The novel coronavirus first discovered in China in 2019 is spreading around the world. More and more countries are reporting new cases of infection. This detailed timeline reports how the disease is progressing.
December 1-18, 2019
- On December 8, Chinese authorities reported the first patient who was suffering from the typical symptoms of coronavirus named 2019-nCoV. Later investigations showed that there was an earlier case registered on December 1. Up to December 18, the number of officially acknowledged instances of the same virus reached 7. They all occurred in the city of Wuhan which has 11,000,000 inhabitants.
- 2 cases out of 7 were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market located in Wuhan. 5 others had no links to the market.
December 30, 2019
- The Municipal Health Committee of Wuhan issued a notice on the treatment protocol of pneumonia cases. The causes of such pneumonia remained unknown.
December 31, 2019
- The World Health Organization received a report about 27 persons suffering from same pneumonia caused by unknown agents. The majority of patients had stalls at the mentioned Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. 7 individuals were in a critical health condition.
- The Municipal Health Committee of Wuhan made a public announcement. The situation made Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong react immediately and increase the intensity of inbound screening processes.
January 1, 2020
- The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was considered to be the primary source of the infection. It was closed for profound disinfection. In the city of Wuhan, police forces interviewed 8 locals for spreading false information regarding the novel virus. The rumors consisted of speculations on the coronavirus SARS connection. As authorities reported, such misinformation exaggerated the danger and spread panic among the citizens.
- CNA reports, however, had it that the eight Wuhan residents were not just questioned but punished for spreading unverified information.
January 2, 2020
- The number of patients whose analyses confirmed 2019-nCoV increased to 41. Out of this number, 27 individuals were exposed directly to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
- Airports launched body temperature screening to detect feverish and potentially infected passengers.
January 5, 2020
- Further research and investigations helped rule out MERS and SARS coronavirus, seasonal, and bird flu. The number of patients with suspected cases of 2019-nCoV grew to 59. Critical conditions were observed in 7 patients. 163 people who contacted the infected ones were put under constant monitoring. Human-to-human transmission was still not registered. None of the healthcare workers who had attended to the infected ones had developed similar symptoms yet.
- WHO made a statement concerning any traveling or trading restrictions with China.
January 8, 2020
- 4 persons with flu-like symptoms were noticed in the Chiang Mai International Airport.
January 9, 2020
- WHO informed that the new virus was successfully isolated from one patient. The organization also noted that the actions of the Chinese side were swift and efficient. Thanks to such quickness and efficiency, it had taken only several weeks to identify the new pathogen since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued its risk assessment.
- The first death happened. The man of 61 was a regular customer of the Wuhan market. He had complicated pre-existing health conditions, such as a chronic liver issue. He died due to pneumonia and heart failure. Chinese state media reported this first death on the same day.
January 10, 2020
- The isolated pathogen was researched thoroughly. The data received by Fudan University researchers after gene sequencing showed that it was a human coronavirus, which belonged to the same family as SARS. The information appeared on the internet.
- Public Health England issued its guidance regarding the pathogen on the same day.
January 11, 2020
- More than 700 individuals were monitored due to their close contacts with 41 infected ones. Among them, there were 400 workers from the healthcare sphere. No new cases had been reported in China since January 5.
- WHO issued its traveling advice guide.
January 13, 2020
- Thailand reported the first case of 2019-nCoV outside China. The patient was female, 61, a Wuhan resident. She had not visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market but used to go to other markets. The woman arrived in Bangkok on January 8.
- On the same day, the USCDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States) reported that the sequenced genome had been included in the NIH (National Institute of Health) database.
January 14, 2020
- It became known that there was a case of infection between a married couple in Wuhan. This fact raised the possibility of coronavirus transmission between humans.
January 15, 2020
- The second death occurred in China. A man, 69, fell ill on December 31, and a sudden aggravation of his condition happened on January 4. The man was also diagnosed with a severe case of myocarditis and damage to many organs.
- Japan reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus disease. The patient returned to Japan from China with a fever and turned for help immediately. On January 10, he was taken to hospital. On January 15, the man was released after apparent improvement. The man did not visit live markets while in China, and his case increased suspicions of human-to-human transmission.
- German researchers announced the creation of a rapid test able to detect the novel pathogen.
- WHO regional office for the Western Pacific region acknowledged the Japanese case. Since Japan and Thailand were among the most popular travel destinations from Wuhan, it was not unexpected that both countries were affected by the disease.
- In the USA, screening of passengers from Wuhan was launched in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and JFK airports.
January 17, 2020
- Thailand confirmed its second case of 2019-nCoV. The disease was diagnosed in a woman, 74, who arrived in Bangkok by plane from Wuhan.
- In China, meanwhile, the number of patients rose to 45.
January 18, 2020
- The number of patients within China with their diagnoses confirmed in the laboratory rose to 62. All were aged between 30 and 79. Out of this number, 19 were cured successfully and discharged from hospitals. 8 people remained in critical condition.
- Wuhan government organized a banquet (a traditional annual one) that hosted thousands of people who ate together and shared meals.
January 19, 2020
- Within China, the first cases outside Wuhan were reported. 1 patient was diagnosed in Guangdong; 2 in Beijing.
- In Wuhan, the number of confirmed cases increased at lightning speed. 136 new patients with coronavirus symptoms were registered. In total, the number of instances within China got to 201.
- The third patient died in Wuhan.
January 20, 2020
- Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of the PRC, called for efforts to get the epidemic under control and prevent further spreading.
- South Korea reported its first case.
- 3 new cases were registered in Beijing. Guangdong informed about 13 new patients.
- One new instance of infection in Shanghai brought the total number of Chinese diagnoses to 218.
- China’s National Health Committee confirmed human-to-human coronavirus mode of transmission. At least two individuals among the infected ones fell ill without visiting Wuhan.
- More airports launched the screening of passengers.
- One tourist from Britain was suspected to have caught coronavirus while in Thailand.
January 21, 2020
- Zhejiang and Tianjin confirmed about 5 and 2 new infected people, respectively. 3 new ones appeared in Guangdong. Shanghai reported 4; Henan announced 1 new case. Sichuan discovered 2019-nCoV in one patient; Chongqing reported 5 new cases. Shandong announced 1, Hunan 1, Yunnan 1, and Jiangxi 2 new cases. In total, there were 312 cases of infection in China. The total number of deaths grew to 6.
- In Wuhan, 15 healthcare workers were infected. 14 of them were in contact with one person who was suspected to be the super-spreader.
- Taiwan reported 1 infected person. Also, 1 individual was discovered in Washington State, the USA.
