COVID-19 — A Timeline of the Coronavirus Outbreak – January – June 2020


January – June 2020

  • Dec. 31, 2019

    Chinese authorities inform WHO’s China office of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, with unknown cause

  • Jan. 1, 2020

    Officials close the Huanan seafood market, suspected to be the source of the mystery disease

  • Jan. 7, 2020

    China identifies new coronavirus as cause of the outbreak

  • Jan. 9, 2020

    China reports first death linked to 2019-nCoV. A 61-year-old male in Wuhan with several underlying medical conditions

  • Jan. 12, 2020

    China shares the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus, helping countries in testing and tracing any potentially infected people

  • Jan. 13, 2020

    Thailand reports first imported case of 2019-nCoV

  • Jan. 20, 2020

    South Korea confirms its first case of 2019-nCoV

  • Jan. 24, 2020

    Japan and U.S. each confirm second 2019-nCoV cases

  • Jan. 25, 2020

    Australia confirms the first case of 2019-nCoV in the continent. France confirms three cases, the first in Europe. Malaysia also reports the first four cases, Canada reports its first case

  • Jan. 30, 2020

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern

  • Jan. 31, 2020

    The U.S. declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency domestically. The U.K., Russia, Sweden, and Spain also confirm their first 2019-nCoV cases

  • Feb. 3, 2020

    China launches a clinical trial of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir, previously tested in patients with Ebola, against the 2019-nCoV

  • Feb. 4, 2020

    Hong Kong reports its first death of a patient with 2019-nCoV

  • Feb. 5, 2020

    Ten passengers from a cruise ship currently docked in Yokohama, Japan, test positive for 2019-nCoV, bringing the total cases in Japan to 35

  • Feb. 7, 2020

    Death of doctor in Wuhan, Li Wenliang, who tried to raise the alarm on the 2019-nCoV in December

  • Feb. 11, 2020

    WHO assigns the novel coronavirus its official name: COVID-19

  • Feb. 15, 2020

    France reports the first death from COVID-19 outside of Asia — an 80-year-old tourist from Hubei province

  • Feb. 19, 2020

    The death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 2,000

  • Feb. 20, 2020

    South Korea sees a spike in cases, bringing its count to 104. The country now has the second-highest number of cases outside of mainland China

  • Feb. 21, 2020

    Lebanon confirms its first case of COVID-19. Israel confirms its first case of COVID-19

  • Feb. 24, 2020

    US biotech firm Moderna sends an experimental COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a planned phase one study. Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Oman report first cases of COVID-19

  • Feb. 26, 2020

    Brazil confirms its first case of COVID-19, marking the first case in South America. Cases of the virus have now been confirmed on every continent except Antarctica

  • Feb. 27, 2020

    Denmark, Estonia, San Marino, and the Netherlands report first cases of the virus

  • Feb. 29, 2020

    WHO says that temperature screening alone at airports and borders is not an effective way to stop international spread because people may be in an incubation period and not showing symptoms or be using antipyretics to reduce fever

  • March 1, 2020

    South Korea, with 3,736 cases, and Italy, with 1,128 cases, have the most cases outside of China. Czech Republic, Iceland, and Armenia report their first cases of COVID-19

  • March 2, 2020

    Indonesia, Senegal, Portugal, Andora, Latvia, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia report their first cases of COVID-19

  • March 3, 2020

    Ukraine, Argentina, and Chile report their first cases of COVID-19

  • March 5, 2020

    U.S. Congress approves an emergency spending package to fund efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, South Africa, and Palestine report their first cases of COVID-19

  • March 6, 2020

    Slovakia, Bhutan, Peru, Costa Rica, Columbia, Cameroon, and Togo report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 7, 2020

    Malta, Moldova, Paraguay, and the Maldives report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 8, 2020

    Bulgaria and Bangladesh report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 9, 2020

    Albania, Cyprus, Burkina Faso, and Panama report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 10, 2020

    Brunei, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bolivia, Jamaica, and Mongolia report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 11, 2020

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declares the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.  Turkey, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Guyana, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines confirm first cases of COVID-19

  • March 13, 2020

    Europe becomes the epicenter of the pandemic

  • March 14, 2020

    Namibia, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Seychelles, and Eswatini confirm first cases of COVID-19

  • March 20, 2020

    Papua New Guinea, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 22, 2020

    Global cases of COVID-19 surpass 300,000. It took over three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases, 12 days to reach 200,000 and three days to reach 300,000

