A Timeline of Covid-19

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TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

Dec 1, 2019: A worker of a wildlife market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, is the first recorded case of a new kind of pneumonia (recorded only on Dec 16)

Dec 27: Chinese scientists tell Wuhan health officials that a new coronavirus is causing the new kind of pneumonia

Dec 30: Ai Fen, director of the emergency at Wuhan Central hospital, tells other doctors about a new SARS-like virus but she is reprimanded by the hospital and forbidden to post any more information; Wenliang Li, one of the doctors that has received the information, posts to a WeChat group of his former schoolmates that a new SARS-like infection has been confirmed and his post is shared widely on WeChat

Dec 31: Wuhan health officials confirm 27 cases of covid-19 and close the wildlife market that seems related to the virus' spread, and China reports a cluster of pneumonia in Wuhan to the World Health Organization caused by a new type of coronavirus, initially labeled "novel coronavirus" or nCoV

Dec 31: Taiwan inspects all passengers coming from Wuhan

Jan 1: Wuhan's Public Security Bureau intimidates the eight doctors who had posted about the new illness on WeChat while the Hubei Provincial Health Commission orders city labs to stop testing samples and to destroy existing samples

Jan 3: Wuhan police summons Wenliang Li and reprimands him for "making false comments on the Internet"

Jan 3: Zhang Yongzhen at Fudan University in Shanghai analyzes a sample from Wuhan and realizes that it is 89.11% similar to the SARS virus

Jan 5: Fudan University in Shanghai announces that the Wuhan cluster is associated with a novel coronavirus and that it has sequenced the entire genome

Jan 6: The New York Times publishes an article about a pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan

Jan 9: The Wuhan City Health Commission declares that "there is no evidence the virus can spread among humans"

Jan 10: Chinese scientists of Fudan University in Shanghai publish the new virus' genetic sequence on Virological.org (original post)

Jan 11: A Communist Party meeting is held in Wuhan as scheduled while the Wuhan Health Commission insists there are no new cases

Jan 11: Wuhan (and therefore the world) records the first death of covid-19

Jan 12: There are no covid-19 cases outside the province of Hubei (World Health Organization)

Jan 13: The first covid-19 case is reported outside China (a Chinese woman from Wuhan in Thailand)

Jan 14: The World Health Organization reports that "preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan"

Jan 15: The first case in Shanghai (a woman from Wuhan)

Jan 15: Japan's first case (a Chinese man coming from Wuhan)

Jan 17: The genetic analysis of two Thai travel cases proves that human-to-human transmission is happening in Wuhan

Jan 18: The Wuhan Health Commission announces four new cases but tens of thousands of people are allowed to gather for the Annual Wuhan Lunar New Year banquet

Jan 19: Trump's adviser Peter Navarro, an expert on China, warns Trump of the possibility of a devastating epidemic that will cost $3.8 trillion to the US economy

Jan 20: Chinese scientist Zhong Nanshan determines that the virus can be passed between people and the news is broadcast to the nation by CCTV

Jan 20: The USA and South Korea both find their first cases of covid-19

Jan 20: Chinese officials confirm that there is human to human transmission of the virus

Jan 21: China's People's Daily reports the covid-19 epidemic in Wuhan and quotes a top official as stating that "anyone who deliberately delays and hides the reporting of [virus] cases out of his or her own self-interest will be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity."

Jan 21: Christian Drosten, who co-discovered the original SARS virus in 2003, now director of an Institute of Virology in Berlin, publishes the first paper on how to test for covid-19

Jan 22: China's official death toll jumps to 17

Jan 23: China locks down Wuhan but Wuhan's mayor Zhou Xianwang admits that more than 5 million people have already left Wuhan.

Jan 23: Taiwan bans all Wuhan residents

Jan 23: A study by Shi Zheng-Li of the Wuhan Institute of Virology shows that covid-19's sequence is 96.2% identical to that of a bat coronavirus and 79.5% identical to the SARS coronavirus

Jan 23: Singapore's first case (a Chinese woman coming from Wuhan)

Jan 24: Taiwan stops exports of surgical face masks and orders local companies to increase production

Jan 24: Vietnam's first case, with evidence of person-to-person transmission

Jan 24: Taiwan stops exports of surgical face masks and orders local companies to increase production