January 22, 2020
- Macau and Hong Kong reported their first cases. By the evening the same day, Hong Kong had the second one.
- 5 new patients appeared in Beijing; 9 in Guangdong; 5 in Shanghai; 2 in Tianjin; 5 in Zheijang; 1 in Jiangxi; 2 first cases were registered in Liaoning. In total, the number of Chinese cases grew to 571. 17 people had died since the beginning of the outbreak.
- The government announced the suspension of public transportation, flights and trains from Wuhan starting at 10:00 January 23rd. The same day, before the suspension took effect, about 100,000 people fled from Wuhan. Many people got through checkpoints and body temperature measurement points with the help of antipyretics.
- The total number of cases in Thailand grew to 4.
- The rapid growth in the number of infected people proved the coronavirus contagious and able to transfer from human to human.
January 23, 2020
- The first cases popped up in Jiangsu and Heilongjiang, while other regions reported about the increase in the number of infected persons. The number of affected people in China increased to 628. There were no new deaths.
- The first patient was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV in Singapore. It was a man from China, aged 66. Another man of 66 and his son aged 28, both Chinese, were the first to bring the disease to Vietnam.
- In Wuhan, all bus, ferry, and subway lines were suspended. Near midnight that day, construction works started for a new hospital with at least 1,000 beds. The planned opening date was set for February 3.
- One by one, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Hunan declared a public health emergency, level 1 (the highest).
- A range of companies in the USA announced their plans on the development of vaccines and specific medications to treat the virus.
January 24, 2020
- A public health emergency, level 1, was declared in Hubei, Anhui, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Shandong, Fujian, Guangxi, and Hebei. The number of people in quarantined cities reached 35 million.
- Second cases of infection were registered in the USA, Japan, and South Korea. 2 more were reported from Singapore. The fifth patient appeared in Thailand. In Hong Kong, the number of infected individuals rose to 5 in total. The first one was registered in Nepal, a student who had been in Wuhan and returned home.
- 3 cases were reported in France. They became the first ones in the EU.
- In Vietnam, WHO documented the first confirmed human-to-human transmission incident.
- In China, all the existing 70,000 cinemas were closed, just as a number of highly popular tourist sites.
- Governments in Shanghai and Beijing turned to residents urging them to stay at home for 14 days after returning from the areas of the outbreak.
- Chinese researchers issued results of their study to indicate that people can spread the infection before the manifestation of the first symptoms, during the incubation period.
- The number of infected people in China reached 830. 95 patients stably remained in critical condition.
January 25, 2020
- A public health emergency, level 1 was declared in 30 of the existing 31 provinces of China (mainland), except Tibet.
- 4 patients were discovered in Australia, 1 located in Victoria, and 3 more in New South Wales.
- 3 new cases were confirmed in Malaysia. A short while later, the number grew by the fourth one.
- The third patient was registered in Japan.
- The first suspected patient emerged in Toronto, Canada.
- There was a total of 7 patients in Thailand.
- The fourth person was diagnosed in Singapore.
- In Hubei Province, a doctor, 62, died reportedly of the novel coronavirus.
- China’s National Health Commission sent more than 1,000 healthcare workers to Wuhan in order to fight the outbreak. 450 military medical staff had landed in the city earlier. The construction of the second emergency hospital started. The announced planned capacity was 1,300 beds.
- The general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping, insisted that the country was facing a ‘grave situation’.
- In Sri Lanka, 2 suspected patients were sent to hospital.
January 26, 2020
- The first person died in Shanghai, a male, aged 88.
- 3 new patients were reported in the USA.
- 3 additional cases were reported in Macau, and 3 new ones in Hong Kong.
- The eighth patient appeared in Thailand. 39 more were waiting to be confirmed.
- An official from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced the start of coronavirus vaccine development.
- The health ministry of Ivory Coast reported the first suspected case of the novel pathogen.
- All wildlife trading was banned in China.
- Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO's Director-General, set off to Beijing to discuss the outbreak with local authorities and healthcare experts.
- Nationwide monitoring of train stations, airports, water ports, and bus stations was launched in China.
- Schools in Beijing were closed until further notice.
- With the lethality of the virus under research, about 3% of the infected people had already died.
January 27, 2020
- In Shanghai, companies were ordered to stay closed until February 9. Tencent, a Chinese tech company, allowed workers to work from homes. The restriction was to remain in effect until February 7.
- In Canada, the first confirmed case was reported.
- The fifth case was registered in Australia with 5 more people under the suspicion of being infected, too.
- In Sri Lanka, the first patient received a laboratory confirmation. It was a woman from China, 43.
- A Chinese man who arrived in Cambodia with his family was the first to bring the disease to the country.
- The fifth patient emerged in Singapore, a Chinese man of 56. He arrived on January 18 from Wuhan.
- The first case of domestic transmission was registered in Germany. The same coronavirus human to human transmission mode was registered in Taiwan.
- In Austria, several persons received confirmed diagnoses. The 2 previous suspects showed negative results.
- The first possible case was reported in Romania.
- Ecuador put one person under monitoring.
- In Fiji, 6 Chinese people remained in quarantine.
- In Poland, two children were taken to hospital with suspected coronavirus.
- A Mongolian girl, 14, who had been studying in China was reported to have laryngitis and pneumonia. She died on the same day. Her biological samples were taken for research. Two other Mongolian students who returned from Taiwan were quarantined at the airport due to a high fever.
- In Switzerland, two people who had earlier been to China were also quarantined but turned out to be negative to 2019-nCoV later.
- Spain and Portugal were looking to withdraw their nationals from the Wuhan area.
January 28, 2020
- 6 new confirmed diagnoses appeared in Thailand; in total, the country had 14 infected patients. The health minister confirmed that there was no possibility of stopping the spreading of the pathogen across the country.
- The number of patients in Singapore grew to 7.
- 3 new people received confirmed diagnoses in Japan, making the total in the country 7. One of the patients had never been to Wuhan but contacted a group of tourists from Wuhan at work (he was a bus driver) earlier in January.
- The newly-discovered patient in Germany had never been to China. The only contact was a visiting colleague from China. The woman started to feel unwell on her return flight home and was diagnosed with coronavirus in China. 3 other coworkers of the first patient were also diagnosed with the new pathogen.
- The fourth patient in France appeared to be in critical condition. It was an aging Chinese tourist.
- In Brazil, the Ministry of Health reported 3 suspected cases.
- In Canada, one more suspected patient was discovered; a man, 40, who had traveled to Wuhan recently.
- A research report composed by UK-Chinese experts was issued. It suggested that the number of patients could be much more significant, more than 20,000 people.
