And sport has suffered as a consequence. Sporting events and matches around the world have either been postponed, canceled or played without fans in attendance.
There is uncertainty about whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2020 European Championships can go ahead.
But while sporting events have been impacted, athletes themselves around the globe are coming together to help people affected and fight the virus.
Help back home
Outside of mainland China, South Korea has reported one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus.
More than 7,300 coronavirus infections have been confirmed throughout the country, killing more than 50 at the time of writing.
“Even though it is far away [from me], as we face increased corona damage, I wanted to ensure Covid-19 no longer spreads, and to the vulnerable, I hope it will help you a bit,” the UEFA Champions League finalist said in an Instagram post.
Son himself has felt the effects of the preventative measures implemented against coronavirus.
He had to self-isolate at home in London for 14 days after returning from Seoul, where he went for surgery on a fractured arm last month.
Son’s compatriot, esports superstar “Faker,” has also made a charitable donation.
After the virus caused disruptions to events that he was supposed to compete in, Faker — whose real name is Lee Sang-hyeok — donated about $25,000 to the Community Chest of Korea charity.
“I really wanted to aid those battling the outbreak and felt that donating to the Community Chest of Korea was the optimal choice. I hope that everyone bands together to overcome this terrible situation, and hope to see real support being given to those necessary.”
“Coronavirus has affected nearly every corner of the world and we want to do our small part to help the communities where we live and play,” T1 CEO Joe Marsh said.
In Europe, Italy has been hardest hit, with the entire country put on lockdown, as the government tries to gain control of the spread.
In response, 18-time top-flight champion AC Milan announced it would donate $284,000 (€250,000) to relief efforts tackling the virus, as well as reimbursing fans who were not able to attend games that took place behind closed doors.
The donation goes to the Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza, the emergency response arm of the Lombardy region’s government.
“We are all worried about those nearest and dearest to us and about the implications for the future. Milan is more than a football club.”
Elsewhere in Italy, on what should have been one of the most historic nights in the club’s history, fans of Atalanta announced that they would be making a donation of $45,000 (€40,000) to a northern Italian hospital.
The team was playing the second leg of its first Champions League last 16 tie in its history in Valencia — with a 4-1 lead — but because of the virus, the game was played behind closed doors, meaning fans had to stay in Italy.
“This evening we should be experiencing one of the most beautiful evenings of our history, instead of this emergency situation that is pushing everything to second (place),” it announced on Facebook.
“Because in these weeks, in our city and province, there are heroes that are standing up, working with insufficient resources and overworked hours for the protection of everyone.”