Photo Credit: World Health Organization

Photo Credit: World Health Organization

COVID-19: A Timeline of Events

2020 marked the beginning of a new decade and many probably looked to this year as a year full of opportunities and encounters. Unfortunately, a stretch of unfortunate events kicked off this year, a major one being the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the global economy. The coronavirus has swept the world and still continues to kill millions of people. As 2020 is coming to an end, here are the biggest headlines of corona virus related news, sorted by month. 

December 2019

  •  Wuhan Municipal Health Authorities report multiple pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China

January 2020

  • First cases are reported in Wuhan, China. Wuhan closes the city.
  • The outbreak spreads to 22 countries
  • Travel bans spread as countries close their borders with China
  • The WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)           Wuhan during lockdown

February 2020

  •  Multiple countries report their first deaths outside of China. Death tolls surpass that of SARS
  • Ministries of health from G7 countries agree to coordinate their responses to the outbreak
  • Chinese stock market plunge
  • Multiple countries report their first deaths, and 30 countries report their first cases, especially countries in the Middle East and Europe. 
  • Japan confirms 634 cases aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship
  • Travel restrictions increase

March 2020

Schools closed due to covid
  •  28 more countries report their first cases, and more countries report multiple deaths
  • One-fifth of all students worldwide are out of school
  • Italy has the highest death toll
  • Nearly one-third of the world’s population is living under coronavirus-related restrictions 
  • Japan postpones the 2020 Olympics
  • WHO claims that there is a shortage of medical supplies      

April 2020

  • United States has the most Coronavirus deaths in the world
  • President Trump suspends immigration
  • China pledges $30 million to the World Health Organization 

May 2020

  • Global cases top 4 million
  • U.S. deaths pass 100,000
  • Three children in New York City died of a toxic-shock inflammation syndrome 

June 2020

  • Countries begin to reopen their borders
  • The United States and India see a rise in cases
  • Trials for a COVID-10 vaccine begin in Africa

July 2020

  • Cases in Brazil and the United States made up half of the daily coronavirus cases
  • Moderna makes the first coronavirus vaccine tested in humans, which showed a positive immune response
  • Mexico reports the third-highest death toll in the world                   

August 2020

  • North Korea reports its first case
  • First case of reinfection is reported
  • Countries report the largest increase in cases, while new cases are decreasing in half of the U.S. states

September 2020

  • Global deaths pass 1 million
  • India becomes the third worst-affected country, reporting over 83,000 new daily cases
  • President Trump is diagnosed with COVID-19                                   

October 2020

  • Global cases pass 40 million
  • Europe becomes the ‘epicenter’ of the pandemic again, ane many European countries impose harsh lockdowns
  • WHO reports a record three million new cases in one week

November 2020

  • Global cases pass 63 million
  • Moderna develops a vaccine that shows 95% effectiveness


2020 has indeed been a harsh year, with millions going into lockdown and suffering emotionally and economically. As of December 20, 2020, there is a worldwide total of 68.8 cases and 1.6 million deaths. Hopefully, 2021 is a year where there are less coronavirus cases and restrictions, and we gradually get used to living the ‘new normal’.

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