COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline – History of COVID-19

When Did COVID-19 Start in the World?

COVID-19 in 2019

Nov. 17: The first person is infected—a 55-year-old from Hubei Province—according to the South China Morning Post, citing government documents.

Dec. 1: According to the BBC, the earliest documented patient, a man in his 70s who was bedridden from a stroke, falls ill. He has no connection with the Wuhan seafood market. 

Dec. 8: The official account from the Chinese government confirms the first patient.

Mid-December: First evidence appears of human-to-human transmission among close contacts, according to a Jan. 29 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dec. 30: Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan shares the report with his former medical school classmates on WeChat, warning them to take precautionary measures.

Later that day, Wuhan Central Hospital transmits a notice from the Wuhan Health Commission that warns health workers not to spread information about the “unknown pneumonia,” or face potential penalties.

Dec. 31: Wuhan Health Commission confirms 27 cases of an unknown pneumonia disease, but said it was “preventable and controllable.” 

READ MORE : Timeline of Chinese Regime’s Coverup of COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 in 2020

Jan. 1: Officials announce the closing of Wuhan Huanan Seafood Market, which they believe may be a source of the outbreak. Most businesses have already closed by the following day. 

Jan 3: Local police call in Li and reprimand him for “rumor-mongering.”

The National Health Commission issues a notice to researchers to hand over virus samples to designated pathogen detection agencies or destroy them.

Jan. 4: Hong Kong activates “serious response” level to the outbreak. 

Jan. 5: Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center obtains the first complete genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and it is released on January 11. The lab is immediately ordered by the Chinese authorities to close down for “rectification.”

Jan. 7: Li contracts the virus while treating an infected patient. He later dies of the virus on Feb. 7.

Jan. 12: Chinese health authorities share the genome sequence with the WHO. 

Jan. 11–Jan. 16: Two important CCP conferences of Hubei Province are held in Wuhan. On Jan. 11: Wuhan health officials report a drop in the number of infections. For the remainder of this period, they report no new cases.

Jan. 13: Thailand confirms its first infection—a Chinese tourist who traveled from Wuhan—in the first known case outside China.

Jan. 14: The WHO says that Chinese authorities had found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Jan. 16: Japan reports its first case.

COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline - History of COVID-19(gettyimages)
COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline—History of COVID-19 (gettyimages)

Jan. 20: Famed Chinese doctor Zhong Nanshan, who is part of China’s response team, confirms that the disease can be spread from human to human.

Jan. 21: The United States, the first country outside of Asia, confirms its first case.

Jan. 23: Wuhan imposes a lockdown. 

Jan. 24: Twelve other cities in Hubei Province (whose capital is Wuhan) are placed under lockdown. 

Hubei authorities announce a bid to build a temporary hospital in days.

Chinese Lunar New Year festivities begin. Prior to that, hundreds of millions of Chinese traveled around the country to celebrate the occasion with family.

Jan. 28: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says Beijing declined an offer by the United States to send a team of health experts to China. On Feb. 7, he says that the United States had been offering for more than a month.

Jan. 30: The WHO declares the outbreak a global health emergency.

Jan. 31: The Trump administration puts travel restrictions on China. Across the globe, 213 people have died and nearly 9,800 have been infected.

Feb. 2: The first death outside China from coronavirus is reported in the Philippines.

Feb. 4: At least 10 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama Bay of Japan are confirmed to have the coronavirus, the Japanese Health Ministry announces. The ship, with its 3,700 people, is put under quarantine until Feb. 19.

Feb. 6: First coronavirus death reported in the United States, although the link to COVID is not confirmed until April 21.

Feb. 11: WHO proposes an official name for the disease caused by the virus: COVID-19.

Feb. 14: France announces the first coronavirus death in Europe. The deceased is a Chinese tourist. The first new coronavirus case in Africa is announced in Egypt.

Feb. 25: The NIH announces a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19.

Feb. 26: Latin America reports its first case in Brazil.