  • March 23, 2020

    Myanmar and Belize report first cases of COVID-19

  • March 24, 2020

    India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a lockdown of 21 days for the country’s 1.3 billion residents. The Chinese government announces it will lift the lockdown on Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, on April 8

  • March 26, 2020

    Cases in the U.S. surpass those in China and Italy — making it the new epicenter of the pandemic

  • March 27, 2020

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

  • March 28, 2020

    Cases of COVID-19 worldwide surpass 600,000

  • March 29, 2020

    Global death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 30,000

  • March 31, 2020

    U.S. government places a moratorium on USAID’s global shipments of personal protective gear, asking it to instead be sent to the U.S.

  • April 2, 2020

    Cases of COVID-19 surpass 1 million

  • April 3, 2020

    The United States, with the highest number of cases in the world, now has more than double the number of Italy

  • April 6, 2020

    Almost 90% of students globally are affected by school closures — over 1.5 billion children and young people, according to WHO. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is moved to intensive care after his COVID-19 symptoms worsen. The death toll in Europe from COVID-19 surpasses 50,000

  • April 8, 2020

    China lifts its lockdown on Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak began

  • April 10, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 deaths around the world surpasses 100,000

  • April 14, 2020

    U.S. President Donald Trump announces he is cutting off the nation’s contributions to the World Health Organization, criticizing the agency for mismanaging the response

  • April 15, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 2 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announces it will increase its funding by $150 million to fund the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines

  • April 17, 2020

    Dr. Michael Ryan, of the World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme, emphasizes that there is no evidence to prove whether someone who had COVID-19 and recovered is immune from the disease

  • April 19, 2020

    Death toll in Europe from COVID-19 surpasses 100,000. The death rate in Europe, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is nearly 9%

  • April 21, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 2.5 million globally, and the number in the U.S. surpasses 800,000

  • April 24, 2020

    The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passes 50,000

  • April 25, 2020

    The global death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 200,000

  • April 26, 2020

    Australian government launches a voluntary tracking app that uses a Bluetooth signal to determine when a person has been in contact with someone with COVID-19

  • April 27, 2020

    Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 3 million. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that there is currently no widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the country

  • April 28, 2020

    The number of coronavirus cases in the United States surpasses 1 million. The number of Americans killed by COVID-19 surpasses 58,000

  • April 29, 2020

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the U.S. government’s coronavirus task force, says that results from a clinical trial of remdesivir, a potential COVID-19 treatment, show “quite good news.” In the study, patients taking the drug recovered 31% faster than those given placebos. “What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,”

  • April 30, 2020

    Three months have passed since WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin tests positive for COVID-19. The country has over 100,000 confirmed cases

  • May 2, 2020

    Russia records a one-day record with 9,623 new coronavirus infections. India records 2,293 new cases in one day. Iran, with 802 new COVID-19 cases, sees its lowest daily count in nearly two months. Cases of coronavirus on the African continent surpass 40,000

  • May 3, 2020

    French hospital in Paris retested samples from pneumonia patients and found a man with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27. The French government confirmed its first three cases of the disease on Jan 24

  • May 5, 2020

    U.K. coronavirus adviser Neil Ferguson resigns after disobeying the lockdown rules that he helped create

  • May 7, 2020

    U.N. increases its Global Humanitarian Response Plan to $6.7 billion

  • May 8, 2020

    United States blocks a vote in the U.N. Security Council calling for a resolution for a global ceasefire so that countries can more effectively fight COVID-19 in their countries, over mention of the World Health Organization

  • May 9, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 4 million globally. Only 34% of all confirmed global cases are reported to have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

  • May 10, 2020

    The Chinese government reports its first case in Wuhan, where the pandemic originated, since April 3. This follows the government’s lifting of lock-down measures

  • May 11, 2020

    The Chinese government reports the first new cluster of cases in Wuhan since the government lifted the lock-down measures in the city at the epicenter of the pandemic

  • May 12, 2020

    Russia has the second-highest caseload, following the United States. Both Brazil and Mexico report the highest daily fatalities in their countries since the pandemic began

  • May 14, 2020

    The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 300,000 globally

  • May 15, 2020

    Asian Development Bank estimates the global impact of the coronavirus to range from $5.8 trillion on a short term containment scenario of 3 months, to $8.8 trillion for a longer term containment scenario of 6 months

  • May 17, 2020

    Chinese officials quarantine 8,000 people in the northeast part of the country after a cluster of new infections are reported