January 29, 2020
- Tibet declared a public health emergency, level 1 after discovering the first suspected case. All the 31 mainland provinces of China had already reported about at least suspected cases.
- In Hubei, companies were ordered to remain closed until February 13. The reopening of schools was also postponed.
- The first case was discovered in the UAE. In a short while, 4 members of a Chinese family were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
- The first case in Finland was discovered in a Chinese tourist who left Wuhan before the lockdown.
- The number of infected people rose to 10 in Singapore.
- In Malaysia, 3 new patients brought the total number to 7.
- In Japan, they discovered 4 new cases. One was a tour guide who worked on the same bus with the driver reported to be infected earlier. Three others had been evacuated from Wuhan previously.
- In France, the fifth infected person was the daughter of the fourth one.
- In Armenia, 2 people from China were isolated under the suspicion of being infected. Their samples were sent to European laboratories for testing.
- Brazil reported 9 suspected cases in six states.
January 30, 2020
- A patient in Tibet received a confirmed diagnosis. Suspected cases from all 31 mainland provinces of China were confirmed, too.
- In Kerala, India, the first case of coronavirus was detected in a student who had returned from Wuhan University earlier.
- A Chinese female was diagnosed in the Philippines. She arrived in the country from Hong Kong on January 21.
- The total number of Japanese patients grew to 14.
- One more case in Malaysia brought the total number to 8.
- In Singapore, the total number of registered cases around the country reached 13.
- In South Korea, 2 more people were diagnosed, one of which received the infection from another human inside the country.
- In Vietnam, 3 new cases brought the total number to 5.
- In France, the sixth patient was detected.
- 2 people appeared to be infected in Italy.
- In Germany, the fifth person fell ill. The patient worked in the same company with the previous four.
- In the USA, the spouse of another infected person turned out to be infected, too. It was the first human-to-human transmission incident in the USA. The total number of people affected by the virus there reached 6.
- 1 person was suspected of being infected in Russia. The country closed the border with China immediately.
January 31, 2020
- 2 people in the United Kingdom tested positive for coronavirus.
- In Thailand, the number of infected people grew to 19. 5 more cases included human-to-human transmission from a taxi driver.
- Health experts in China warned people that those who had overcome the disease could be infected again.
- The number of deaths caused by the novel pathogen got to 258. The number of infected people around the world got to 9,776. The number of unconfirmed instances was 15,000.
- New Zealand announced the first suspected patient.
- The sixth patient in Germany turned out to be the child of an employee of the same company in Munich.
- China sent several airplanes to collect and repatriate its citizens from Malaysia and Thailand. At the same time, the USA started to retrieve Americans from Wuhan with a 14-day quarantine for all those who would come from infected areas.
- Iraq declared that the Basrah International Airport would not let in any passengers arriving from China, whatever their nationality was. El Salvador and Guatemala decided to launch blanket restrictions for those who would attempt to enter the country after being to China within a couple of previous weeks.
- Both Singapore and Mongolia decided to close their borders to China in order to restrict the spreading of the virus.
- Cyprus declared the detection of the first suspected case of coronavirus. The same was reported in Russia where the first 2 infection carriers were Chinese nationals.
- Many countries suspended flights and other means of transport connection to and from China.
- WHO emergency committee declared the Chinese outbreak a public health emergency that had reached a level of international concern.
- Botswana reported the first case of coronavirus infection. The infected person had entered the country with one of the Ethiopian airplanes that arrived from China.
February 1, 2020
- Apple Inc. closed down all its stores in the mainland part of China. Officially, the reopening date was set for February 9. No further comments followed.
- 'Save the Children,' an international aid group, claimed that the risk of getting infected was particularly high in children. The vulnerability of children in countries with weak healthcare systems was the highest. The organization expressed its concerns about possible outbreaks outside China, in Asian countries with less sufficient resources.
- Thailand declared the possible start of the evacuation of its nationals from the heart of the outbreak in China. The number of Thai nationals inside China was estimated at 182 individuals. The evacuation was planned for the nearest days, February 2, most likely.
- Indonesia planned a quarantine for about 250 persons who had been evacuated from Hubei, China, earlier. Natuna Islands' military base was chosen as the best quarantine space. During the evacuation, all the civilians and officials looked healthy.
- China returned its nationals to Hubei, which remained locked down. Officials dressed in full-body protective costumes received them. Another two planeloads of Chinese nationals arrived in Wuhan from Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu, a tourist destination in Malaysia.
- Australia declared barring non-citizens who would arrive from China. Starting from Saturday, February 1, only Australian citizens and residents and their close relatives were allowed from China. Self-quarantine for 14 days was also launched for those who would enter the country from China. Direct flights from Australia to Beijing were suspended until March 29.
- Turkey evacuated 42 Turkish nationals from Wuhan. Six healthcare experts undertook the necessary screening and blood tests to exclude the possibility of spreading coronavirus in Turkey.
- The United Kingdom withdrew its embassy workers from China, except for those whose duties within China were crucial.
- The United States launched drastic measures and decided to temporarily bar all foreigners who had visited China within the previous 14 days. A 14-day quarantine was issued for Americans who would enter the country. For those who returned from Hubei, the quarantine would be mandatory. All the flights from China were funneled to seven airports where passengers would be able to pass a screening procedure. American, United and Delta airlines announced the suspension of all their flights to China.
- Beijing expressed criticism regarding such steps from the USA. The Chinese government stressed that WHO had not recommended any travel bans.
- The Philippines and Vietnam also announced the suspension of flights to and from Macau, Hong Kong, and mainland China starting from February 2 until March 29.
- In China, Tianjin schools and companies whose duties were not essential were ordered to stay closed until further notice. The city of Tianjin borders the capital. Its population is 15,000,000 people, and 32 cases of infection were registered within it.
- Spain confirmed the first infected patient on La Gomera Island located in the Canaries. The man who was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV had contacted one of the German patients.
- France's Pasteur Institute Foundation reported the setting up of the task of developing an effective vaccine within 20 months to follow.
- Tokyo dismissed rumours about the cancellation of the 2020 Olympic Games.
- Experts expressed their worries about spreading the novel pathogen over to India and African countries. WHO said that Africa needed effective methods and means of early detection of the infection. Over 60,000 African students remained trapped in Wuhan after the lockdown, facing food shortages, overcrowded hospitals, and lack of individual means of protection, such as masks, hand sanitizers, and other necessary provisions.
- In Hong Kong, more than 3,000 doctors and nurses voted for closing the border with mainland China.
- Russia announced the start of evacuation of its citizens from the most virus-affected regions of China.
