Cross-Sectional Study of SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic in China and Implications for the World


Cross-Sectional Study
Epidemiological Investigation

How to Cite

Ke, Y. ., Chen , Z., & Peng, B. . . (2020). Cross-Sectional Study of SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic in China and Implications for the World. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 22(4). Retrieved from


Background: Mainland China has adopted the most decisive and proactive measures to contain the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, which helps control the spread of the virus across the country.

Objectives: Early epidemiological investigations found that the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic was more critical in Hubei province (Hubei) than in rest parts of mainland China (Rest of China). A cross-sectional study was conducted to answer this urgent question and provide implications for the world.

Methods: Infected cases from Mainland China were divided into two groups: Hubei and the Rest of China. Prevention, quarantine, and treatment were based on The Novel Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Standards. Total confirmed cases, daily severe cases, total deaths, and total discharged cases were collected from January 20 to March 4 for statistical analysis.

Results: Hubei accounted for 83.9% of China's total confirmed cases and 96.3% of China's total deaths. The percentage of severe cases and the rate of fatality in Hubei were higher than those in the Rest of China (P < 0.01). Daily severe cases in Hubei hit the peak at 11,246 cases on February 18, compared to 989 cases on February 10 in the Rest of China. The percentages of daily severe cases in both regions declined throughout the epidemic, from 23.3% to 8.6% in Hubei compared to 15.0% to 1.3% in the Rest of China. The latest fatality rate in Hubei was 4.30%, which was much higher than 0.85% in the Rest of China. Up to March 4, 64.7% of China's total confirmed cases were cured, 3.86% died, and 31.5% were under treatment.

Conclusions: The implications for the world are cutting off the sources of infection and transmission routes, early detection, early isolation, and early treatment that can prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce the severity and fatality rate.



  1. Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: Classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2. Nat Microbiol. 2020;5(4):536-44. doi: 10.1038/s41564-020-0695-z. [PubMed: 32123347].
  2. Wilder-Smith A, Freedman DO. Isolation, quarantine, social distancing and community containment: Pivotal role for old-style public health measures in the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. J Travel Med. 2020;27(2). doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa020. [PubMed: 32052841]. [PubMed Central: PMC7107565].
  3. Wang FS, Zhang C. What to do next to control the 2019-nCoV epidemic? Lancet. 2020;395(10222):391-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30300-7. [PubMed: 32035533].
  4. Munnangi S, Boktor SW. Epidemiology of study design. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019.
  5. National Health Commission of People's Republic of China. The novel coronavirus infected pneumonia diagnosis and treatment standards (the seventh trial edition). 2020. Chinease.
  6. Jin YH, Cai L, Cheng ZS, Cheng H, Deng T, Fan YP, et al. A rapid advice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infected pneumonia (standard version). Mil Med Res. 2020;7(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s40779-020-0233-6. [PubMed: 32029004]. [PubMed Central: PMC7003341].
  7. Lu H, Stratton CW, Tang YW. The Wuhan SARS-CoV-2-What's next for China. J Med Virol. 2020. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25738. [PubMed: 32115732].
  8. Liu Y, Gayle AA, Wilder-Smith A, Rocklov J. The reproductive number of COVID-19 is higher compared to SARS coronavirus. J Travel Med. 2020;27(2). doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa021. [PubMed: 32052846]. [PubMed Central: PMC7074654].
  9. Zhao S, Lin Q, Ran J, Musa SS, Yang G, Wang W, et al. Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, from 2019 to 2020: A data-driven analysis in the early phase of the outbreak. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;92:214-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.01.050. [PubMed: 32007643]. [PubMed Central: PMC7110798].
  10. Chen J. Pathogenicity and transmissibility of 2019-nCoV-A quick overview and comparison with other emerging viruses. Microbes Infect. 2020;22(2):69-71. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2020.01.004. [PubMed: 32032682]. [PubMed Central: PMC7102641].
  11. Zhang S, Diao MY, Duan L, Lin Z, Chen D. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections in China: Prevention, control and challenges. Intensive Care Med. 2020;46(4):591-3. doi: 10.1007/s00134-020-05977-9. [PubMed: 32123989]. [PubMed Central: PMC7079863].
  12. Young BE, Ong SWX, Kalimuddin S, Low JG, Tan SY, Loh J, et al. Epidemiologic features and clinical course of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore. JAMA. 2020. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.3204. [PubMed: 32125362]. [PubMed Central: PMC7054855].
  13. Hellewell J, Abbott S, Gimma A, Bosse NI, Jarvis CI, Russell TW, et al. Feasibility of controlling COVID-19 outbreaks by isolation of cases and contacts. Lancet Glob Health. 2020;8(4):e488-96. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30074-7. [PubMed: 32119825]. [PubMed Central: PMC7097845].
  14. Fu Y, Cheng Y, Wu Y. Understanding SARS-CoV-2-mediated inflammatory responses: From mechanisms to potential therapeutic tools. Virol Sin. 2020. doi: 10.1007/s12250-020-00207-4. [PubMed: 32125642].