COVID-19 — A Timeline of the Coronavirus Outbreak – Part 2


July – December 2020

  • July 1, 2020

    Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program reported Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus from China is not new, but has been under surveillance since 2011

  • July 2, 2020

    New Zealand health minister David Clark resigns after a series of blunders amid the country’s COVID-19 response

  • July 3, 2020

    UNITAID and UNICEF agree to an initial purchase of dexamethasone to expand the drug’s access for low- and middle-income countries. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 11 million globally — only five days after the global caseload hit 10 million

  • July 4, 2020

    WHO discontinues the lopinavir/ritonavir treatment arm of the Solidarity Trial following a recommendation from the trial’s International Steering Committee that found the treatment produced little or no reduction in patient mortality when compared to standard of care

  • July 6, 2020

    The U.S. submits its formal notification to withdraw from WHO. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is reviewing whether the U.S. has met the conditions to do so.

    In an open letter to WHO, 239 scientists urge the agency to “recognize the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19”

  • July 7, 2020

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19, following months of downplaying the crisis while cases and deaths from the virus continued to increase. Brazil has the second-largest confirmed caseload, with 1.7 million cases, following the U.S.

  • July 8, 2020

    Confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 500,000 in Africa. 

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 12 million — five days after the figure reached 11 million. Confirmed cases in the U.S. surpass 3 million.

  • July 9, 2020

    WHO updates a scientific brief on transmission of COVID-19, saying more research on airborne transmission is needed

  • July 12, 2020

    WHO receives reports of 230,000 new cases of COVID-19. Almost 80% of those cases are from 10 countries, says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a news briefing

  • July 13, 2020

    The 2020 “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report estimates that between 83 million and 132 million people could be pushed into hunger this year because of COVID-19, many by job losses amid lockdown measures

  • July 14, 2020

    American biotech firm Moderna published interim results from its ongoing human clinical trials of its candidate vaccine for COVID-19, finding that it was safe and provoked an immune response in all of its 45 volunteers

  • July 15, 2020

    Seventy-five countries have expressed interest in joining the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access — or COVAX — Facility, which is a mechanism aimed at increasing equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines

  • July 16, 2020

    Research from the Jubilee Debt Campaign finds that $11.3 Billion in IMF loans to countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are  being used to bail out private lenders

  • July 17, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 14 million

  • July 18, 2020

    Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 surpass 600,000 globally

  • July 20, 2020

    A new study published in The Lancet shows a promising vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford. The candidate, a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine referred to as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, generated T cells and neutralizing antibodies in participants, and a stronger immune response was found among 10 people who received a second dose

  • July 21, 2020

    Three out of 10 people in the Americas are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions, warns the Pan American Health Org

  • July 22, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 15 million

  • July 26, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 16 million

  • July 27, 2020

    New research from the WHO shows that the world has reached a milestone in the fight against hepatitis B infections, with prevalence rate among children under 5 years old at less than 1% in 2020

  • July 30, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 17 million.

    A in JAMA found that children 5 years old and younger, with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, have up to 100 times the viral load in their upper throat as people who are older

  • Aug 1, 2020

    Russia announces plans to launch a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in October, with a vaccine that has not completed clinical trials

  • Aug 3, 2020

    Globally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpasses 18 million. A few studies have estimated the infection fatality rate of COVID-19 at 0.6%, That means just over 1 in 200 people infected will potentially die, but it is hugely skewed by age, with the risk much higher in older people

  • Aug 5, 2020

    Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 surpass 700,000 globally

  • Aug 6, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 19 million

  • Aug 7, 2020

    Cases of COVID-19 on the African continent surpass 1 million

    A new collaboration between the Serum Institute of India, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to deliver  up to 100 million doses of future COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries

  • Aug 8, 2020

    Confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 5 million in the United States

  • Aug 10, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 hit 20 million. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states “My message is crystal clear: Suppress, suppress, suppress the virus. If we suppress the virus effectively, we can safely open up societies

  • Aug 11, 2020

    New Zealand reports fresh new cases of COVID-19. The announcement comes two days after the government celebrated 100 days of no community transmission. Russia grants regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. Russian President Vladimir Putin says “it has passed all the needed checks”

  • Aug 12, 2020

    The U.S. government secures 100 million doses of Moderna’s candidate vaccine, mRNA-1273, which is in late-stage clinical trials. The deal also gives the U.S. option to purchase an additional 400 million vaccine doses

  • Aug 14, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 21 million

  • Aug 18, 2020

    A letter signed by former world leaders, people in the education sector, and economists calls for urgent action in response to the global education emergency created by the pandemic

  • Aug 19, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 22 million

  • Aug 20, 2020

    A WHO surgery of 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa finds that schools are fully operational in six countries, closed in 14, and partially open in 19. About a dozen countries plan to resume in-person classes in September

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Globally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpasses 23 million and the number of deaths surpasses 800,000

  • Aug 24, 2020

    Hong Kong researchers report the world’s first case of reinfection of COVID-19. A 33-year-old man who had a mild case of COVID-19 in April tests positive again — infected by a different strain of the virus, calling into question the length of immunity that people acquire after they have the disease

  • Aug 26, 2020

    “With the pandemic, Africa has lost over a decade of gains of economic growth. Africa’s recovery will be long and difficult

  • Aug 27, 2020

    UNICEF finds that 1 in 3 school children — 463 million children globally — have not had access to remote learning options during the pandemic

  • Aug 30, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally surpass 25 million.

    India reports the highest single-day increase of any nation thus far during the pandemic, with 78,761 new COVID-19 cases

  • Aug 31, 2020

    The European Union announces €400 million ($478 million) in guarantees for COVAX.

    Confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 6 million in the United States, the highest number of any country

  • Sep 1, 2020

    A study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine that finds antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within four months of diagnosis — bringing greater clarity around the questions of whether having had COVID-19 prevents someone from becoming reinfected and how long that protection lasts

  • Sep 2, 2020

    WHO publishes new guidelines recommending the use of corticosteroids in COVID-19 patients with severe and critical conditions. The guidance comes months after preliminary data from a U.K. trial showed dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, reduced mortality among critically ill COVID-19 patients.

  • Sep 3, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 26 million

  • Sep 4, 2020

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom states; “when vaccines for COVID-19 are available, they should initially go to people most vulnerable to contracting the disease — essential workers, elderly populations, and people with underlying health conditions

  • Sep 7, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 27 million. More than 200 U.N. staff members in Syria have been infected with COVID-19

  • Sep 8, 2020

    Trials of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are on hold after a reported adverse reaction in a participant. A safety review is being conducted before trials can resume

  • Sep 10, 2020

    U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Dick Durbin introduce a bill ensuring continued U.S. funding to WHO.

    “With the United States leading in the number of COVID-19 infections, we do not have time to play along with the president’s political stunt to withdraw from vital international organizations like the World Health Organization, which is leading a global effort to find and distribute a vaccine for a disease responsible for the death of more than 190,000 Americans,”

  • Sep 12, 2020

    AstraZeneca says that it has resumed its clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K. The trials were paused following reports of an adverse reaction in a participant

  • Sep 14, 2020

    The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, recommends the convening of a U.N. Summit on Global Health Security to agree a new international framework for health emergency preparedness and response

  • Sep 15, 2020

    United Arab Emirates grants emergency approval for use of the COVID-19 candidate vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm. The vaccine is still in phase 3 trials

  • Sep 16, 2020

    Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, says she will convene a Global Health Summit in 2021 in Italy. She also announces plans for the establishment of a European BARDA, an agency for biomedical advanced research and development

  • Sep 18, 2020

    Global COVID-19 cases surpass 30 million. The U.S. has the highest number of infections followed by India and Brazil

  • Sep 21, 2020

    WHO is releasing a fully revised investment case for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, which includes costing for the accelerator’s “fourth pillar,” known as the “health systems connector.” This brings the total funding ask of the accelerator from $31 billion to $38 billion

  • Sep 22, 2020

    The U.S. supasses 200,000 reported deaths from COVID-19 — the highest number of any country in the world.

    U.S. President Donald Trump says the U.N. must hold China accountable for its actions relating to the pandemic.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping says COVID-19 vaccines developed by China, once completed and available for use, “will be made a global public good

  • Sep 23, 2020

    Johnson & Johnson begins the final stage of clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The trial includes up to 60,000 people. If proven effective, this vaccine might only require one dose rather than two

  • Sep 24, 2020

    Socioecological factors such as low population density, a younger demographic, and hot and humid weather have likely contributed to the COVID-19 disease pattern in Africa, resulting in fewer infections. Cases in the region have also been declining over the past two months

  • Sep 25, 2020

    WHO publishes draft criteria for the assessment of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use listing or prequalification. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket — that’s the message, meaning we have to invest in vaccines, but at the same time, let’s be very serious in using the tools we have at hand,”

  • Sep 28, 2020

    The world surpasses 1 million COVID-19 deaths and 33 million confirmed cases. A total of 120 million antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests from SD Biosensor and Abbott are being made available to low- and middle-income countries through volume guarantee agreements made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

  • Sep 29, 2020

    The latest analysis of the open-label phase 1 study of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, shows it can generate neutralizing antibodies in adults ages 56 years and older. The older cohorts also did not have any serious adverse reactions to the vaccine at either the 25 microgram or 100 microgram dose levels

  • Sep 30, 2020

    Johnson & Johnson commits to allocate up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to lower-income countries

  • Oct 1, 2020

    Africa CDC has expanded its antibody testing to 15 countries on the continent

  • Oct 2, 2020

    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19

  • Oct 3, 2020

    The Solomon Islands reports its first case of COVID-19: a student who arrived in the country on a repatriation flight from the Philippines

  • Oct 5, 2020

     The Lancet publishes results from a large-scale clinical trial known as the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy — or RECOVERY — Trial, showing that the drug combination lopinavir-ritonavir is not an effective treatment for patients admitted to the hospital with COVID–19

  • Oct 6, 2020

    The pilot for the Solidarity Trial of candidate COVID-19 vaccines will start at the end of October, and the initial results could be released in January 2021. The Solidarity Trial is a global initiative launched by WHO to compare COVID-19 treatments and rapidly assess their effectiveness

  • Oct 8, 2020

    Moderna releases a statement saying it will not enforce patents on its COVID-19 vaccine for vaccine manufacturers combatting the pandemic

  • Oct 9, 2020

    China joins COVAX, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announces on Twitter

  • Oct 12, 2020

    Johnson & Johnson temporarily pauses clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after an “unexplained illness in a study participant.” 

  • Oct 13, 2020

    Nearly half of the world’s workforce is at risk of losing their jobs, with informal economy workers the most vulnerable, according to a press release from the International Labour Organization

  • Oct 16, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 39 million

  • Oct 19, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 40 million. COVID-19 cases in Argentina surpass 1 million

  • Oct 20, 2020

    A survey carried out in 19 countries finds high acceptance of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. But 28% of the 13,400 respondents said they would hesitate to get, or completely refuse, a coronavirus vaccination.

  • Oct 21, 2020

    Around 100,000 people continue to test positive for COVID-19 in the Americas every day, with cases rising in the United States and Canada

  • Oct 22, 2020

    African nations will begin to widely use rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 following WHO’s recent approval of two of these tests for emergency use. Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 41 million

  • Oct 24, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 42 million

  • Oct 26, 2020

    Data from a clinical trial of Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment bamlanivimab found it is ineffective in helping hospitalized patients with advanced stages of disease to recover. As a result, the treatment will no longer be administered to patients under the ACTIV-3 trial

  • Oct 27, 2020

    The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund, submitted applications for WHO prequalification of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

  • Oct 29, 2020

    Taiwan has not reported a locally transmitted case of COVID-19 in 200 days

  • Oct 30, 2020

    Members of an international group of experts had their first virtual meeting with their Chinese counterparts on efforts to establish the origin of the coronavirus, says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a news briefing. Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 45 million. Over the past week, cases have increased at a rate of about 1 million every two days.

  • Nov 1, 2020

    Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 46 million

  • Nov 2, 2020

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says he is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

  • Nov 3, 2020

    Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 47 million

  • Nov 5, 2020

    Denmark plans to cull up to 17 million minks after detecting a mutated version of the novel coronavirus on mink farms, which infected 12 people

  • Nov 7, 2020

    Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 49 million

  • Nov 9, 2020

    Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine candidate is found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among people with no evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 50 million

  • Nov 10, 2020

    Brazil suspends clinical trials of Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine after a “serious adverse event” in one of the volunteers

  • Nov 11, 2020

    Globally, confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 51 million

  • Nov 13, 2020

    South Korean biotech company GL Rapha will produce over 150 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea, as part of a new deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

  • Nov 13, 2020

    South Korean biotech company GL Rapha will produce over 150 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea, as part of a new deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

  • Nov 16, 2020

    Moderna announces its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown 94.5% efficacy, based on interim analysis from a phase 3 study conducted among 30,000 participants in the United States. Starting two weeks after a second dose, the group that received the vaccine had five cases of COVID-19, none of which was severe. Among the placebo group, 90 participants had COVID-19, including 11 severe cases.

