It was the day that life as we knew it changed and we don’t know when it will go back to our ‘normal’.
We are today living in the times of COVID-19 and it’s been like this for the past two years; the world has witnessed 255,099,498 cases of coronavirus, 5,129,835 deaths owing to the pandemic as of 17 November.
Today, two years back the first case of coronavirus was reported in Hubei province in China.
As we cope with the pandemic, here’s a timeline of major turning points in battling coronavirus.
17 November 2019
According to reports, the first case of coronavirus was reported on this day from the Hubei province in China.
A 55-year-old individual, according to a South China Morning Post report, contracted the virus from something sold at a wet market in the city.
The rest, as they say, is history.
31 December 2019
Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.
13 January 2020
Officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China. The patient, a 61-year-old woman from Wuhan, did not report visiting the Huanan seafood market.
21 January 2020
The World Health Organisation confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus. Simultaneously, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convenes an Emergency Committee (EC) under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) to assess whether the outbreak constituted a public health emergency of international concern.
30 January 2020
India’s first COVID-19 patient — a 20-year-old medical student who just came back from Wuhan in China — reported in Kerala’s Thrissur district.
11 February 2020
The WHO officially names the virus as coronavirus COVID-19.
9 March 2020
Battling with too many infections and hospitals struggling to manage the caseload, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announces that the whole country of Italy is on lockdown.
11 March 2020
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declares the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. “We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” he was quoted as saying, adding that “we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.”
24 March 2020
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach agree to postpone the Olympics until 2021 amid the outbreak.
25 March 2020
After carrying out a 14-hour-long Janata Curfew on 22 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a nationwide lockdown across the country till 14 April, saying only essential services will function, resulting in deserted streets and full homes.
28 April 2020
The United States registers one million infections, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to allow the use of Remdesivir in hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19. As per data, more Americans had died from this disease than were killed in the Vietnam War.
8 June 2020
A phased reopening begins in India, which has already reported more than 2,50,000 COVID-19 cases and 7,200 deaths. The Centre allowed the reopening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship with strict rules that needed to be followed.
11 August 2020
Russian president Vladimir Putin holds a special press conference in which he announces that Russia has approved a coronavirus vaccine for public use before the completion of Phase 3 trials. The vaccine, which is named Sputnik-V, is developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute with funding from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
2 October 2020
Former US president Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19. Both underwent testing after one of the president’s senior aides tested positive for COVID-19.
8 December 2020
The United Kingdom rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, becoming the first nation to do so. The campaign, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, first inoculated front-line health workers, people over 80, and nursing home workers. Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, become the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer COVID-19 jab. Dubbing the day “V-day”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was quoted as saying it was “a tribute to scientific endeavour and human ingenuity and to the hard work of so many people”.
16 January 2021
India begins one of the world’s biggest coronavirus vaccination programme. Using Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, the country began to innoculate its frontline workers.
30 March 2021
WHO releases a report on its initial investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
Though it was inconclusive, it did state that a laboratory leak of the virus was “extremely unlikely,” and it was “very likely” the virus existed in a bat and was then passed through an intermediary host animal before being transmitted to humans.
Fourteen countries issue a statement raising concerns over the independence of the study, arguing it was “significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples.”
17 April 2021
The global tally of deaths from COVID-19 surpasses three million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.
1 May 2021
India enters the third phase of its coronavirus vaccination programme, under which all people aged above 18 years would be eligible to get themselves vaccinated. This came at a time when the country was in the grips of a deadly second wave and recorded over three lakh new cases.
21 October 2021
India achieved a major milestone in its vaccination programme against COVID-19 as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark.
Hailing the vaccination milestone as a triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country has scripted history.
In a tweet, Mandaviya congratulated the country on achieving the feat, and said it was the result of the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi, whom he described as a visionary.
1 November 2021
The United States announces that it will be vaccinating children as young as five against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Rochelle Walensky assured parents the science behind the decision to recommend the vaccine for younger kids is sound, and said the shots will protect them and others from getting sick.
3 November 2021
The World Health Organisation issues emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, making it the eighth COVID-19 vaccine to receive such recommendation.
With inputs from agencies