 2,500 beds. GlobalGiving partners are also responding.
6. GlobalGiving’s long-term partners in China are already on the ground, protecting survivors and mitigating the crisis.
The Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving is working with our partners in China, including the One Foundation and Non-Profit Incubator, to support frontline responders and meet survivors’ immediate needs for healthcare, food, and water. GlobalGiving will continue to support longer-term education and recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations in affected regions as the situation unfolds.
Source: GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund
7. There is an urgent need for medical supplies, particularly outside major cities.
One of GlobalGiving’s partners in China, the Non-Profit Incubator, is focused on getting emergency medical supplies—including protective clothing, masks, and thermometers—to hospitals outside of major cities in Hubei province. Even in normal times, the medical system in China is overburdened, according to media reports. China produces medical supplies that are used around the world, and the virus and related travel bans have the potential to disrupt that flow.
Sources: Non-Profit Incubator, The New York Times, and Wired
8. Cash is the best way to help communities in need during a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak.
Why? Survivors’ needs vary by location and throughout the life cycle of recovery. You can learn more about how to help people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in this infographic about the importance of cash donations to community-led, vetted organizations.
Source: GlobalGiving + USAID Center for International Disaster Information
Make a donation now to GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to help survivors and to fuel community-led recovery.
Featured Photo: By Reuters. Please note: This article was originally published on Jan. 28 and updated on Feb. 19, 2020.