Mar. 9: Italy enters a lockdown.

Mar. 11: WHO declares the novel coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic

Mar. 26: The United States confirms at least 81,321 infections and more than 1,000 deaths. The real data on China is unknown due to a lack of transparency.

Apr. 2: Global cases surpass 1 million. The pandemic has infected more than one million people in 171 countries across six continents, killing at least 51,000.

Apr. 8: After 76 days, Wuhan’s lockdown is lifted.

Apr. 26: The global death toll surpasses 200,000. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 200,000 people and infected more than 2.8 million worldwide.

Apr. 28: As per Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States pass one million.

May: Beta variant is first detected in South Africa. 

May 1: The FDA issues an emergency-use authorization for remdesivir (Veklury)  in hospitalized patients of 12 years and older with severe COVID-19. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says remdesivir is the first authorized therapy drug for COVID-19.

May 27: COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. passes 100,000.

June 20: The NIH halts a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. 

Jul. 27: A vaccine being developed by the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in partnership with the biotechnology company Moderna, enters Phase 3 trial. The trial aims to enroll about 30,000 adult volunteers and evaluate the safety of the vaccine and whether it can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses, among other outcomes.

Aug. 23: The FDA issues an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of convalescent plasma, which is made with the blood of people recovered from COVID-19, to treat people hospitalized with COVID-19.

September: Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) first appears in Great Britain and soon becomes the dominant variant in the US.  

Sep. 28: Global COVID-19 death toll reaches 1 million.

October: Delta variant has been detected in India. It is believed to be the main contributor to the major second wave of infections in India in April 2021.

November: The Gamma variant is first detected in Brazil.

Nov. 5: England enters a national lockdown.

Dec. 2: The U.K. approves Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. Britain gives emergency authorization to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, ahead of the United States, to become the first Western country to allow mass inoculations.

Dec. 11: The FDA approves a vaccine by Pfizer. The FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The same vaccine is also approved by Mexico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.

Dec. 18: The FDA approves Moderna’s COVID vaccine. The FDA authorizes a second coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna for emergency use.

Dec. 20: London and southeast England enter a strict lockdown, ordered by British prime minister Boris Johnson. Countries across Europe and beyond begin closing borders to travelers from the U.K.

Dec. 30: The UK’s approval of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency supply is announced.

COVID-19 in 2021

Jan. 14: The WHO team arrives in China to investigate the origins of the outbreak in Wuhan.

February: In the VAERS system, the number of COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports exceeded 100,000. 

Feb. 27: The FDA grants emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine.

April: A major second spike of infections takes over India, with destructive consequences. 

Apr. 13: The FDA and the CDC announce a pause in the administration of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, following six reported cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after vaccination.

Apr. 23: The FDA and the CDC lift the pause on Janssen Vaccine. However, the FDA determines that the increased risk of TTS warrants limiting the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older, for whom other vaccines are either not possible or available. 

Apr. 30: India reports over 400,000 new cases and more than 3,500 deaths in one day. In late April, India passes 2.5 million active cases.

June 25: The FDA warns of the increased risk for myocarditis and pericarditis following Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccination.

Jul. 13: The FDA warns of the increased risk for Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) following the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccination.

Jul. 30: The CDC updates its guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending that everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings in areas of substantial and high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Published data shows that vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus, just like the unvaccinated.

August: In the VAERS system, the number of COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports exceeded 500,000.  

Aug. 3: According to figures published by the CDC, the more contagious Delta variant accounts for an estimated 93.4 percent of coronavirus circulating in the United States during the last two weeks of July. The figures show a rapid increase over the past two months, up from around 3 percent in the two weeks ending May 22.

Aug. 12: The FDA authorizes an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for certain immunocompromised people.

Aug. 23: The FDA grants full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older, making it the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the FDA.

Aug. 26: CDC warns against the use of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, for preventing or treating COVID-19.

November 2021: Omicron variant is first detected in South Africa.

