Coronavirus: A timeline of the outbreak related to the deadly Sars

Coronavirus: A timeline of the outbreak related to the deadly Sars

As the city at the epicentre of the virus is quarantined, the world increases its health checks on incoming Chinese travellers

As the Covid-19 virus out of Wuhan, China, spreads around the world, nations scramble to respond with tighter checks on citizens and visitors. So far, we know that it spreads from human to human, and that symptoms include a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

Experts have identified the virus as a coronavirus, the same kind of pathogen as that which caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed more than 800 people in 2002/03 and also started in China. 

As events are reported, we will insert them on the day they happened, so some new reports might be further down the timeline.

Here's the latest:

April 3

As of 7 pm today, 1,030,181people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 219,810 and 54,197 people have died. There are 756,174 active cases. In total, 204 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Australia insists it will not let the crew of multiple virus-stricken cruise ships into the country, slapping aside suggestions it was falling short on legal and moral obligations. More than a dozen ships are believed to be off Australia’s coast, carrying around 15,000 crew and some experiencing outbreaks of coronavirus. “We have issued notices to all of these ships to leave Australian waters,” Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram tells local media. “If ever there was a time, I think, for ships to go back to where they’re registered, it’s probably during a time of a global pandemic like this.” Associated Press


April 2

As of 4 pm today, 935,581 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 194,260 and 47,223 people have died. There are 694,098 active cases. In total, 203 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

North Korea says it is virus free.

A pledge by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to send two reusable cloth face masks to every household as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak has been met online with derision and humour.
Within hours of the announcement, the hashtag “Abenomasks”, a play on the prime minister’s signature “Abenomics” economic policy, was trending on Japanese Twitter.
 

Hong Kong International Airport and Heathrow in Britain decide to close one runway because travel is so bad. 

The US Navy relieves the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt’s captain of his, punishing him for the leak of a scathing letter he sent to superiors that sought stronger measures for curbing a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship. The removal of Captain Brett Crozier, first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the senior officer of the nuclear-powered vessel of 5,000 crew members had exercised poor judgment in the way he “broadly” distributed his letter.
 

The Mexican brewer of Corona beer said Thursday it was suspending production because of the health emergency in the country over the COVID-19 pandemic. Grupo Modelo -- whose brands also include Pacifico and Modelo -- said the measure was in line with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus. 


April 1

As of 4 pm today, 860,184 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 178,468, and 42,345 people have died. There are 639,371 active cases. In total, 200 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told security forces they should shoot dead anyone causing “trouble” in areas locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump casts doubt on the accuracy of official Chinese figures on its coronavirus outbreak after US lawmakers, citing an intelligence report, accused Beijing of a cover-up.

A team of Chinese scientists has isolated several antibodies that it says are "extremely effective" at blocking the ability of the new coronavirus to enter cells, which eventually could be helpful in treating or preventing COVID-19. Zhang Linqi at Tsinghua University in Beijing said a drug made with antibodies like the ones his team have found could be used more effectively than the current approaches, including those using plasma, which is restricted by blood type.
 

March 31

As of 10 am today, 784,381 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 165,035, and 37,780 people have died. There are 581,566 active cases. In total, 200 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

The captain of a US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus, asks for permission to isolate the bulk of his roughly 5,000 crew members on shore, which would take the warship out of duty in an effort to save lives. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset our sailors,“ saysNavy Captain Brett Crozier in a memo obtained by The Associated Press. The ship is docked in Guam.

A handout photo of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo: EPA

China reports more than 1,300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, the first time it has released such data following public concern over people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms. Health officials also reported the first imported case from abroad in Wuhan - the epicentre where the virus first emerged late last year - heightening fears of infections being brought into China from other countries. Of 36 new cases reported today, 35 were imported from abroad.

US President Donald Trump warns his country to expect a rough few weeks.

Snippet of humanity

Lockdowns are slowly being lifted in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, but not fast enough for some residents, eager to get back to shopping for their own fresh groceries after weeks of living on delivered supplies.Neighbourhoods in the city are still shut off by two-metre-tall plastic walls, set up early in the crisis to enforce social distancing and isolate communities. They also made residents wholly reliant on online deliveries.

In one neighbourhood, residents and traders are now doing business over the barriers.

Shoppers stood on chairs on Wednesday to get a glimpse of the goods on sale on the other side, shouting down to vendors to check on prices, and then used payment apps on their mobile phones rather than risk grubby cash, to pick up groceries.

“It’s safer for us to sell behind these barricades,” the owner of a pork stall said.

White-board signs hung up on the barriers told shoppers what was for sale on the other side. Most listed vegetables, rice, oil and meat but one promised crayfish, a local delicacy.

Some supermarkets also reopened on Wednesday, with one attracting a long line of shoppers - everyone spaced 1.5 metres apart - that snaked around blocks.

Some people wore raincoats or shower caps to ward off the virus. All wore masks and all seemed happy to finish with online shopping and delivered supplies.  

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Carribean Netherlands reports its first case.


March 30

As of 10 am today, 721,412 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 151,004, and 33,956 people have died. There are 536,452 active cases. In total, 199 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

New York state's death toll rose to 790, including a child which had underlying conditions. The age of the child is not revealed. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo begs for help.

