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Coronavirus map tracks global spread

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A chilling map predicting the worldwide spread of the deadly coronavirus has been published by British scientists.

A chilling map predicting the worldwide spread of the deadly coronavirus has been published by British scientists.

The study is based on the flight data and mobile phone records of 60,000 of an estimated five million Wuhan residents who left the epicentre of the 2019-nCoV virus two weeks before travel was banned from the city.

Sydney and Melbourne were among the 350 major cities they flew to, the study by Southampton University's World Pop Project research group found.

Other destinations included major Asian cities as well as European and US travel hubs.

The researchers scrutinised map location data from Chinese tech company Baidu and international flight itineraries to make a predictive global risk map for the likely spread of the virus from Wuhan.

It showed nearly 60,000 air passengers - including 834 infected with coronavirus - flew from Wuhan to 382 cities outside of mainland China in the days leading up to January 23, when the city was placed in quarantine.

"The majority of these cities were in Asia, but major hubs in Europe, the US and Australia were also prominent, with strong correlation seen between predicted importation risks and reported cases seen," the authors wrote.

They also warned exhaustive screening of millions of Chinese travellers from high-risk centres will be necessary in coming months.

"Because significant spread has already occurred, a large number of airline travellers (3.3 million under the scenario of 75 per cent travel reduction from normal volumes) may be required to be screened at origin high-risk cities in China and destinations across the globe for the following three months of February to April, 2020 to effectively limit spread beyond its current extent."

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The top 10 worldwide destinations for travellers from high-risk Chinese cities around Lunar New Year were Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia.

The study also found further spread of coronavirus in China and globally was likely over the months ahead.

"All countries, especially vulnerable regions, should be prepared for efforts to contain the 2019-nCoV infection." the authors concluded.

Warning epidemic may worsen

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the spread of coronavirus cases among people who have not been to China could be "the spark that becomes a bigger fire" and the human race must not let the epidemic get out of control.

The WHO) says there are 40,235 confirmed cases in China and 909 deaths, as well as 319 cases in 24 other countries, including one death.

An advance team of WHO medical experts arrived in China yesterday to help investigate the outbreak.

Recruiters advised to work from home

Recruitment website Indeed has told its Australia and Ireland-based employees to work from home to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus, the company says.

The company said one of its employees in Singapore might have been exposed to coronavirus after family members visited a facility caring for a coronavirus patient.

Since some employees who visited Singapore also recently visited Indeed's Dublin and Sydney offices, the company said it had asked all employees in both offices to work from home for now.

The company stressed that there were no confirmed cases of infection and said the move was a precaution to avoid any possible risk to the health and safety of its employees.

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Source: 9News

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