Nov. 19: The FDA authorizes boosters of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults. On the same day, the CDC also endorses boosters for all adults.

Dec. 16: The CDC changes its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines to make clear that shots made by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Dec. 22: The FDA authorizes Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, to treat COVID-19, the first antiviral COVID-19 pill authorized in the United States for corona-positive people to take at home before their condition is severe enough to be hospitalized. 

Dec. 23: The FDA authorizes Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir.

COVID-19 in 2022

Jan. 31: The FDA grants full approval to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 18 and older. This is the second coronavirus vaccine given full approval by the FDA.

Feb. 11: The FDA issues an emergency use authorization for bebtelovimab, a new monoclonal antibody for the treatment of COVID-19, with activity against the omicron variant.

Mar. 29: The FDA authorizes a second booster of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for adults 50 and older. That same day, the CDC also endorses a second booster for the same age group.

Apr. 25: The FDA expands approval of the drug remdesivir to treat patients as young as 28 days and weighing about seven pounds.

May 17: The FDA authorizes a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 at least five months after completion of the primary vaccine series. 

May 19: The CDC also endorses a Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for children ages 5 to 11.

June 18: The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.

Jul. 13: The FDA issues an emergency use authorization for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Aug. 31: The FDA authorizes updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer. Both are bivalent vaccines that combine the companies’ original vaccine with one that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sublineages. The CDC signs off on the updated booster shots the following day.

Nov. 11: The most recent update of the VAERS system shows there are currently 898,029 COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports.

When Was the First Case of Coronavirus Discovered?

According to the BBC, the earliest documented case of COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan on December 1, 2019. The patient was a man in his 70s.

When Was the First Case of COVID-19 in the World?

According to the South China Morning Post, the first person infected with COVID-19 was a 55-year-old resident of Hubei Province. The patient became infected on November 17, 2019.

Outside of China, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Thailand on January 13, 2020. The patient was a Chinese tourist who traveled from Wuhan.

When Did COVID-19 Start Spreading in the World?

COVID-19 started spreading in the world right after its initial outbreak in late 2019, as China didn’t implement any measures to restrict international travel. As a result, many people potentially carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus were traveling from China (specifically, Wuhan) to destinations around the world, spreading COVID-19 in the process.

World Health Organization COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. 

When Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns Begin?

Wuhan, where the COVID-19 disease was first discovered, became the first city to enter a lockdown in the world on Jan. 24, 2020. In early April 2020, half of the world’s population, around 3.9 billion people in 90 countries, were on lockdown. 

COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline - History of COVID-19(gettyimage)
COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline—History of COVID-19 (gettyimage)

What Are the Approved Medications for COVID-19?

The medications approved by the FDA for treating COVID-19 include Veklury (remdesivir) and Olumiant (baricitinib). The FDA has also approved the use of several antiviral drugs (e.g. Paxlovid and Lagevrio) and immune modulators (e.g. Kineret and Actemra) for COVID-19 treatment.

Health Canada has approved the following medications for COVID-19 treatment; Veklury, Paxlovid, Evusheld, Actemra, Bamlanivimab, Casirivimab, and Sotrovimab.

The WHO has recommended the use of IL-6 receptor blockers (tocilizumab and sarilumab), Sotrovimab, baricitinib, molnupiravir, remdesivir, and a combination of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab).

When Did COVID-19 Vaccines Become Available?

On Dec. 2, 2020, the U.K. approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first Western country to allow mass inoculations. Soon afterward, on Dec. 11, 2020, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine. 9 days later, on December 18, the FDA approved Moderna’s COVID vaccine for emergency use.

When Did the First COVID-19 Variant Emerge?

In September 2020, the Alpha variant first emerged in the UK, becoming the first vaccine of concern that eventually spread globally.

When Did the COVID-19 Death Toll Reach 1 Million?

On Sept. 28, 2020, the global COVID-19 death toll reached 1 million.

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