Key moments in the COVID-19 pandemic
Key moments in the COVID-19 pandemic

Key moments in the COVID-19 pandemic

December 20 (Reuters) – The upcoming New Year’s Eve will mark the second anniversary of the first reported COVID-19 case in Wuhan, China. Since then, more than 272 million cases of the disease have been reported worldwide, and over 5 million people have died from COVID-19.

To combat the health crisis, countries across the globe have administered more than 8.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and drug manufacturers have developed new treatments.

Here are some key moments from the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years:

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DEC. 31 2019

Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province. (


The World Health Organization (WHO) said the Chinese authorities have determined that the outbreak was caused by a new coronavirus. Shortly afterwards, Thailand reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus outside China.

China announced on January 23 a lockdown in Wuhan, and at the end of the month WHO declared The coronavirus outbreak is a “public health emergency of international concern.”


The WHO named the new coronavirus SARS-COV2, an acronym for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It named the disease caused by the virus as COVID-19, an abbreviation for Coronavirus Disease 2019.

MARCH 2020

The WHO described the coronavirus outbreak as one pandemic for the first time.

Italy’s Lombardy region became it single deadliest coronavirus hotspot on the planet, with more than 3,000 deaths darkening them in China’s Hubei.

“All of Italy is closed now,” read a headline in the Corriere della Sera newspaper, after Rome imposed the strictest controls on a Western nation since World War II.

Several other countries, including Spain, France, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia, also introduced lockdowns.

On March 13, the United States declared the pandemic a national emergency to release $ 50 billion in federal aid. Later that month, California became the first U.S. state to issue a “stay-at-home order,” while New York closed non-essential businesses.

India announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, the same day that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan were postponed.

On March 27, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus.

APRIL 2020

COVID-19 infections crossed 1 million, and the WHO reported evidence that transmission from an infected person could occur before symptoms appeared.

JULY 2020

July 7 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive.

Later that month, Moderna and Pfizer launched major clinical trials of their respective COVID-19 shots.


Death toll from COVID-19 crossed 1 millionless than a year after the virus was discovered in China.


On October 1, then-US President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, just over a month before the presidential election.


Pfizer (PFE.N) and the German partner BioNTech said their experimental COVID-19 shot was more than 90% effective in preventing the disease, the first successful preliminary data on a COVID-19 vaccine from a large-scale clinical trial.

Modern Inc. (MRNA.O)became the other U.S. company that demonstrated success with its COVID-19 vaccine and reported that its shot was 94.5% effective in preventing the disease.


The UK approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, makes it the first country in the world to begin mass inoculations against coronavirus.

December 11, USA authorized The Pfizer-BioNTech shot for emergency use for people 16 years and older, as deaths due to COVID-19 in the country approached 300,000.

New variants of coronavirus were discovered in Britain, South Africa and India. WHO classified variants from the UK and South Africa as variants of concern. It later called the tribes Alpha and Beta.


The WHO classified the P.1 variant, first found in Brazil in November 2020, as a “variant of concern” following an increase in cases and deaths in the country. It was later named the Gamma variant.

March 2021

Brazil’s most populous state Sao Paulo announced a partial lockdown to combat rising infections, partly driven by a spotty vaccine rollout.

MAY 2021

The WHO declared the B.1.617.2 variant, first discovered in India, as a “variant of concern” globally. The variant fed another wave of infections in the country, driving daily cases over 300,000 and paralyzing India’s health infrastructure.

WHO later named the variant Delta.

JUNE 2021

Global COVID-19 related deaths exceeded 4 million en The Delta variant became the dominant tribe worldwide.

JULY 2021

Israel den became the first in the world to increase efforts against the Delta variant by rolling out booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to people over 60 years of age.


US FDA authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised individuals.


U.S. regulators cleared booster shots of Pfizer’s vaccine for those 65 and older, all people at high risk for serious illness and others who are regularly exposed to the virus.


The United States approved Moderna vaccine boosters for some sections of its population and Johnson & Johnson boosters for persons 18 years of age and older. It also supported the use of a shot other than the original graft as a booster.

Worldwide COVID-19 deaths exceeded 5 million.


On November 4, the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to approve an oral COVID-19 antiviral pill developed jointly by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

The United States extended the right to booster shots to all adults, although the WHO expressed concerns about a fair supply of shots globally.

A new COVID-19 variant, later called the Omicron, was discovered in Hong Kong and southern Africa.


On December 12, he became President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for COVID-19.

Pr. On December 17, the death toll from COVID-19 was 5.6 million.

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Reporting by Leroy Leo and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing Ankur Banerjee and Aditya Soni

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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