- Qatar, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Vietnam suspended flights to and from China until further notice. Vietnam also stressed that the country would stop giving visas to foreigners who had been in China within the recent two weeks.
- Bangladesh evacuated more than 300 individuals, including 15 children, from Wuhan. Seven passengers were taken to hospital soon after their arrival. The remaining group was to be put in quarantine for 14 days.
- China turned to the EU, asking the member countries to help with urgent medical supply.
- WHO named Algeria, Angola, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia as the most potentially vulnerable African countries because of the intensity of travel to and from China in these countries.
February 2, 2020
- 45 new deaths reported in China. The total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus disease got to 304.
- The total number of infected people in China increased to 14,300. The numbers surpass those related to the 2002-03 SARS outbreak.
- The first death outside China was registered in the Philippines. The deceased man, 44, originated from Wuhan. Experts claimed he developed 'severe pneumonia.' The man entered the country on January 21 together with a woman, 38, who remained under close observation. The deceased patient was showing signs of improvement within the recent days, but a sudden deterioration happened within his last 24 hours.
- 12 new cases of infection were discovered in Australia. 3 patients were discharged from hospitals after a successful recovery.
- New Zealand declared an entry restriction on visitors from mainland China. The restriction was to start on Monday, February 3. The main goal of the restriction was to self-quarantine the visitors for 14 days. Also, the country started preparations for the repatriation of its nationals from China.
- About 9,000 healthcare workers in Hong Kong declared a possible strike unless the government closed all borders with mainland China. Hong Kong already had 14 patients with confirmed coronavirus, and healthcare experts expected more while the border checkpoints remained open.
- The USA confirmed the eighth instance of infection and a suspected case. The man of about 20 who had been to Wuhan earlier was put under surveillance. Soon after his return, he sought medical help. The ones who had close contacts with him were put under observation. The Trump administration declared a public health emergency. Another man in New York City showed coronavirus symptoms and was hospitalized for further tests and treatment.
- 2 Chinese nationals felt unwell at a hotel in York, UK. They were put under observation and treatment. Apart from these two suspected cases, there had been no further spreading of the infection. Out of 203 conducted tests, 201 showed negative results.
- A patient in Thailand was treated and successfully cured, as specialists clam, with the help of antiviral medications. The mixture contained an antiviral remedy used on HIV patients and medicine used to treat influenza. In 48 hours, the patient who had been in a serious condition was declared disease-free. 11 out of 19 Thailand confirmed patients still remained at the hospital. The rest were able to go home.
- 2 persons out of 120 German nationals evacuated from Wuhan were infected. They were transported to Frankfurt. The total number of infected people in Germany reached 11 individuals.
- In Italy, researchers managed to isolate the virus from two Wuhan tourists who had confirmed cases of coronavirus.
- Six out of the eight biggest African airlines, such as Royal Air Maroc, Kenya Airways and others suspended their flights to and from China. The Ethiopian government provoked a wave of discontent from the nation for not suspending flights to China. With 1 suspected case of coronavirus in Ethiopia, the nation felt put at risk due to the continued flights to and from the epicenter of the outbreak.
February 3, 2020
- Experts claimed the coronavirus was likely to become a pandemic despite all the steps taken to prevent its spreading, like travel restrictions and quarantines. The total number of cases confirmed by laboratories reached over 17,000 in more than 20 countries. The death toll rose to 361 deceased patients in China and 1 outside it.
- 2 more Americans were diagnosed with coronavirus. This case became the second instance of human-to-human domestic transmission in the USA. The male patient had travelled to Wuhan earlier. After returning home, he transmitted the virus to his wife. The USA's total number of lab-confirmed cases of infection reached 11. One more case was reported late on Sunday, February 2.
- Experts claimed that the number of infected people in Wuhan could be much more than the official tally. In compliance with their research, nearly 76,000 people in the Chinese city were possibly infected.
- The number of deaths surpassed that caused by SARS in 2002-03.
- 3 new cases were discovered in Vietnam. The total number of infected people in the country got to 8. A public health emergency was declared on Saturday. All flights to and from mainland China remained suspended.
- 2 passengers of a flight from China were hospitalized in Kyiv, Ukraine. They showed flu-like symptoms and, therefore, were taken under observation to find out whether they have coronavirus. 2 previous cases of suspected infection in Ukraine gave negative blood test results.
- 1 passenger on a British evacuation flight from Wuhan was isolated after showing cold-like symptoms like a sore throat and cough during the journey. His blood sample was taken for further testing.
February 4, 2020
- Hong Kong confirmed the death of a man, 39, who had coronavirus-related health issues. This death became the second fatal case outside China.
- The patient who had been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV in Washington State in January was discharged from hospital for further recovery in isolation at home.
- The Hubei Provincial Health Committee reported about 64 new deaths. More than 2,300 new cases of infection were registered in the province through Monday, February 3. More than a thousand additional instances of infection were registered in other regions of China. In total, the death toll within the country rose to 425 people. The number of infected ones reached 20,438.
- Researchers suggested that the novel pathogen could be transmitted between humans without the manifestation of symptoms. The case in Munich, Germany, showed how a Chinese visitor had managed to transmit the disease to colleagues before she felt unwell and noticed symptoms.
- 1 person who was evacuated from Wuhan to Belgium tested positive for coronavirus. The other 8 members of the same evacuated group tested negative to the novel pathogen.
- Malaysia reported the first Malaysian national, a male, 41, to have contracted the virus. He had a business trip to Singapore where he had a meeting with Chinese colleagues. A week after returning to Malaysia, the man developed coronavirus symptoms. Lab tests confirmed the infection on Monday, February 3. In total, the country has 10 patients with confirmed diagnoses.
- 1 woman, 42, in South Korea tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Thailand. The patient developed chills and other flu-like symptoms on January 25 and was treated with no improvements until Sunday. Tests were conducted, confirming the infection.
- Japan quarantined 3,500 people on a cruise liner after positive coronavirus tests were conducted on a man, 80, from that liner who disembarked in Hong Kong.
- A 1-month-old baby girl in China was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV. It is reported that the baby was brought into the country from abroad. There was no information about the country of her origin. The infant was isolated at the local hospital and is in a stable condition.
- Ethiopia, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, and Ivory Coast reported possible cases of infection. With the need to send blood samples to labs in South Africa, ruling out or confirming the coronavirus disease would take time there.
- 1 Cameroonian student, 21, was reported to contract the infection whilst traveling to Wuhan before the restrictions were imposed. Two weeks later, having returned to the place of his residence in Jingzhou, the young man felt unwell.
- Thailand registered 6 new cases, 2 of which were Chinese people and 4 locals. The total number of infected people got to 25.