US Navy hospital ship Comfort arrives in New York harbour.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Sierra Leone and Burundi report their first cases.


March 29

A 14-year-old becomes Europe's youngest patient to die of the virus. Vitor Godinho suffered from psoriasis, but no major underlying conditions. He died in Portugal.

Three hundred people in Iran die after drinking ethanol believing it will cure the virus.

British hospitals begin rationing ventilators, giving them only to patients who have a resonabe chance of recovery.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Botswana reports its first case.


March 28

As of 9.45 am today, 596,349 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 133,057, and27,343 people have died. There are 435,949 active cases. In total, 199 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

The regional tallies are as follows:

USA: 104,126 cases, with 1,685 dead. Italy: 86.498 cases with 9,134 dead. China: 81:394 cases, with 3,295 dead. Spain: 65,719 cases with 5,138 dead. Germany: 50,871 cases with 351 dead. France: 32,964, with 1,995 dead. Iran: 32,332 cases, with 2,378 dead. Britain: 14,543 cases, with 759 dead. Switzerland: 12,928 cases, with 231 dead. South Korea: 9,332 cases, with 139 dead. Netherlands: 8,603 cases, with 546 dead. Austria: 7,697 cases, 58 dead. Belgium: 7,284 cases, 289 dead. Turkey: 5,698 cases, with 92 dead.

Canada: 4, 757 cases with 55 dead. Portugal: 4,268 cases with 76 dead. Norway: 3,771 cases with 19 dead. Brazil: 3,417 cases, with 82 dead. Australia: 3,378 cases, with 13 dead. Sweden: 3,069 cases, with 105 dead. Israel: 3,035, with 12 dead. Czechia: 2,279 cases, with 9 dead. Malaysia: 2,161 cases, with 26 dead. Ireland: 2,121 cases, with 22 dead. Denmark: 2,046 cases with 52 dead.

Ecuador: 1,627 cases, with 41 dead. Chile: 1,610 cases, with 5 dead. Luxembourg: 1,605 cases, with 15. Japan: 1,499 cases with 49 dead. Poland: 1,389 cases with 16 dead. Pakistan: 1,373 cases with 11 dead. Romania: 1,292 cases, with 26  dead. South Africa: 1,170 cases, with 1 dead. Thailand: 1,136 cases with 5 dead. Saudi Arabia: 1,104 cases, with 3 dead. Indonesia: 1,046 cases with 87 dead. Finland: 1,041 cases, with 7 dead. Russia: 1,036 cases, with 4 dead.

Greece: 966 cases, with 28 dead. Iceland: 890 cases, with 2 dead. India: 887 cases, with 20 dead. Philippines: 803 cases, with 54 dead. Panama: 786 cases, with 14. Singapore: 732 cases, 2 dead. Diamond Princess: 712 cases, 10 dead. Peru: 635 cases with 11 dead, Slovenia: 632 cases, 9 dead. Argentina: 589 cases with 13 dead. Croatia: 586 cases, with 3 dead. Mexico: 585 cases with 8 dead. Dominican Republic: 581 cases, with 20 dead. Estonia: 575 cases, with 1 dead. Qatar: 526 cases. Colombia: 539 cases with 6 dead. Egypt: 536 cases, with 30 dead. Serbia: 528 cases, with 8 dead. Hong Kong 518 cases with 4 dead.

Bahrain: 466 cases, with 4 dead. Iraq: 458 cases with 40 dead. Algeria: 409 cases with 26 dead UAE: 405 cases with 2 dead. Lebanon: 391 cases with 8 dead. New Zealand: 369 cases. Lithuania: 358 cases, with 5 dead. Morocco: 345 cases with 23 dead. Armenia: 329 cases with 1 dead. Ukraine 310 cases with 5 dead. Hungary: 300 cases, with 10 dead. Bulgaria: 293 cases, with 3 dead. Latvia: 280 cases. Slovakia: 269 cases, Andorra: 267 cases: 3 dead. Taiwan: 267 cases: 2 dead. Costa Rica: 263 cases, 2 dead.

Uruguay: 238 cases. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 237 with 4 dead. Jordan: 235 with 1 dead. Tunisia: 227 with 7 dead. Kuwait: 225. San Marino: 223, with 21 dead. North Macedonia: 219 with 3 dead. Moldova: 199 with 2 dead. Albania: 186 cases, with 8 dead. Burkina Faso: 180 cases, with 9 dead. Azerbaijan: 165 cases with 3 dead. Vietnam: 163 cases. Cyprus: 162 cases, with 5 dead. Kazakhstan: 150 cases with 1 dead. Reunion: 145 cases. Faeroe Islands: 144 cases. Malta: 139 cases. Ghana: 137 cases, 4 dead. Oman: 131 cases. Senegal: 119 cases. Brunei: 115 cases. Venezuela: 113 cases, 2 dead. Afghanistan: 110 cases, 4 dead. Sri Lanka: 106 cases. Ivory Coast: 101 cases.

