Social media is fast gaining massive pull to not only influence and shape narratives but impact user lives in unimaginable ways. We look at…
Fresh, detailed and accurate information is difficult to come by, especially during virus outbreaks. The current Coronavirus outbreak (currently called 2019-nCoV) is no exception.
But, while we definitely wouldn’t want to be there, there are some journalists reporting from mainland China, disseminating important information to the globe via Twitter.
In this brief piece, we list a few from a number of outlets worth a follow.
We’ve also compiled a Twitter list that’ll allow you to follow all 20+ accounts in one fell swoop. Follow it here.
Article and Twitter list last updated on Wednesday 26 February.
BBC’s China correspondent is providing incredible insight from the ground in Wuhan, the Chinese city in which the first case of the Coronavirus was noted.
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) January 26, 2020
Buckley, a New York Times reporter, is also currently reporting from the ground in Wuhan.
I’ve seen the comments — made in that unmistakably twitter tone of condescension — that China is quiet anyway during the Lunar New Year holiday. But there’s that quiet, and then in Wuhan at least there’s this quiet. pic.twitter.com/cAToszlBbf
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) January 26, 2020
Eunice Yoon, CNBC’s Beijing bureau chief and senior correspondent, is tweeting about the effects the Coronavirus on the Chinese economy.
More signs of #Wuhanvirus impact on #China’s #economy: Transport Ministry says travel is down for #LunarNewYear. On first day Saturday, overall #transportation dropped by 28.8% from same day last year. Railway transportation fell by 41.5%, roads 25%, passenger flights 41.6%.
— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) January 26, 2020
After covering the Hong Kong protests late last year, Financial Times’ South China correspondent Sue-Lin Wong is now focusing on the outbreak.
Scientists I've interviewed over the past few days told me one big unknown about the virus was its incubation period & how that would impact its spread, particularly over the lunar new year. China's health commission now saying we can expect the spread of the virus to accelerate
— Sue-Lin Wong 黄淑琳 (@suelinwong) January 26, 2020
Thomas, a camera operator for CNN China, isn’t in Wuhan but is providing excellent insight on the validity of videos emerging from the city, and other footage surrounding the new Coronavirus outbreak.
#CNN's departure from #Wuhan, we boarded one of the last trains out of the city after the government accounted the lockdown in the early hours of this morning. With @yongxiong2008 and @David_Culver #coronavirus #武漢肺炎 pic.twitter.com/xiRBiceRyK
— Natalie Thomas (@natalieinchina) January 23, 2020
Reuters correspondent Cadell’s tweets are data-heavy, especially useful for those who want to understand the numbers behind the outbreak.
Since I made this yesterday, the number has risen to 21,556.
For perspective, an average U.S. hospital has 150 staffed beds – a 'large' U.S. hospital is 500+.
— Cate Cadell (@catecadell) January 26, 2020
Economist reporter Rabinovitch focuses on the impact the Wuhan Coronavirus is having on the global economy.
This is big for world economy: Suzhou, a big manufacturing hub, is first major Chinese city to prolong current holiday. Businesses will not resume until Feb 8th at earliest. So we could be headed for two full weeks (at least) of China economy in low gear. https://t.co/IUwfj6i7Oo
— Simon Rabinovitch (@S_Rabinovitch) January 26, 2020
Financial Times reporter Tom Hancock is also on the ground in Wuhan.
Despite an official ban on private motor vehicles in Wuhan beginning today, there were quite a few cars on the roads this afternoon. I was able to travel around using a shared bike service, as this woman also did. Shuttle buses have been arranged for medical staff. pic.twitter.com/7GVoMMzDan
— Tom Hancock (@hancocktom) January 26, 2020
Chen isn’t a journalist representing any media house. He’s a Malaysian citizen locked down in Wuhan. The below thread provides fascinating revelations about the lack of information available to citizens.
I am a Malaysian living in Germany and currently healthy but locked down in Wuhan. I am here sharing some of my own thoughts on the #coronavirus from ground zero perspective. (Thread below)
— Soares Chen (@soareschen) January 26, 2020
Reuters’ special correspondent Keith Zhai’s timeline is video-heavy at present, with a focus on the Chinese government.’s response to the outbreak.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is visiting a local super market and get his temperature checked. 李克强总理在武汉的超市考察生活用品供应和稳定物价工作 pic.twitter.com/d1vCDjHpGQ
— Keith Zhai (@QiZHAI) January 27, 2020
Olivia Qi Zhang
Oliva Qi Zhang, the US correspondent for Chinese news agency Caixin, is providing an international perspective to the conversation and retweeting useful links from a number of sources.
Freshly from my colleague in #Wuhan: medical workers from Shanghai arriving at Wuhan Tianhe intl airport with medical supplies, at 1am Jan 25 local time, New Year's Day. #wuhanvirus #coronoavirus #NovelCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/zWbJ891eWy
— Olivia Qi Zhang (@zhang_qiii) January 24, 2020
South China Morning Post’s senior video producer Xinyan Yu has some incredible personal anecdotes and must-read pieces on her timeline.