- Singapore detected new instances of coronavirus. In total, there were 24 infected people in the city-state.
- A Vietnamese man, 30, was diagnosed positively after returning from Wuhan. One more unidentified person with a positive test result brought the total number of Vietnamese cases to 10.
- Experts warned that the number of registered cases of coronavirus in China might be only the tip of the iceberg. Many cases just went unregistered. Some people had milder forms and did not turn to hospitals. Others simply could not obtain medical care due to overcrowded hospitals or transportation issues.
February 5, 2020
- The death toll in China rose to 490. The total number of registered confirmed cases got to 24,324. 3,219 of them were described as severe.
- Japan reported about 10 confirmed cases of infection on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess. The people were taken to hospitals. The rest of the passengers and crew were quarantined for 14 days. One of the confirmed cases was a Filipino man who became the third citizen of the country with the confirmed virus.
- 2 new patients were registered in Malaysia. Both were Malaysian citizens evacuated from Wuhan. The total number of confirmed instances of the disease rose to 12.
- Hong Kong reported 7 new cases; 21 in total since the beginning of the outbreak. Macau confirmed 10 existing cases.
- Australia confirmed 14 cases so far.
- The third coronavirus-positive patient was registered in Kerala, India.
- WHO reported the highest number of confirmed cases of contraction the virus within a single day since the beginning of the outbreak. More than 3,100 new patients were registered in China.
- Thousands of African students remained trapped in the lockdown in Wuhan, pleading with the governments of their home countries to evacuate them.
- 4 new victims of the virus were detected in Singapore. One of the infected is a 6-month-old baby. Both the baby's parents contracted the infection, too. The total number of patients there got to 28.
- About 5,000 Chinese nationals remained trapped in Bali after the suspension of flights to and from mainland China.
- Chinese researchers reported the possibility of transmission of coronavirus from a mother to her unborn baby. An infected woman gave birth to a baby on February 2. The newborn was tested a while after the birth. The tests revealed the virus in the baby's blood.
- Another cruise ship docked in Hong Kong was quarantined. Amongst 1,800 people on board, at least 30 crew members showed flu-like symptoms, which included fever.
- 1 new case of infection was registered in Wisconsin. The total number of cases in the USA grew to 12. The patient was examined and self-quarantined at home. 10 other people in Wisconsin were tested. 7 results were negative; 2 still pending and 1 has been confirmed.
February 6, 2020
- The death toll in China got to 563 people after jumping by 73 new deaths within a day. 3,694 new confirmed cases of infection were registered in Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. In total, the number of infected people in China rose to reach 28,018. 28,265 cases have been detected worldwide.
- China confirmed that 19 foreigners had been infected with 2019-nCoV. Two were treated already and discharged from hospitals. The other 17 still remained in isolation while undergoing treatment.
- 10 new instances of infection were detected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is docked at the coast of Japan. The total number of infected on board got to 20. The remaining people quarantined on the ship (about 3,700 including the crew) were advised to remain in their rooms.
- WHO declined the news about a 'drug breakthrough' and insisted that there were no known effective means to treat 2019-nCoV.
- The UK reported the third person with a confirmed diagnosis in the country. The patient was transported to a specialist National Health Service Centre..
- 2 new cases were detected in Vietnam; both were Vietnamese nationals. The country's total thus grew to 12.
- New York City reported testing 5 new suspected cases of the disease. All 5 individuals had been to China before they developed typical symptoms of coronavirus like fever, shortness of breath and coughing. Other common causes of the symptoms like influenza or multiple respiratory viruses were already ruled out with the help of tests.
- Jiangbei Health Commission revealed that a Chinese man, 56, whose identity was not disclosed, known under the nickname 'Patient Five,' contracted the virus after having stood for only 15 seconds next to an infected woman at the market. Neither 'Patient Five' nor the female, 61, known as 'Patient Two' had masks on.
February 7, 2020
- 41 new cases of infection were detected on the quarantined cruise liner 'Diamond Princess.' The total number of confirmed cases reached 61. Thousands of passengers remained in their cabins while healthcare workers proceeded with the testing. The infected people either had been in close contacts with those who showed flu-like symptoms or developed such symptoms themselves. The newly-discovered cases were all Japanese nationals. Together with previous cases, the infected ones from the ship brought the total number of coronavirus patients in the country to more than 80.
- 73 new deaths were registered in China. 3,143 people were diagnosed with coronavirus. The total death toll in China got to 636. The cumulative number of lab-confirmed instances reached 31,161 throughout the country. As of February 7, more than 1,600 people were already treated successfully and discharged from hospitals.
- 3 new cases were registered in Singapore. They were not linked to any travel history to China. The total number of patients in the city-state got to 33. The alert level in Singapore moved from orange to red, the highest possible state of alert.
- Malaysia reported its 15th case. A female, 59, travelled from Wuhan via Singapore and arrived in Malaysia on January 21. The woman had been treating herself since January 26 until she turned to the hospital due to no signs of improvement.
- Experts from the United Kingdom turned to healthcare workers telling them to be vigilant to everyone who enters the country and shows flu-like symptoms. The third patient in Britain contracted the dangerous disease outside China. As reported, he could have been infected while on a business meeting in Singapore. At least 3 other people who attended the meeting were infected, too. 2 cases in Malaysia were linked to the same meeting. A Malaysian businessman infected his sister after returning home. 2 people in South Korea tested positive after returning from the same meeting. The conference involved more than 100 participants from different countries. Singapore confirmed 4 cases among the local staff of the company that had organized the meeting.
February 8, 2020
- The death toll from coronavirus in mainland China got to 722. The number of infected people across the nation reached 34,546. 81 out of 86 new deaths were registered in Hubei.
- A citizen of the United States, aged 60, died of coronavirus at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan. As reported, the patient was female. The woman allegedly suffered from pre-existent underlying health conditions. Another victim was a Japanese national who was also hospitalized in Wuhan with flu-like symptoms. According to the information rendered to the Japanese Foreign Ministry by Chinese authorities, the diagnosis of coronavirus could not be confirmed. As the ministry reported, the man died of viral pneumonia.
- 3 new instances were detected on the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked near Japan. The total number of cases on board rose to 64. As of Saturday, February 8, 279 passengers and members of the crew undergone coronavirus tests.
- Malaysia recorded its 16th case of infection. The female, 67, from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus. The woman's son was a friend of the 14th coronavirus-positive patient in Malaysia.
- 7 new patients were hospitalized in Thailand. 3 are Thais; 4 are Chinese nationals. The total number in the country got to 32, one of the highest world's numbers of infected outside mainland China. One of these new patients was evacuated from Wuhan with a group of other 137 people back on Tuesday, February 4.