  • May 18, 2020

    U.S. President Donald Trump says he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for over a week — a drug the president has been touting as a potential treatment for COVID-19, although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration cautions against its unproven use. Preliminary data from the first COVID-19 vaccine trial in humans shows that the vaccine is creating an immune response and is “generally safe and well tolerated,” according to the manufacturer, Moderna

  • May 20, 2020

    The World Health Organization receives reports of 106,000 new cases of COVID-19 — the most the agency has seen in a single day since the outbreak began

  • May 21, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 5 million globally

  • May 22, 2020

    A study finds that the use of hydroxychloroquine among hospital patients with COVID-19 is linked to increased rates of death and heart arrhythmias

  • May 23, 2020

    First death from COVID-19 is reported in the Gaza Strip

  • May 25, 2020

    The World Health Organization puts a temporary pause on its trials of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, following an observational study of the drug and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized, published in The Lancet on May 22

  • May 26, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 5.5 million globally. A final decision on whether hydroxychloroquine causes harm or benefit to COVID-19 patients is expected in mid-June, following a review of data from ongoing trials and already published evidence

  • May 27, 2020

    The death toll in the U.S. from COVID-19 surpasses 100,000

  • May 29, 2020

    U.S. President Donald Trump says during a press conference the country is “terminating” its relationship with WHO and “redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”

  • May 30, 2020

    Brazil reports a record 33,274 new cases of COVID-19

  • May 31, 2020

    Cases of COVID-19 surpass 6 million globally

  • June 1, 2020

    Cases of COVID-19 in Brazil surpass 500,000

  • June 3, 2020

    Following a safety review, WHO decides it will restart its trial of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment

  • June 4, 2020

    The Lancet retracts its study on COVID-19 patients using hydroxychloroquine that found the drug increased death rates and increased heartbeat irregularities

  • June 5, 2020

    WHO updates its guidance on the use of masks. The agency also says that fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different material, depending on the material used

  • June 6, 2020

    A project from The Guardian and Kaiser Health News finds that nearly 600 frontline health workers have died from the coronavirus in the United States

  • June 7, 2020

    The death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 400,000 globally

  • June 8, 2020

    The death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 400,000 globally

  • June 9, 2020

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, calls the COVID-19 pandemic his “worst nightmare” 

  • June 10, 2020

    The number of cases on the African continent surpasses 200,000

  • June 11, 2020

    The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpasses 2 million

  • June 12, 2020

    According to a paper from the Institute of Labor Economics in Germany, masks can reduce the daily spread of new infections by 40%

  • June 13, 2020

    Beijing shuts down its largest fruit and vegetable market following the positive COVID-19 tests of 45 people at the market

  • June 14, 2020

    China reports 57 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest daily toll the country has seen in two months

  • June 15, 2020

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revokes authorization for the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, following several clinical trials suggesting that the drug is ineffective

  • June 16, 2020

    Following 24 days with no new cases, New Zealand reports that two women who recently arrived in the country from the U.K. have tested positive for COVID-19

  • June 18, 2020

    study published in Nature Medicine finds that the levels of antibodies in recovered COVID-19 patients declines significantly two to three months after infection, which calls into question the length of immunity that survivors have against contracting the virus again 

  • June 21, 2020

    COVID-19 deaths surpass 50,000 in Brazil

  • June 23, 2020

     A report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization finds that 40% of low- and lower-middle income countries have not supported disadvantaged students during school shutdowns from COVID-19

  • June 22, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 9 million. This comes just a week after the caseload hit 8 million

  • June 23, 2020

    A report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization finds that 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported disadvantaged students during school shutdowns from COVID-19

  • June 24, 2020

    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the world needs 620,000 cubic meters of oxygen per day, or about 88,000 large cylinders, as new COVID-19 cases now number 1 million a week. 

  • June 27, 2020

    A pledging summit hosted by the European Commission and Global Citizen raises €6.15 billion ($6.91 billion) for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, as well as to ensure their equitable access.

  • June 28, 2020

    Globally, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 10 million — only six days after the global caseload hit 9 million. Confirmed deaths surpass 500,000

  • June 29, 2020

    WHO plans to send a team to China to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tedros says. The United States has bought almost all stocks of Gilead’s remdesivir until September

  • June 30, 2020

    Six months have passed since WHO received the first reports from China of a cluster of cases of which was then only known as cases of pneumonia with unknown cause

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