People’s anger towards Wuhan and Hubei officials is through the roof. These three, wearing their masks in the wrong way or not wearing one at all, claimed shortage of medical resources has been alleviated in Wuhan. So many hospitals are seeking help. Are they blind? pic.twitter.com/qE7gVcPleR
— Xinyan Yu (@xinyanyu) January 26, 2020
Koetse focuses primarily on Weibo, the Twitter-like Chinese social network. Her social media-based insights are important for gauging public sentiment within China.
FYI the no 1 trending topic of the day is the news that Wuhan hospitals are running out of supplies (hashtag #武汉多家医院物资紧张, 270 million views), hospitals & media are urgently requesting funds & contributions. pic.twitter.com/bSENdSL3kh
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) January 25, 2020
Dr. Maia Majumder
For those looking for heavier medical jargon, Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Majumder has the timeline for you.
On #nCoV2019 transmissibility estimates: ultimately, R_0 is about *potential* transmission.
The latter causes millions of cases a year whereas the former didn’t even cause 10K.
— Dr. Maia Majumder (@maiamajumder) January 25, 2020
An essential follow, Morgan is the director for global health, surveillance and risk assessment at the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies branch. He regularly tweets updates from the organisation.
— Oliver Morgan (@OWMorgan) January 26, 2020
Yan, the China correspondent for The Telegraph, is publishing stories told by those affected by the new Coronavirus.
Meet David Marland, maths teacher in #Wuhan who lived near the seafood market thought to be outbreak source, back in UK to see fam & hasn't been tested bc he didn't have "the sniffles"https://t.co/X6eLZXj5Li
— Sophia Yan (@sophia_yan) January 27, 2020
Dr. Lisa Gralinski
Dr. Gralinski only has 26 tweets on her timeline, but she specialises in SARS-CoV infections and pathogens.
And #nCoV2019 passes #MERS in case count. Not unexpected but the growth of this outbreak is intense. Best of luck to everyone on the front lines trying to treat patients and contain things. https://t.co/bMtJjIqj6t
— Lisa Gralinski (@LisaGralinski) January 27, 2020
An incredible anonymous account that focuses on more than just current global medical emergencies, but historical data and outbreaks too.
#WuhanCoronavirus #nCoV2019 outbreak: 2798 confirmed cases with 2744 cases in China (excl. Hongkong and Macau) and 44 cases in other countries (all ex-China) as of 26 Jan per @WHO, @ProMED_mail, @FluTrackers and Chinese MOH pic.twitter.com/J7qVtzZ6hw
— thelonevirologist (@thelonevirologi) January 27, 2020
Coopes, based in Australia, is currently tweeting about the cases in the country and its government’s reaction.
For those pondering international spread of 2019-nCoV, some really interesting global modelling based on airline traffic. Puts Australia squarely in the frame, unsurprisingly. Also first analysis I have seen including Africa #WuhanCoronavirus https://t.co/U2ysCQHjz6 pic.twitter.com/75KASfH3I3
— Amy Coopes (@coopesdetat) January 26, 2020
CSSE at JHU
The Centre for Systems Science in Engineering at Johns Hopkins University built a real-time model that tracks the global outbreak based on data from a number of sources.
— CSSE at JHU (@JHUSystems) January 22, 2020
Director of JHU’s Centre for Health Security, Inglesby has an excellent thread on how countries and citizens should plan if the new Coronavirus cannot be contained.
The following thread regards how we should be planning for the possibility that nCoV cannot be contained. #2019nCoV (1/x)
— Tom Inglesby (@T_Inglesby) January 26, 2020
Providing short news bytes (the way Twitter used to be), Lee is an excellent follow if you’re looking for headlines and nothing more.
Reuters: CHINA'S WUHAN MAYOR ZHOU XIANWANG SAYS CITY'S GOVERNANCE DURING THE VIRUS OUTBREAK NOT GOOD ENOUGH – STATE BROADCASTER CCTV
— Vincent Lee (@Rover829) January 27, 2020
Senior writer for infectious diseases and global health at Stat News, Branswell is a must-follow for those who want to learn more about the virus. She also tweets about ebola and flu outbreaks.
I'm a bit behind on #Ebola updates.
Friday: 0 cases, 0 deaths
Saturday: 1 case, 0 deaths.
There were only 5 cases in the week that ended Jan. 25. If that's real, that's great news. If. It's. Real.
I want to believe. pic.twitter.com/bsyy9UHFCt
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) January 26, 2020
Run by the European Centre for Disease Prevention, ECDC Outbreaks tweets about potential health threats to the European Union. It’s become an important account in the final week of February, as the New Coronavirus continues to spread across the continent.
— ECDC Outbreaks (@ECDC_Outbreaks) February 25, 2020
Feigl-Ding is a Johns Hopkins and Harvard alum and public health scientist. His more recent tweets cover a number of topics from news retweets to his own input on matters regarding COVID-19.
Good updated summary of the epidemic and what we know so far. This stood out: “14.8% of confirmed cases among health workers were classified as severe or critical” ==> that’s a lot of severely sick HCW. #COVID19 https://t.co/g3GmmVsABQ pic.twitter.com/cFxedkhYnP
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) February 25, 2020
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn