The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is greatly threatening the public health in the world. We reconstructed global transmissions and potential demographic expansions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 based on genomic information. We found that intercontinental transmissions were rare in January and early February but drastically increased since late February. After world-wide implements of travel restrictions, the transmission frequencies decreased to a low level in April. We identified a total of 88 potential demographic expansions over the world based on the star-radiative networks and 75 of them were found in Europe and North America. The expansion numbers peaked in March and quickly dropped since April. These findings are highly concordant with epidemic reports and modelling results and highlight the significance of quarantine validity on the global spread of COVID-19. Our analyses indicate that the travel restrictions and social distancing measures are effective in containing the spread of COVID-19.