- UAE reported 2 new cases. The total number thus grew to 7 in the country.
- 1 Japanese man who was evacuated from Wuhan together with a group of other 198 people tested positive and was hospitalized in Tokyo. As the Health Ministry reported, the man, about 20, developed signs of infection (high fever) during the flight.
- 5 new cases were detected in France. All those who contracted the disease were British nationals. The total in France reached 11. As reported, all the new cases were traced back to the British businessman who travelled to Singapore in January. The total number of the businessman's close contacts in France made 11 people. All of them were hospitalized for further observation.
February 9, 2020
- The death toll in China got to 811. Nationwide, the number of infected people reached 37,198. With 2,656 new cases registered on Sunday, February 9, it was the first drop in numbers since February 1.
- The number of people who had contracted the virus on the cruise ship Diamond Princess grew to 70 in total. Also, the Ministry of Health of Japan claimed that priority in testing would be given to elderly people from Sunday on.
- The fourth case was discovered in the UK. The new patient was believed to have contracted coronavirus from another infected citizen of Great Britain registered in France.
- The second instance of human coronavirus in Spain was registered in a British male who was also believed to have contacted the disease from someone in France. The man's wife and kids tested negative but the whole family was put under surveillance in Mallorca.
- 1,800 crew members from the cruise ship World Dream docked and quarantined in Hong Kong had tested negative and thus were allowed to leave the ship.
- Canada confirmed its 7th case of coronavirus.
- 7 new instances of the dangerous disease were discovered in Singapore. The total number in the country reached 40. 5 of the new cases are linked to previously detected cases of infection. 2 patients were already discharged from hospitals. Four were still in critical condition.
- The Philippines confirmed the recovery of the woman, 38, who had accompanied the man who died of the virus in the Philippines. Several consecutive tests showed the woman did not have the virus.
- 9 people in Hong Kong (all belonging to the same family) were tested to detect possible infection with the virus after sharing a meal. A man, 24, and a woman, about 90, received laboratory confirmations. Seven more members received preliminary positive results.
February 10, 2020
- 4 new cases were detected in the UK. The Department of Health estimated the overall risk to the nation as 'moderate.' However, 2019-nCoV was described as a 'serious and imminent threat' to the health of the population. The total number of cases nationwide got to 8.
- 97 new deaths were registered in China. The global death toll jumped to 910, at least. The total number of people with confirmed cases of human coronavirus in China reached 40,171. The global total got to 40,710 confirmed instances of infection.
- 66 people from the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked and quarantined at the coast of Japan tested positive. The total number of people who contracted the infection aboard got to 136.
- Latest studies suggested that the novel coronavirus could be spread via faeces. Researchers claimed that many patients had digestive issues before they developed a fever and difficulty in breathing. The virus was subsequently detected in these patients' stools. The collected data suggested that in addition to the already proven airborne coronavirus mode of transmission, there was a high possibility of faecal transmission. All this explained the high contagiousness of the new pathogen.
February 11, 2020
- China reported about 108 new deaths registered nationwide on Monday, February 10. The total death toll got to 1,016. This number of deaths within a single day became the highest ever since the beginning of the outbreak. 2,478 new cases of infection brought the total number to 42,638.
- Novacyt, a Franco-British biotech company, offered a new test that was said to be faster in the detection of coronavirus than its rivals. As the inventors claimed, the new test would detect the pathogen within several hours compared to other methods that need about a day. Novacyt is still waiting for the approval of their new invention.
- 2 new cases were detected in Japanese nationals. The first man, about 50, tested negative for 2019-nCoV two times after his return from Wuhan. The third test showed positive results while the man was isolated in his hotel room after his return from China. The second man, about 40, was back from Wuhan on January 30 and tested negative for the first time. The second test showed he was positive on Monday, February 10.
- Zhong Nanshan, a leading epidemiologist from China, voiced out his observations and prognoses. In his opinion, the situation in some provinces had already improved a bit with a decline in the number of new cases. The expert predicted the peak of the outbreak somewhere in the middle or closer to the end of February. The peak, he said, would be followed by a kind of plateau. After this, the epidemic would go down.
- 1 new case of infection was registered in Thailand. In total, the country already has 33 patients with confirmed diagnoses. The new instance of coronavirus was detected in a woman, 54, from Wuhan. The woman was quarantined after contacting another Chinese who was infected. Thailand also reported that 10 patients had already recovered successfully.
- Hong Kong officials urged people to stay at home as long as they could to avoid being infected. Early in the morning, about 100 people were evacuated urgently from a building where people with confirmed coronavirus cases lived. First, a man, 75, tested positive on January 30. Then, a woman, 62, was diagnosed on Monday, February 10. They lived on different floors, and authorities examined the drainage system inside the building to discover whether the virus could spread through pipes. 5 more inhabitants of the residential building had flu-like symptoms but tested negative. The other inhabitants of the building were quarantined.
- Vietnam confirmed its 15th case of infection. A 3-month-old baby tested positive. The infant contracted the infection from her grandmother.
- The 13th case of infection was confirmed in the USA. The 13th patient was brought from Wuhan by the very first American evacuation plane.
February 12, 2020
- The death toll in mainland China climbed to 1,115. 94 deaths were registered in Hubei only. The total number of confirmed cases nationwide got to 44,653. The total number of infected people in the world reached 45,172.
- 39 new cases of infection were detected on the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked near Yokohama. The total number of people who had tested positive aboard reached 174.
- One of the new coronavirus victims was a Japanese quarantine officer. The officer was handing out questionnaires to passengers and crew members to check their health condition. All safety measures like a face mask and protective gloves were observed. The officer, however, wore no protective suit.
- Iran denied that a woman, 63, who died in Tehran had coronavirus. Her death was investigated to rule out the novel infection, and authorities claimed that it was not coronavirus. No cases were registered in Iran for the time being.
- Both coronavirus patients in Russia recovered and were discharged from hospitals.
- A confirmed case of human coronavirus in DBS, Singapore's biggest bank, made the bank evacuate 300 staff members who worked at its head office from their workplaces. All 300 employees were sent to their homes to work remotely. Close contacts of the new patients were traced. The office space was to be disinfected thoroughly. Two additional cases of infection were reported later. Two males aged 34 and 46 brought the total number of patients in the country to 50.
- South Korea withdrew 147 people from Wuhan, including Chinese nationals who were spouses or immediate relatives to the citizens of South Korea. As reported, at least one passenger showed flu-like symptoms that could possibly be coronavirus.
