Maxar Technologies Satellite images of The Great Mosque and Kaaba in Mecca before (l) and after (r) the coronvirus outbreak.
Source: Maxar Technologies

'Before and after' satellite images show places like Tokyo Disneyland and Mecca deserted thanks to coronavirus—take a look


In many areas around the world, the novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) has halted daily life.

There are currently more than 116,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, there are at least 760 cases in 35 states and Washington, D.C.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that people implement "social-distancing" measures that help stop the spread of the virus, such as working from home and closing schools. Around the world, events are being cancelled and people are being quarantined. 

To illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on some famous public spaces around the world, satellite imagery company Maxar took photos of deserted destinations like theme parks and famous tourist attractions. 

Take a look.

Tokyo Disneyland

There are a total of 530 confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan as of Tuesday. The CDC has issued a level 2 travel health notice for Japan. 

In 2018, 18 million people visited Tokyo Disneyland. And in the Feb. 1 "before" photo below, visitors still roamed the park near the popular Space Mountain ride.

On March 1 (below), Tokyo Disneyland closed the empty park due to COVID-19. It is scheduled to reopen March 16.

The Great Mosque of Mecca

One of the holiest sites in Islam, 8 million people visit the Great Mosque of Mecca, or Haram Moque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia each year, according to the BBC.

The photo below, taken on Feb. 14, shows worshipers participating in Tawaf, a ritual that involves walking around the Kaaba, a sacred structure at the center of the mosque.

The same view taken on March 3 (below) shows a much thinner crowd.

The mosque closed on March 5 for sterilization, and reopened on March 7. There are 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. 

Duomo di Milano

The Italian government announced a lockdown of the entire country Monday to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has infected 9,172 people in Italy. Duomo di Milano, the largest cathedral in Milan, a city of more than 1.4 million residents, was closed for a week and reopened on March 2.

This March 4 photo (below) show's Milan's cathedral square, Piazza del Duomo, deserted days before the lockdown. 

Tiananmen Square 

Since late January, many tourist sites in China have closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including Shanghai Disneyland, the Forbidden City and parts of the Great Wall. There are more than 80,700 COVID-19 cases in mainland China, where the virus began in Hubei province. 

A year ago in the "before" picture below (taken in February 2019), cars lined the streets and people dotted Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square.

By Feb. 11 (below) it was nearly deserted. 

All satellite images courtesy of Maxar Technologies

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