Jan 24: The first paper is published in a scientific magazine (Wang C, Horby P, Hayden F, Gao G: "A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern"). It also challenges the theory that the epidemic began in the Wuhan seafood market because the earliest case, a patient who became ill on Dec 1, had no link to the seafood market ( Science magazine summary)

Jan 24: China's Lunar New Year holiday begins with hundreds of millions of people moving around the country but China also extends the lockdown in Hubei province and starts to build a new hospital in Wuhan

Jan 25: Taiwan suspends tours to China

Jan 25: China cancels all public events for the Lunar New Year

Jan 25: California's first case, the third case in the USA

Jan 25: Kristian Andersen at the Scripps Research Institute posts his analysis of 27 available genomes on Virological.org and concludes that they had "a most recent common ancestor" - meaning a common source - as early as 1 October 2019"

Jan 27: Germany's first case (Webasto headquarters in Bavaria)

Jan 27: China's official death toll passes 100, almost all in Hubei province

Jan 30: India's first case

Jan 30: 54 academic papers about covid-19 have been published in English-language journals, mostly written by Chinese scientists (Nature)

Jan 31: Taiwan orders face mask distribution to all schools

Jan 31: After Italy discovers the first cases (two Chinese tourists in Roma), it suspends all flights from China

Jan 31: Spain's first case, a German tourist in the Canary Islands

Jan 31: The first case in Silicon Valley (a resident returning from Wuhan)

Jan 31: The first death of covid-19 outside China is recorded in the Philippines

Jan 31: Trevor Bedford at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle posts on his blog a note that the new virus spreads easily like the flu and he has been alerting authorities since Jan 20

Jan 31: Science Magazine quotes Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University, as asserting that "the virus was already circulating silently among humans before it contaminated the seafood market" (Science Magazine article)


Feb 1: Massachusetts' first case (a young man returning from Wuhan)
Feb 2: The Philippines reports the first death outside of China, a Chinese man from Wuhan

Feb 3: South Korea starts testing for the virus

Feb 4: Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, declares a public-health emergency, which means that only the CDC test kit can be used in the USA, and, for example, New York is forbidden to use its own working covid-19 test kit

Feb 4: Malaysia's first case (a man returning from Singapore)

Feb 5: The CDC director Robert Redfield tweets that "CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks to help prevent novel #coronavirus. #2019nCoV is not spreading in communities in the US."

Feb 5: CDC sends faulty test kits to about 100 labs

Feb 6: Taiwan bans all Chinese visitors

Feb 7: Wenliang Li, the doctor who first announced the existence of a new deadly coronavirus, dies

Feb 7: Britain's first case (a man returning from Singapore)

Feb 8: The official death toll of covid-19 in China (811 deaths) surpasses that of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic

Feb 11: China's official death toll passes 1,000

Feb 11: China fires senior officials of Wuhan including the head of the Hubei Health Commission

Feb 12: Japan announces more than 100 cases of covid-19 on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship

Feb 13: China removes Hubei's provincial party secretary and Wuhan's party secretary, the first time since 2017 that top officials have been removed

Feb 14: The FDA stops the clinical virology laboratory at the University of Washington from testing for covid19

Feb 14: Egypt's (and Africa's) first case

Feb 14: France's (and Europe's) first death from covid-19

Feb 15: There are already 388 cases in Italy's Lombardy region but they will be diagnosed only later

Feb 16: Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras despite the epidemic

Feb 17: China's official death toll is 1,770 with 70,548 cases but infections start slowing down

Feb 17: The annual meeting of the Christian Open Door Church begins in Mulhouse, eastern France

Feb 18: South Korea reports an outbreak linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus flared up in the southern city of Daegu

Feb 19: Iran's first case and first deaths (Iranians returning to Qom from China)

Feb 19: Thousands of Valencia football fans travel from Spain to Milan for a Champions League soccer game

Feb 20: The first case is confirmed in Italy's Lombardy

Feb 20: South Korea's first death

Feb 20: Russia bans entry for Chinese citizens

Feb 21: Israel's first case

Feb 22: South Korea reports 229 new cases in a single day

Feb 22: New York's first case (although it will be diagnosed only on Mar 3), a Westchester man

Feb 22: Milan's Fashion Week, attended by people from all over the world, while Milan's region reports Italy's first death from covid-19

Feb 24: Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan and Oman report their first cases

Feb 24: Paris Fashion Week takes off, with most people coming from Milan Fashion Week

Feb 24: Rush Limbaugh, host of the #1 radio show in the USA, claims that "the coronavirus is the common cold"