- The very first group of Americans evacuated from Wuhan in January was released from quarantine. None of 195 people tested positive.
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, called to all countries and nations to view COVID-2019 (the new official name for the novel coronavirus) as public enemy number one.
- The British businessman linked to 11 cases of infection and thus dubbed a super-spreader, was discharged from hospital.
- Hong Kong registered its 50th coronavirus victim. This latest case was linked to what was called the 'hotpot clan' in the local media. The name refers to 11 members of the same family who shared the same hotpot meal and contracted the virus.
February 13, 2020
- China reported about 242 new deaths, which is more than twice as many as on the previous day. This number of fatalities became the highest daily toll since the very beginning of the outbreak. The total number of those who had succumbed to the disease rose to 1,367. The number of confirmed cases of infection nationwide got to 59,805.
- The first death due to coronavirus was registered in Japan. As reported by Katsunobu Kato, the Japanese Health Minister, the deceased was a female, 80, who resided in Kanagawa Prefecture, close to Tokyo. Also, health officials in Japan confirmed that another taxi driver tested positive for COVID-2019.
- 8 new cases were detected in Singapore. The total in Singapore reached 58. All the new cases had links to previous ones, as reported by the health ministry. 15 patients out of the registered 58 cases had recovered. Officials warned the population about the possible increase of the number of infected people due to the virus' circulation within the inhabitants of the city-state.
- The 19th case of infection was registered in Malaysia. The patient, a female, 39, arrived on January 25, accompanying 4 other people from Wuhan, China. Local media outlets report that the woman is the 16th coronavirus patient's daughter and a friend of the patient number 14.
- A commune of about 10,000 people in Vietnam was put in lockdown due to a cluster of coronavirus cases. The country has 16 cases of coronavirus now. Most of them were detected in Vinh Phuc province.
- North Korea introduced a month-long quarantine for all foreigners entering the country. The extension of the quarantine period followed new research data which suggested that the incubation period of COVID-2019 could get to 24 days. As reported, a local trade official was arrested and executed immediately for flouting quarantine rules. The official was going to visit a public bath and exposed other people to possible infection. The country did not report any case of coronavirus yet.
- 44 new instances of infection were detected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. From another cluster of 221 tests, 44 were positive. The total number of people who contracted the novel pathogen aboard got to 218.
- The USA reported the 14th confirmed case. The new patient was one of 232 evacuees quarantined at a military base near San Diego. The new case was not linked to the previous one detected at the same base earlier this week. The two individuals had been exposed to the virus separately back in China; they were transported by different planes and lived in separate facilities.
- The UK registered the 9th case of infection in the country. The new patient was the first in London to test positive to the novel coronavirus. As reported, the woman contracted the infection while in China. She ignored the recommendations of health officials and self-presented herself at the hospital with the help of an Uber taxi. It is not known whether the cab then picked up other passengers.
February 14, 2020
- 121 new deaths were registered in China. 116 of them happened in Hubei alone. The total number of deaths in the country on Friday, February 14, got to 1,380. The death toll was recalculated to remove those fatal cases which had been counted twice. The total number of cases within the country reached almost 65,000.
- China reported that 6 health workers had died since the beginning of the outbreak. More than 1,700 had contracted the infection.
- The passengers of Diamond Princess quarantined near Yokohama who tested negative were allowed to disembark. They were mostly passengers aged 80 or more, in poor health conditions or those who inhabited inner cabins without windows. They were allowed to leave the cruise ship and continue their quarantine in accommodations on land.
- The 15th case of coronavirus was detected in the USA. The infected person tested positive while under quarantine at an airbase in Texas.
- It became known that one of UK's confirmed coronavirus patients attended a bus conference along with more than 200 other participants back on February 6. The conference was attended by a number of officials from the transport industry. All the participants of the event received emails with a warning to 'self-isolate' should they experience any symptoms of the disease.
- The United States announced the launch of tests for all people with flu-like symptoms in order to detect coronavirus and curb possible outbreaks.
- The first case of coronavirus in Africa was registered in Egypt. As reported, the infection was detected in a foreigner of undisclosed nationality. Egyptian officials reported that the person was in stable condition and had no obvious symptoms although the test result was positive.
February 15, 2020
- The number of registered deaths in mainland China reached at least 1,523. More than 130 deaths happened in Hubei. With 2,641 new confirmed instances of infection, the total number in the country got to 66, 492.
- A woman, 38, from the USA tested positive when landing in Malaysia. The woman had disembarked in Cambodia from the cruise ship MS Westerdam, previously shunned by 5 countries due to fears of infection aboard. As the Malaysian Health Ministry claimed in its statement, the woman arrived in Malaysia together with 144 other passengers of the Westerdam. The patient's husband tested negative. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 22.
- France registered the first coronavirus fatality outside Asia. A Chinese man, 80, hospitalized in Paris since January 25, spent several days in a critical condition. After this crisis, there came a rapid deterioration and the man passed away. In total, France has 11 cases of the novel virus.
- 67 new cases of infection were detected aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked and quarantined near Yokohama. The total number of people who contracted the disease while on the ship got to 286 together with the infected quarantine officer.
- Thailand recorded one new instance of coronavirus. The total number of infected people within the country got to 34. The newly infected person is a female healthcare worker, 35, who contracted the virus from a patient.
- Japan confirmed 1 new case of infection in a man who had a trip to Hawaii. The man was tested positive when he was back home already although he had had flu-like symptoms over several last days in Hawaii. Healthcare officials got down to tracking his flight information and all possible close contacts.
February 16, 2020
- China's death toll surpassed 1,600. The country's total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus reached 68,500.
- Taiwan recorded the first death from coronavirus. The deceased person, a taxi driver of about 60, was taken to the hospital on February 3. He suffered from labored breathing and was diagnosed with pneumonia. As reported, one member of the man's family was infected, too. Since the deceased did not travel to China, it is possible that he contracted the virus from passengers from China, Macau and Hong Kong.
- In Hubei, the government implemented a vehicle traffic ban inside the province. Police cars, ambulances, and other public service vehicles would be exempted. In order to curb the virus, companies would need permission from the government to resume operation.
- 70 new cases of infection were detected aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess. The total number of cases discovered on the ship alone got to 355.
- Both Canada and the USA started the evacuation of their nationals from Diamond Princess. Canada, though, stressed that those who would exhibit coronavirus symptoms would be sent to Japanese hospitals to receive care. Those who board the evacuation planes would undergo two weeks of quarantine.
- About a hundred people conducted a demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, demanding from the government to evacuate Pakistani students from the locked-down Hubei province. Thousands of students from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia remain trapped in the lockdowns in China.
