Get up to speed with this COVID-19 recap

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Every day news about the coronavirus has taken over national headlines. Timelines are all over the internet but it’s hard to know what to expect. Most people have no idea who this breaking headline news got to where it is. As travel bans rise and the thoughts of cancelling major group events come into the picture it is important to bring everyone up to speed and learn how we got to this position.


December 31st – China alerts the WHO of multiple cases in the Wuhan district. Patients were quarantined and authorities immediately started tracing the origin of the flu.

January 1st – United States CDC identifies a seafood market as the origin of the outbreak.

January 5th – WHO issues first statement about travel and trade in China.

January 6th – Investigations commence and all other known strains were eliminated (Influenza, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, MERS and SARS)

January 7th – Virus given name as the 2019n-COV

January 9th – Genome of 2019n-COV released and identified as a virus most closely associated with SARS.

January 13th – 17th – Cases of 2019n-COV confirmed in Thailand and Japan. Death toll rises in China.

January 20th – 21st – Spread confirmed in South Korea and the United States.

January 22nd – WHO declares International Health Emergency

January 23rd to 28th – Travel bans surge in China while Canada and Nepal report their first cases. Nationals from the United States and France were evacuated from Wuhan and more countries continued. Spread continues into Mexico and Sri Lanka while the first cases of domestic transmission is confirmed in Japan, Taiwan and Germany.

January 29th – Spread confirmed in United Arab Emirates and Germany confirm multiple cases and the official death toll reaches 132.

January 30th – 31st – United States and UK confirm more domestic cases and death toll rises.

February 1st – Death toll hikes and spread confirmed in Spain, Russia and Sweden.

February 3rd – 7th – Australia exercises caution and the medical staff in Hong Kong goes on strike. Spread confirmed in Malaysia and Belgium as death toll rises. Japan confirm 10 cases on cruise ship. Chinese whistleblower doctor who warned about the virus passes after working at the Wuhan hospital.

February 8th – 9th – New cases arise in France and death toll hits 800 in China. Officially passed SARS.

February 10th – Death tolls rise and infections on cruise liner double.

February 11th – 13th – Death toll crosses 1,000. Japan cruise liner quadruples in confirmed cases at 174. Mobile World Congress cancelled.

February 14th – IBM and Facebook cancelled conferences over the coronavirus.

February 18th – Numerous countries note surge in death toll but infectious spread rate decreases while Hong Kong and Singapore report new cases.

February 20th – Death toll rises to pass 2,000. Iran reports new cases and India prevents drug export to help with treatment as imports from China were ceased due to the virus.

February 22nd – Death toll rises, numerous physicians in China pass due to the virus and Italy reports one death.

February 23rd – 25th – Algeria reports first case, Indian citizens test positive. Japan reports next death from cruise liner and schools shutdown. US CDC confirms 53 reports, Kuwait and Bahrain confirm new cases. Iran Deputy Health Minister test positive.

February 26th – Croatia, Romania and Italy report new cases. Death toll rises to 2,750. Cruise Liner infected toll rises to 705 cases. South Korea and United States postpone Military training.

February 27th – Europe and Asia report spread over multiple countries. Chinese offer $1,400 to individuals who self-report.

February 29th – Increased Spread domestically and the United States reports first death. Death toll increases to 2,900.

March 1st – Global Death toll rises past 3,000. WHO staff member tested positive. Oman bans visitor and travel bans surge.

March 4th – Death tolls rises and spread of cases slowly declines. Death toll hits 3,198 and confirmed cases reach a staggering 93,000.

March 5th – 8th – Bangladesh reported first case, cases and reports rise in already established countries and United States continues proceeding with Level 2 and 3 emergency notifications for the first 6 countries.

March 9th – The COVID-19 outbreak entered a new phase with cities in Northern Italy going on lock down. Stringent guidelines resulted in unforeseen complications in the country: prison riots.

March 10th – The paucity of testing kits currently available to the American public becomes controversial. The situation showed no signs of improving despite promises from President Trump that millions would be available.

March 11th – The private sector takes mitigation efforts into their own hands. The National Basketball Association suspends its season indefinitely beginning a cascade of sports associations following  suit… American President Donald Trump announces a sweeping 30 day ban on travellers from Europe.

As of now, the rate of infectious spread has gone down and this virus doesn’t even compare to the spread of the Spanish Flu or Swine Flu. Despite the Global fear that has been driven by the news media it is important to remember that people need to be cautious. Wash hands frequently and ensure that you’re exercising safe hygiene. Influenza cases outnumber death toll and spread on a yearly basis. One can only hope that the dust settles on the coronavirus and the world recovers from this disaster both emotionally and financially.

WORDS: Indira Purushothaman

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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