Within roughly three months of its emergence, the COVID-19 disease caused by novel coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). What was first considered as a strange case of pneumonia has now become the source of global panic as the viral outbreak has spread to 125 countries in almost every continent killing over 4,000 people.
A timeline of the disease below shows its journey from a wildlife market in China’s Hubei province to Bangladesh.
December 31, 2019
Chinese authorities reported several cases of unusual flu-like disease in landlocked Hubei province, mainly in the port city of Wuhan around the Hunan seafood market which was shut down the next day. Reports claim that the virus first came in human contact from animals and the market was infamous for illegal wildlife trading. Nearly 40 people were found infected.
January 7, 2020
According to WHO, Chinese authorities identified the virus responsible for the disease, coronavirus which is a family of viruses including SARS and the common cold. The newly found virus was then provisionally named 2019-nCoV.
January 11, 2020
The Chinese media reported the first death from the mysterious illness in Wuhan city caused by 2019-nCoV. Although the 61 year old man was suffering from chronic liver disease, he was a regular customer of the Huanan sea food market, the suspected birthplace of the disease.
January 13, 2020
First coronavirus case outside of China was reported in Thailand, a Chinese woman who travelled from Wuhan.
January 21, 2020
First case of coronavirus was detected in the USA while the disease spread to Japan, South Korea and Australia. The total number of infected rose over 200 in China with cases also reported in cities like the capital Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
January 23, 2020
This was the start in earnest of the Chinese response: Wuhan, a bustling megalopolis of 11 million people, was placed under a full-blown lock down, with travel bans in and out of the area. The draconian measures extended to other cities in Hubei as well. Authorities banned Chinese New Year celebrations.
January 30, 2020
WHO declared coronavirus a global emergency as the death toll in China alone jumped to 170. India reported their first case of coronavirus while Russia closed its border with China after detecting first one infected within their territory.
February 1, 2020
A total of 316 Bangladeshi citizens were brought back from Wuhan on a special flight of Biman Bangladesh while eight of them were sent to hospital upon arriving. None of them were diagnosed with the disease.
The number of infected reached over 11000 across 26 countries including Spain, Sweden, UK and Australia. The first coronavirus death outside China was reported in the Philippines the following day.
February 7, 2020
Dr Li Wenliang of China who first attempted to warn the world about the deadly threat of coronavirus died from coronavirus infection while working at a hospital in Wuhan.
Death toll from the disease stood at over 600 while total number of cases rose above 31000.
February 10, 2020
First Bangladeshi national infected with coronavirus was reported in Singapore. Within a week total number of Bangladeshis infected with the virus in Singapore stood at 5.
The following day WHO named the disease caused by the novel coronavirus as ‘Covid-19’.
Death toll from the epidemic surged over 1000 within days while the total number of cases stood at over 40000.
March 3, 2020
WHO confirms that there are no vaccines or therapeutics to repel COVID-19 as the total number of cases crossed 90,000 across more than 90 countries.
The cases surge in Italy where the virus killed nearly 100 citizens while total cases crossed 2000.
Saudi Arabia suspended all Umrah pilgrimages for its nationals and expatriates three days later after detecting first case on March 2.
Globally the virus killed more than 3000 people and the total number of infected neared 100000 at this stage.
March 8, 2020
Bangladesh confirmed first three coronavirus cases as Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora reported that two men and one woman have been infected with the virus. Two of the three affected people had travel history from Italy.
Italy put a nationwide lockdown over 16 million citizen in attempts to contain the disease as the death toll crosses 200 in the country. Globally, the COVID-19 reached over 100 countries and infected over hundred thousand people.
March 10. 2020
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the cases of the then-unidentified respiratory illness emerged in December.
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily in mainland China dwindled after consistently reaching the thousands just one month earlier. The country recorded just 19 new cases over the previous 24 hours, its lowest total since it began reporting national figures. China registered 80,754 cases in total and 3,136 deaths.
March 11, 2020
WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic while USA restricted travel from Europe for 30 days.
In Bangladesh, two corona patients out of the three detected positive for the virus infection in Bangladesh were found negative in preliminary test according to IEDCR.
March 12, 2020
The death toll from coronavirus or Covid-19 reached over 4600 globally. The US government mobilised USD 2,500,000 through USAID to support Bangladesh’s COVID-19 readiness and response efforts.
Number of infected in India reached 73 while Iran’s coronavirus cases exceed 10000 and death toll in Iran reached 429. Worldwide the total number of infected stands over 126,140 while more than 68000 patients made recovery.