February 17, 2020
- China's death toll got to 1,770 victims. More than 2,000 new cases were recorded across the country pushing the country's total number of confirmed cases to 70,548.
- Novacyt, an Anglo-French biotechnology company, announced the launch of a new molecular test able to detect coronavirus in about two hours.
- In Russia, a court order was issued to forcibly hospitalize a woman, 33, who broke out of her quarantine ward and fled. Also, Russian authorities reported that a citizen of Russia was infected with COVID-19 on the cruise ship Diamond Princess. So far, this is the first Russian national who had contracted the virus as the two previous patients (already cured) were Chinese.
- A cruise operator from the USA started tracking down all the passengers who disembarked Westerdam in Cambodia over virus fears. The passengers had been cleared by Cambodian officials, but a tourist from the USA tested positive later.
- 99 new cases of infection were registered on the quarantined liner Diamond Princess. The total number of people who contracted the virus aboard rose to 454. This is the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China at this point.
- The USA detected 14 new cases of COVID-19 in more than 300 passengers evacuated from the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess. The people were preparing to leave for their homeland on a chartered aircraft when US officials were informed about 14 positive results of tests that had been conducted several days earlier.
- Kem Senou from Cameroon, the first African to contract COVID-19 in China, recovered and spoke to reporters on his illness and treatment.
- 1 new case of the novel coronavirus was registered in Thailand. Members of the Chinese woman's family had contracted the dangerous disease earlier than she did. The country's total got to 35 people as of Monday, February 17. 15 patients had recovered and returned home.
- The number of coronavirus cases in Japan (more than 400 as of Monday, February 17) prompted a hospital in Sagamihara to close its doors to new patients. A case of infection was detected in a nurse in that hospital. She had attended to the patient who died of the infection later.
- More than 100 Germans tested negative after two weeks of quarantine on their return from Wuhan, China. The quarantine was lifted, and the people were able to return home.
- 1 new coronavirus case was registered in the UAE. The country's total got to 9. The new patient is a Chinese man, 37, who was hospitalized in stable condition.
February 18, 2020
- China's daily number of infected people dropped below 2,000 for the first time since January. The country's total climbed to 72,436. The death toll in mainland China got to 1,868. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General for the United Nations, named the outbreak a 'very dangerous situation.'
- The head of Wuhan's leading hospital, Liu Zhiming, 51, died of coronavirus on Tuesday, February 18. More than 1,700 health workers have contracted the virus since the beginning of the outbreak. At least 7 of them have died.
- 88 new cases of infection were registered on Diamond Princess docked near Yokohama as a new group of 681 passengers underwent tests. The total number of cases aboard climbed to 542.
- The Japanese health ministry announced the end of quarantine for those passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess who had tested negative. The official said that the first group would consist of around 500 people.
- Taiwan started preparations for the evacuation of its citizens from the cruise ship Diamond Princess. For the time being, 4 out of more than 20 Taiwanese nationals aboard tested positive.
- Olivier Veran, the new French health minister, announced the possibility of the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic. 'This is both a working assumption and a credible risk,' the minister said in an interview with France Info radio.
- Japan announced the preparation for the early commencement of clinical trials using HIV medications on COVID-19. The total number of infected people in Japan got to beyond 500. More than 450 patients were from Diamond Princess.
- Joerg Wuttke, the EU Chamber of Commerce President, said at a roundtable in Beijing that the world could soon face a shortage of antibiotics due to the pharmaceutical industry's supply problems caused by the current coronavirus outbreak. He also indicated that the mentioned problems required a solution as soon as possible.
February 19, 2020
- The total number of infected people in China was over 74,000. At least 2,004 people had died of the novel coronavirus. As before, the majority of new cases and new fatalities were registered in Hubei province where the outbreak started in 2019. The number of new instances of the virus remained below 2,000. Nevertheless, officials insisted that the risks of another rise were still high with many workers returning to their workplaces after the prolonged Lunar New Year holidays.
- Two first cases of infection that turned fatal were registered in Iran. The deceased patients whose nationality was not disclosed in the news report were located in Qom, the central province of the country. Both tested positive for the new pathogen and died of respiratory illness.
- 20 new confirmed instances of COVID-19 were detected in South Korea. The country's total rose by almost two-thirds, from 31 to 51 cases.
- The United States Centers for Disease Control claimed that releasing passengers from the quarantined ship Diamond Princess posed a threat. In their opinion, keeping all the passengers on board could have slowed down the infection. At the same time, the CDC admitted that such steps might not have been enough to prevent infection within the quarantined area.
- About 800 passengers of the cruise ship Westerdam who disembarked in Cambodia tested negative for coronavirus. According to the Cambodian health ministry, an undisclosed number of results were still pending. Some of the passengers already left the country. Fearing that they could go undetected while carrying the virus, health authorities in several countries have taken efforts to track those passengers down and implement protective measures.
- Three new cases and the second death caused by the novel coronavirus was recorded in Hong Kong. The deceased man, 70, had pre-existing health conditions. As of Wednesday, February 19, Hong Kong had 65 confirmed cases of the dangerous disease.
- 3 new cases emerged in Singapore, bringing the total in the city-state to 84. Two of the three cases were linked to previously detected clusters. The third patient was treated for dengue fever first. The female, 57, was isolated properly only after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. All the patients who shared the ward with the woman were also transferred to separate rooms.
February 20, 2020
- China's death toll got to 2,118 people. With 394 new cases, the country's total number of infected people climbed past 74,500.
- Kianush Jahanpur, an official for the Health Ministry of Iran, claimed that the two coronavirus patients who died on Wednesday were of advanced age and had immune system deficiency. 3 new cases were detected in the country. One new patient was located in Arak and two in Qom. The country's total got to 5 confirmed cases with two deaths. Iranian health officials urged the suspension of all religious gatherings in the holy city of Qom due to the danger of infection.
- Egypt confirmed that the only patient with confirmed coronavirus almost recovered. Two tests conducted showed that he was not carrying the virus any more. Nevertheless, he was to remain in quarantine until the end of the 14-day period.
- 53 new cases were detected in South Korea. The country's total reached 104. Tracing of the new cases showed that 23 new patients attended church services that were also attended by a man, 61, who tested positive for COVID-19. Another cluster of 10 new cases was linked to services in another church where a woman spread the disease. Also, the first death was registered.
- Japan reported two fatalities among the passengers of Diamond Princess. Two ageing passengers were taken to the hospital after testing positive but died in spite of all the efforts to cure them.
- The number of infected people on Diamond Princess reached 634 as reported by the health ministry of Japan. It is so far the biggest cluster of infection outside mainland China.