Feb 24: An Italian tourist is the first case in Spain's Canary Islands

Feb 25: South Korea's cases rise to 977 and Italy's to 229 while the epidemic stabilizes in China

Feb 26: More new cases are now reported outside China than inside, notably the first cases in Norway, Romania, Greece, Georgia, Pakistan, and Brazil

Feb 26: The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland is attended by thousands of people from all over the USA with special guest Donald Trump

Feb 27: Italy's infections jump to 650 while Estonia, Denmark and the Netherlands report their first cases

Feb 27: Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan states at a press conference that "though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China"

Feb 27: 16,000 Muslims of the Tablighi Jamaat movement gather at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Feb 27: Sean Hannity calls the measures against covid-19 a leftist conspiracy ("off the charts fearmongering") on the USA's #1 television station Fox News

Feb 28: The CDC director Robert Redfield asks people to stop buying N95 respirators masks - and leave them for health care workers who really need them. ("There's no role for these masks in the community")

Feb 28: Nigeria's (and therefore sub-Saharan Africa's) first case, an Italian visitor

Feb 29: The first death in the USA. The USA has only tested 472 people.

Feb 29: The F.D.A. finally approves New York's test kit and New York can start testing

Feb 29: South Korea reports 813 new cases in one day


Mar 2: Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Jordan report their first cases

Mar 2: Donald Trump on national television downplays both the health effects and the fatality rate of covid-19

Mar 2: Qingtian in China's Zhejiang province reports cases by Chinese nationals returning from Italy's Lombardy region

Mar 4: Italy has 3,089 cases and all schools and universities are ordered to close

Mar 6: The Atlantic calculates that only 2,000 tests have been performed in the USA (article)

Mar 6: The University of Washington becomes the first large college in the USA to move all classes online for its 50,000 students, followed by Stanford

Mar 7: There are more than 100,000 confirmed cases in the world and about 3,500 people have died worldwide, but mostly in the Hubei province of China (80,000 cases, about 3,000 dead)

Mar 7: Corriere della Sera publishes a leaked memo that the Italian government is about to quarantine 16 million people prompting thousands of people to leave that area

Mar 7: "Spring break" vacations begin for more than one million US students who flock to popular destinations such as Florida beaches

Mar 7: More than 3,500 people dressed up as Smurfs gather in Landerneau, Western France, to breaks the Guinness World Record

Mar 8: More than 100,000 people march in Spain's capital Madrid to celebrate International Women's Day

Mar 9: Italy enacts a nation-wide lockdown

Mar 9: Donald Trump tweets that "last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!"

Mar 9: Sean Hannity calls the epidemic a "hoax" on the USA's #1 television station Fox News

Mar 10: First deaths in Lebanon and Morocco

Mar 10: First case in Michigan

Mar 10: Sikh religious leader Baldev Singh, who returned to India's Punjab state from virus-plagued Italy and Germany, attends the Hola Mohalla festival

Mar 11: The USA bans all travel from Europe

Mar 11: New York's SUNY and CUNY suspend in-person classes

Mar 11: About 250,000 Muslims from many Islamic countries gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to attend the five-day Tableeghi Ijtem of a Deobandi movement

Mar 11: Madrid closes schools and universities and thousands of students travel back to their hometowns

Mar 11: First cases in Turkey and Bolivia

Mar 13: Trump declares a national emergency in the USA, and commercial firms are finally able to start testing for covid-19

Mar 13: 3,000 Muslimc of the Tablighi Jamaat movement gather at a mosque in Delhi Nizamuddin, India

Mar 14: Spain enacts a nation-wide lockdown

Mar 15: Spain's cases jump to 7,700 with 288 deaths

Mar 15: Germany seals its borders

Mar 16: A study published by Imperial College London predicts that, unless aggressive action is taken, the coronavirus could kill 2.2 million people in the USA

Mar 16: Iran has a total of 14,991 infections and 853 deaths.

