Academics have assessed what countries have the highest risk of the incredibly infectious coronavirus.

By Emily Pidgeon


Posted on January 30, 2020

Scientists have revealed the cities with the highest risk of the deadly and extremely contagious coronavirus as thousands of confirmed cases arise around the globe.

University of Southampton academics assessed the most ‘high-risk’ cities in the world for coronavirus spread with Bangkok being the highest international concern after China.

The infectious disease originated in Wuhan – China’s 5th most populous city – and has since spread to several countries with at least 2,032 suspected cases.

Researchers found Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Phuket, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Denpasar Bali, Sydney, Chiang Mai, Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York and Dubai are the most likely places where the virus will spread in coming weeks.

The coronavirus outbreak has already killed 133 people in China with new cases appearing every day.

More than 5,900 cases of the deadly flu-like virus have been confirmed in China while close to 6,000 cases have been reported globally leading to international travel warnings.

According to academics, the top 20 countries most at risk of seeing the disease outside of Asia are the US, Australia, Germany, Canada, UK, United Arab Emirates, Italy and Russia.

Destinations most at risk were assessed by the percentage of airline travellers received by each city out of the total number of visitors leaving the high-risk cities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) was first informed of cases of “pneumonia from an unknown cause” detected in Wuhan City on 31 December 2019. Almost two weeks later, the organisation received knowledge from the National Health Commission China that the outbreak was associated from exposure in a seafood market.

Despite the killer virus exploding across the globe with no vaccine, WHO is yet to declare a global emergency.

“(China) needs the world’s solidarity and support,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said according to BBC News . “The world is pulling together to end the outbreak, building on lessons learned from past outbreaks.”

Australian scientists were the first to recreate the new coronavirus outside China, leading to hope it could be used to diagnose and treat the virus.

In attempts of containing the flu-like strain, 16 airlines including Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines have cancelled flights to China until as late as March.

Meanwhile, China issued the largest quarantine in history locking down 46 million people across 16 cities. With public transport services suspended, many businesses are following suit with 2,000 Starbucks branches closing its doors along with McDonald’s, KFC, Dairy Queen and IKEA amid the outbreak.

As authorities fight to contain coronavirus, dozens of countries are working to evacuate their citizens out of China with reports claiming the nation has more cases of the deadly virus than it did of SARS – a respiratory infection that killed 774 people across 17 countries in 2002.

Top 30 cities at “hisk-risk” coronavirus spread*

  1. Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Hong Kong, China
  3. Taipei, Taiwan
  4. Seoul, South Korea
  5. Tokyo, Japan
  6. Singapore, Singapore
  7. Phuket, Thailand
  8. Osaka, Japan
  9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  10. Macau, China
  11. Denpasar Bali, Indonesia
  12. Sydney, Australia
  13. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  14. Melbourne, Australia
  15. Los Angeles, US
  16. New York, US
  17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  18. Nha Trang, Vietnam
  19. London, UK
  20. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  21. Nagoya, Japan
  22. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  23. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  24. Krabi, Thailand
  25. Manila, Philippines
  26. Siem Reap, Cambodia
  27. Paris, France
  28. Jakarta, Indonesia
  29. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  30. Frankfurt, Germany
  31. *according to University of Southampton