SHANGHAI, CHINA – For weeks after the first reports of a mysterious new virus in Wuhan, millions of people poured out of the central Chinese city, cramming onto buses, trains and planes as the first wave of China’s great Lunar New Year migration broke across the nation. Some carried with them the new virus that has since claimed over 900 lives and sickened more than 37,000 people.
Officials finally began to seal the borders on Jan. 23. But it was too late. Speaking to reporters a few days after the city was put under quarantine, the mayor estimated that 5 million people had already left.
Where did they go?
An Associated Press analysis of domestic travel patterns using map location data from Chinese tech giant Baidu shows that in the two weeks before Wuhan’s lockdown, nearly 70% of trips out of the central Chinese city were within Hubei province. Baidu has a map app that is similar to Google Maps, which is blocked in China.
Another 14% of the trips went to the neighboring……….