Mar 16: The Bay Area's 7 million residents are told to stay home indefinitely, the first area of the USA to do so

Mar 16: France enacts a nation-wide lockdown

Mar 17: Italy has 31,506 cases with 2,503 deaths

Mar 17: Scientists of the Scripps Research Institute publish an analysis of the coronavirus' genome showing its likely genetic path as it jumped from animals to humans but also state that "no animal coronavirus has been identified that is sufficiently similar to have served as the direct progenitor of SARS-CoV-2" ("The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2", Nature Medicine paper)

Mar 18: Italy has 35,713 cases with 2,978 deaths

Mar 18: China reports no new cases except for Chinese returning from abroad

Mar 18: All California universities have moved their classes online

Mar 19: The governor of California extends the stay-at-home order to the whole state, the first state in the USA to do so

Mar 19: The USA is now the 6th country in the world for covid-19 cases after China, Italy, Iran, Spain and Germany

Mar 19: No new cases are recorded in Wuhan for the first time

Mar 19: The number of deaths in Italy passes China's official number (3,405 to 3,245)

Mar 19: More than 600 cases are confirmed in 34 countries in Africa

Mar 20: The first death in India's Punjab, the Sikh preacher Baldev Singh

Mar 21: The German state of Bavaria enacts a lockdown

Mar 21: Europe is now the epicentre of the epidemic with Italy reporting 53,578 cases and 4,825 deaths and Spain reporting more than 21,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths

Mar 21: 42 of Africa's 54 countries have cases

Mar 22: Worldwide the death toll is more than 13,000 (using China's official numbers) out of more than 300,000 cases

Mar 22: The governor of New York issues a state-wide stay-at-home order

Mar 23: Africa's cases surpass 1,000

Mar 23: As Britain and other countries join the lockdown, about two billion people worldwide are in a partial or total lockdown

Mar 24: New York has half of the 50,000 cases of the USA and 210 of the USA's 655 deaths but only a tiny percentage of the population has been tested in the other states

Mar 24: India orders a nation-wide lockdown

Mar 25: There are 452,241 cases (officially 81,218 in China, 74,386 in Italy, 60,653 in the USA, half in New York, 47,610 in Spain) and 20,494 deaths in the world (officially 3,281 in China, 7,503 in Italy, 3,434 in Spain, 2,077 in Iran, 1,100 in France, 819 in the USA)

Mar 26: South Africa begins a nation-wide lockdown

Mar 26: The US is the world's most infected country

Mar 27: British prime minister Boris Johnson has the virus

Mar 27: Radio Free Asia estimates that the real death toll in Wuhan may have been more than 40,000

Mar 27: George Gao, the director-general of China's CDC and coauthor of the first study on the virus, says: "The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren't wearing masks"

Mar 28: The USA (population 0.3 billion) has more people infected with covid-19 (some 120,000) than the whole of east Asia (population 2 billion)

Mar 28: Both Italy and Spain have passed China's official number of deaths (Italy 10,023 and Spain 5,812 versus China's official 3,295)

Mar 30: Every country in Latin America has cases of covid-19

Mar 31: Fifteen states of the USA have not issues "stay-at-home" orders (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakora, South Dakota Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas)


Apr 1: The Western world has by far the highest number of cases and deaths in the world: the USA has 205,035 cases and 4,516 deaths, Italy 110,574 cases and 13,155 deaths, Spain 102,136 cases and 9,053 deaths, Germany 76,544 cases and 858 deaths, France 52,128 cases and 3,523 deaths, Britain 29,474 cases and 2,352 deaths.

Apr 2: The total number of cases in the world passes one million

Apr 3: After denying for two months that they are useful, the CDC recommends that people wear face masks

Apr 4: Spain (124,000 cases) passes Italy as the second most infected country in the world after the USA (more than 300,000 cases)

Apr 4: Louisiana (population 4.7 million) has the highest number of covid-19 deaths in the USA after New York (20 million), New Jersey (9 million) and Michigan (10 million), having passed both California (40 million), Washington state and Florida (21 million)

Apr 6: Deaths in the USA pass 10,000 and deaths in Britain pass 5,000 (two countries whose governments initially downplayed the epidemic)

Apr 7: China reports no covid-19 deaths for the first time since its first death and the lockdown on Wuhan is partially lifted

Apr 8: About 60,000 people have died in Europe of covid-19 (half of them in Spain and Italy) and 15,000 in the USA versus roughly 300 deaths in east Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong)

Apr 9: Two genomic studies show that New York's covid-19 epidemic originated from Europe


See also:
Covid-19: How it may change the World
The Bizarre Adventures of the Surgical Mask
Trump's Virus,
The Clown & the Virus
The Clown & the Virus - Part 2
Data and Recommended Articles
Sinophobia & Covid-19 .
Sinophobia & Covid-19 in US Media .


TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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