  • Nov 19, 2020

    The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpasses 2 million on the African continent

  • Nov 20, 2020

    The WHO Guideline Development Group advises against use of the antiviral drug remdesivir for COVID-19, saying there is no evidence that it improves survival or decreases the need for ventilation

  • Nov 21, 2020

    here have been more cases of COVID-19 reported in the past four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

  • Nov 23, 2020

    The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed 62% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in participants given two full shots of the vaccine. However, the efficacy rose to 90% when the vaccine was given at only half dose during the first shot, followed by a full dose for the second shot, according to interim analysis

  • Nov 24, 2020

    Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has shown 91.4% efficacy based on preliminary data from ongoing phase 3 clinical trials in the country, according to officials from the Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund

  • Nov 25, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 60 million

  • Nov 26, 2020

    Widespread campaigns to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in Africa will likely not happen until the second quarter of next year because of challenges around accessing vaccines and preparing countries for their distribution, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Nov 30, 2020

    Moderna announces further trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, showing it to be 94.1% effective against COVID-19, and 100% effective against severe cases. The company has applied for emergency use authorization from the FDA

  • Dec 1, 2020

    U.S. press reports leaked documents revealing discrepancies in reported COVID-19 cases in Hubei province in the early days of the outbreak. China reported confirmed cases, but not suspected and clinically diagnosed cases, effectively downplaying the true size of the epidemic, experts argue. The documents also reveal that the average time between the onset of COVID-19 symptoms and a confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days in early March

  • Dec 2, 2020

    The U.K. government approves the COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech for domestic use — the first country to do so

  • Dec 3, 2020

    Globally, confirmed deaths from COVID-19 surpass 1.5 million

  • Dec 4, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 65 million. In response to criticisms that vaccines could prove unsafe in the long term because pharmaceutical companies rushed through the vaccine development process, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO, says during a press conference that shortcuts were not taken in the scientific process. The vaccines still underwent the full process of development, but timelines were accelerated because phase one and phase two were overlapped by regulatory agencies that were willing to be flexible.

  • Dec 8, 2020

    The U.K. begins to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, becoming the first nation to do so. The campaign, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, will first inoculate front-line health workers, people over 80, and nursing home workers. The U.K. has purchased 40 million doses of the vaccine, with much of it expected to arrive next year

  • Dec 10, 2020

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announces an additional $250 million directed toward efforts to fight COVID-19, targeting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and drugs and their equitable and timely distribution. The foundation’s total commitment to the global COVID-19 response is $1.75 billion.

  • Dec 11, 2020

    The Asian Development Bank launches the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, a $9 billion vaccine initiative to support its low-income member countries in the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

    Vaccines that will be eligible to be financed through the facility however need to be purchased via the COVAX Facility, have received prequalification from

  • Dec 12, 2020

    Peru temporarily suspends trials for China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine candidate after a volunteer presents neurological problems. The health ministry is investigating whether the reaction was related to the vaccine

  • Dec 14, 2020

    The U.S. begins to roll out a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The country surpasses 300,000 confirmed deaths from the virus

  • Dec 16, 2020

    European Union signs a promised €100 million ($122 million) grant and €400 million loan to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, reinforcing efforts to ensure people in low- and middle-income countries have swift access to a COVID-19 vaccine

  • Dec 17, 2020

    French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive for COVID-19

  • Dec 18, 2020

    WHO announces agreements are in place allowing the ‘COVAX initiative’ to access nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

    • 170 million doses from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

    • 500 million doses from Johnson & Johnson

    • 200 million from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline

    • 200 million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford or Novavax vaccines, with an option for up to 900 million more doses

  • Dec 19, 2020

    Canada surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 cases. U.K. surpasses 2 million

  • Dec 20, 2020

    New Zealand reports six new cases, bringing the total number to 2,116. Well done New Zealand!

  • Dec 21, 2020

    The first cases of COVID-19 in Antarctica are reported by Chile. 36 people, including 10 civilians and 26 officers contracted the virus in the Base General Bernardo O’Higgins. USA surpasses 18 million COVID-19 cases

  • Dec 22, 2020

    The United Kingdom reported 691 new deaths, the highest figure for daily fatalities since early May

  • Dec 24, 2020

    Italy surpasses 2 million COVID-19 cases. The Canadian Province of Ontario reported a new record high of 2,447 COVID-19 daily cases

  • Dec 25, 2020

    Japan reported 3,748 new coronavirus cases, a record daily high. 5 cases of the mutated strain of COVID-19 were confirmed in people who had travelled to Japan from the U.K.

  • Dec 26, 2020

    Canada confirms 2 cases of the new strain of COVID-19. France confirms its 1st case of the new variant strain. Total number of COVID-19 cases across the world crossed over 80 million, with the number of deaths more than 1.75 million

  • Dec 27, 2020

    United States of America surpasses 19 million COVID-19 cases. South Africa surpasses 1 million covid 19 cases

  • Dec 29, 2020

    Singapore has reported 13 new cases (all imported), bringing the total to 58,542. 14 people have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,400. The death toll remains at 29

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