A time line of Coronavirus developments to date
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They cause a range of illness ranging from the common cold and pneumonia to other severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and now 2019-nCoV, the current outbreak.
31 December 2019 | Cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, are first reported to the WHO (World Health Organization). During this reported period, the virus is unknown. The cases occur between 12 December and 29 December, according to Wuhan Municipal Health. A 34 year old doctor warning about an imminent outbreak is not believed and is warned by police against spreading fear.
1 January 1 2020 | Chinese health authorities close the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market after it is discovered that wild animals sold there may be the source of the virus.
5 January 2020 | China announces that the unknown pneumonia cases in Wuhan are not SARS or MERS. In a statement, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission says a retrospective probe into the outbreak has been initiated.
7 January 2020 | Chinese authorities confirm that they have identified the virus as a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV by the WHO.
11 January 2020 | The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announces the first death caused by the coronavirus. A 61-year-old man, exposed to the virus at the seafood market, died on 9 January after respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia.
13 January 2020 | Thai authorities report a case of infection caused by the coronavirus. The infected individual is a Chinese national who had arrived from Wuhan.
6 January 2020 | Japanese authorities confirm that a Japanese man who traveled to Wuhan is infected with the virus.
17 January 2020 | Chinese health officials confirm that a second person has died in China. The US responds to the outbreak by implementing screenings for symptoms at airports in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
20 January 2020 | China reports 139 new cases of the sickness, including a third death. The National Institutes of Health announces that it is working on a vaccine against the coronavirus. “The NIH is in the process of taking the first steps towards the development of a vaccine,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
21 January 2020 | Officials in Washington state confirm the first case on US soil.
22 January 2020 | Wuhan closed off and quarantined. All routs in and out of the city via airport and railway stations or roads are closed trapping more than 11 million people inside the quarantine following news that the death toll from the Wuhan Coronavirus has risen to 17. Chinese authorities confirm at least 547 cases in the mainland. With food and medical supplies rapidly depleted grocery prices rocket to $9 USD for 1 KG of carrots. There are wide spread reports of local shops profiteering on essentials such as food, medicine and hygiene products.
23 January 2020 | At an emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization, the WHO says that the Wuhan coronavirus does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern. The Beijing Culture and Tourism Bureau cancels all large-scale Lunar New Year celebrations in an effort to contain the growing spread of Wuhan coronavirus.
26 January 2020 | The China Association of Travel Services reports that all tours, including international ones, will be suspended.
27 January 2020 | Viral videos on social media blame wild meat markets selling live animals as the root cause of the new strain of Coronavirus. In particular bat soup. A variety of social media posts all claim to be the true original host with animals from bats, aardvarks and wolves being blamed. Whilst the WHO are investigating the link between the outbreak and the live wild animals sold as food in these markets, non of the social media posts have been called credible. Miss informations, profiteering and sensationalism for financial gains are clearly surfacing on a terrifying scale.
28 January 2020 | Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom in Beijing. At the meeting, Xi and the WHO agree to send a team of international experts, including US CDC (Center for Disease Control) and Prevention staff, to China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak.
30 January 2020 | The US reports its first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus.
31 January 2020 | WHO declares the Coronavirus outbreak as a global public heath emergency. The Donald Trump administration announces it will deny entry to foreign nationals who have traveled in China in the last 14 days.
1 February 2020 | Coronavirus spreads to the UK, the furthest infected country from China. Brits waiting to be eventuated from Wuhan to the UK caught in a dispute regarding a refusal to take relatives who did not carry a full British passport. This, according to reports by the BBC and Chinese media lead to dual nationality families being separated. Only 83 Brits were eventually transported to the UK and held in quarantine. Two people from the same family from the city of York and a third person were confirmed to have the virus. 3’700 international tourists including 61 infected with Coronavirus are quarantined at sea off the coast of Hong Kong en rout to Japan. They will remain in quarantine until 19 February 2020 at the earliest.
2 February 2020 | First death outside of China. A 44 year old male died in the Philippines. Ireland issues GPs with face masks and gowns as the governments asks Irish citizens in China to return home. Medics remind doctors and public that face masks will not prevent the virus. Only an air filtered breather covering the mouth and nose and air tight eye protection would be of significant benefit. Journalists in Wuhan show themselves wearing swimming goggles and two layers of different face masks under a scarf wrapped around the nose and mouth as their form of daily protection when in public spaces. Two British teenage boys accused of profiteering after making £10’000 GBP profit selling standard unfiltered face masks online. UK research labs where development towards 2019-nCov treatment is being conducted put under armed police guard.
3 February 2020 | China’s Foreign Ministry accuses the US government of inappropriately reacting to the outbreak and spreading fear by enforcing travel restrictions. The death toll of this New Coronavirus surpasses that of 2003 SARS coronavirus. To date there have been 360 confirmed fatalities in main land china alone. Surpassing the year long outbreak of SARS which killed 349 in China and 774 globally. New Coronavirus is confirmed in 25 countries. US confirms 11 cases of 2019-nCoV. A new hospital is built and fitted with 1’000 ned in Wuhan China in just 10 days as the WHO praises China for a rapid, robust and sophisticated response to the outbreak.
4 February 2020 | US is the only country not to quarantine repatriated citizens from China. All other countries enforce 16 day quarantine to wait out the 14 day incubation period. China and Europe accuse the US of attempting to use fear to crash the Chinese stock exchange. Reports of racially aggravated hate crimes against Chinese rise in Philippines, US, Canada and UK as authorities warn against far right groups “highjacking the outbreak to spread their hate”.
5 February 2020 | A 28 year old Canadian man was arrested and charged after forcing a plane to return to base by joking on a plane that he had 2019-nCoV to boost his social media and to create a “viral post”. A 31 year old woman in Austria sparked s police hunt after she escaped form quarantine infected with 2019-nCoV.
6 February 2020 | Chinese Stock Markets plunge heavily with China and Europe blaming the US for intentional fear mongering and failure to quarantine returning US citizens. Singapore confirms 33 cases of New Coronavirus. UK confirms third case of coronavirus was contracted in Singapore not China. Russia quarantines 144 citizens in Siberia.
7 February 2020 | First cure – A Chinese woman infected with the new strain of Coronavirus showed a dramatic improvement after she was given a heavy mix of anti-viral medications and HIV treatments, Thailand’s health ministry announced. A cruise ship docked in New York City is quarantined with 4 suspected infected passengers. The UK announces that 150 more citizens will be flown back from China and quarantined in Milton Keynes. The doctor that discovered the outbreak and tried to warn the public, and was subsequently disbelieved and warned by police against spreading rumours of a deadly virus – has died of New Coronavirus aged 34, his warnings, scientific findings and fears all proved to be correct. The death toll in mainland China reaches 724 with over 34’000 infected and the Chinese quarantine zone now covering an area home to more than 33 million people. Apple closes multiple stores in China to protect staff and customers from the outbreak.
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