The Twisted Road Back Home: Where Did Imported Covid-19 Cases Come from?

Country/area: China

Organisation: Caixin Media

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 26 Mar 2020

Credit: Meng Wei, Bing Wei, Mengyuan Dong, Bin Leng, Mingzhong Geng

Project description:

Shortly after the domestic Covid-19 epidemic decreased, China has reported a total of 649 imported cases in a month since the first overseas case was reported on February 26. The second wave of outbreak is looming, and we hope our data of tracking of imported cases will bring some insight to answer the questions: Where did it come from? Where to go? And What twists and turns did they go through on their way back home?

Impact reached:

The data we collected included the place of departure, the place of destination, and mor imporntantly, the place of transfer. By visualizing the route of the imported cases, we found several important transfer countries such as Russia, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, which have many transit passengers, yet haven’t reported cases as the source place. And our report warns and cautions about these countries, which unluckily has come true after a few days: Chinese students are reported to be stuck in Ethiopia because the local outbreak getting worse.

Techniques/technologies used:

We use data visualization programming library D3 to create the map. Also we use SQL to program database. We use HTML, CSS, JavaScript to create the website. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

The hardest part is to collect and fact checking the data of imported case track. We collected them from separate news reports, and coded them into the database ready to visualize. And the work has been lasting for a month.

What can others learn from this project?

Use data to find key transfer places to watch for new lead before the outbreak.

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