COVID-19 confirmed and death case development in China 2020-2021

As of February 21, 2021, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that originated in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China, had infected around 100,800 people and killed 4,833 in the country. Hebei province is currently the region with the highest active cases in China.

From Wuhan to the rest of China

In late December 2019, health authorities in Wuhan detected several pneumonia cases of unknown cause. Most of these patients had links to the Huanan Seafood Market. With Chinese New Year approaching, millions of Chinese migrant workers travelled back to their hometowns for the celebration. Before the start of the travel ban on January 23, around five billion people had left Wuhan. By the end of January, the number of infections had surged to over ten thousand. The death toll from the virus exceeded that of the SARS outbreak a few days later. On February 12, thousands more cases were confirmed in Wuhan after an improvement to the diagnosis method, resulting in another sudden surge of confirmed cases. On March 31, 2020, the National Health Commission (NHC) in China announced that it would begin reporting the infection number of symptom-free individuals who tested positive for coronavirus. On April 17, 2020, health authorities in Wuhan revised its death toll, adding 50 percent more fatalities. After quarantine measures were implemented, the country reported no new local coronavirus COVID-19 transmissions for the first time on March 18, 2020.

The overloaded healthcare system

In Wuhan, 28 hospitals were designated to treat coronavirus patients, but the outbreak continued to test China’s disease control system and most of the hospitals were soon fully occupied. To combat the virus, the government announced plans to build a new hospital swiftly. On February 3, 2020, Huoshenshan Hospital was opened to provide an additional 1,300 beds. Due to an extreme shortage of health-care professionals in Wuhan, thousands of medical staff from all over China came voluntarily to the epicenter to offer their support. After no new deaths reported for first time, China lifted ten-week lockdown on Wuhan on April 8, 2020. Daily life was returning slowly back to normal in the country.

Number of novel coronavirus COVID-19 cumulative confirmed and death cases in China from January 20, 2020 to February 22, 2021

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Release date

February 2021



Survey time period

January 20, 2020 to February 22, 2021

Supplementary notes

The source recorded the case numbers in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

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Statistics on "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China"

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