Cambodia: 99 cases. Mauritius: 94 cases, two dead. Belarus: 94 cases. Cameroon: 91 cases, 2 dead. Palestine: 91 cases, 1 dead. Channel Islands: 88 cases, 1 dead. Uzbekistan: 88 cases, 1 dead. Georgia: 83 cases. Montenegro: 82 cases, 1 dead. Martinique: 81 cases, 1 dead. Cuba: 80 cases, 2 dead. Guadeloupe: 73 cases, 1 dead. Nigeria: 70 cases, 1 dead. Honduras: 68 cases, 1 dead. Trinidad and Tobago: 66 cases, 2 dead. Bolivia: 61 cases Kyrgyzstan: 58 cases. Liechtenstein: 56 cases. Gibraltar: 55 cases. Rwanda: 54 cases. Paraguay: 52 cases. DRC: 51 cases.

Mayotte: 50 cases. Bangladesh: 48 cases. Monaco: 42 cases. Macao: 34 cases. Aruba 33 cases. Kenya: 31 cases, 1 dead. French Polynesia: 30 cases. Isle of Man: 29 cases. Guatemala: 28 cases, 1 dead. French Guiana: 28 cases. Jamaica: 26 cases, 1 dead. Madagascar: 26 cases. Togo: 25 cases, 1 dead. Barbados: 24 cases. Uganda: 23 cases. Zambia: 22 cases. Bermuda: 17 cases. Ethiopia, Maldives: 16 cases. New Caledonia: 15 cases. El Salvador, Tanzania: 13 cases. Djibouti: Equatorial Guinea: 12 cases. Dominica, Mali, Mongolia, Saint Martin: 11 cases.

Niger: 10 cases, 1 dead. Bahamas, Greenland: 10 cases. Eswatini: 9 cases. Cayman Islands: 8 cases, 1 dead. Curacao: 8 cases 1 dead. Guinea, Haiti, Myanmar, Namibia, Suriname: 8 cases. Gabon: 7 cases, 1 dead. Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Mozambique, Seychelles: 7 cases. Benin, Eritrea, Laos: 6 cases. Cabo Verde: 5 cases, 1 dead. Guyana: 5 cases, 1 dead.

Zimbabwe: 5 cases, 1 dead. Fiji, Montserrat, St Barth, Syria: 5 cases. Angola, Congo, Nepal, Vatican City: 4 cases. Gambia: 3 cases, 1 dead. Sudan: 3 cases. Bhutan, Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, Mauritania, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Somalia: 3 cases. Nicaragua: 2 cases, 1 dead. MS Zaandam: 2 cases. Anguilla, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Guinea Bissau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos: 2 cases. Libya, Papua New Guinea, St Vincent Grenadine, Timor-Leste: 1 case.

Thomas Schaefer, 54, the minister for the Hesse region in Germany, is found dead on a railway track. People who know him say he was in deep dispair over the economy.


March 27

As of 9.45 am today, 531,764 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 123,933, and 24,071 people have died. There are 383,760 active cases. In total, 198 countries and territories have been infected.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces he is infected. He continues working from home. Also ill are Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty, the three  men leading the nation's response to the virus.

South Africa enters chaotic three week lockdown.

Italy's death toll spikes to 969 in 24 hours.

US President Donald Trump signs US$2.2 trillion relief package into law, but can't resist surrounding himself with Republicans as he does it.

A cruise ship, the Holland American Line's Zaandam heads for Florida after being denied enitry in Panama. The Panamanian government said at least 124 passengers were showing signs of infection. The company said around 138 people were ill and four had died.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


March 26

As of 7pm today, 486.683 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stand)))s at 117.563, and 22,024 people have died. There are 347.267 active cases. In total, 198 countries and territories have been infected.

China gears up to suspend entry to foreigners entering the country from Saturday in an attempt to stop imported infections.

Millions of Britons flock into their gardens and on to the streets to applaud NHS workers.

US now has most coronavirus cases in the world with 83,553 infections - more than China or Italy, but Trump blames testing for high figure.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

MS Zaandam reports its first case.


March 25

Anguilla reports its first case.


March 24

Japan postpones the Olympics.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

British Virgin Islands, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Saint Kitts and Nevis all report their first cases


March 23

As of 9am today, 336,075 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 97,636, and 14,613 people have died. There are 198,778 active cases. In total, 192 countries and territories have been infected.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine after the doctor she consulted tested positive. Germany bans meetings of more than two people.

An 18-year-old man dies in Coventary in Britain, one of 47 deaths in 24 hours.

Britain's Prince Charles tests positive.

Boots pharmacies limit the number of paracetomol to one pack per customer, in Britain.

A 12-year-old girl in Atlanta, in the US, is on a ventilator, fighting for her life, even though she had no underlying conditions. Emma had tested positive for pneumonia on March 15, and had no recent history of travel to other countries.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Laos and Libya report their first cases.


March 22

As of 11 am today, 307,625  people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 85,797, and 13,050 people have died. There are 198,778 active cases. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 81,054 with 3,261 dead. Italy: 53,578 with 4,825 dead. USA: 27,684 cases, 340 dead. Spain: 25,496 with 1,378 dead. Germany:  22,364 cases, 84 dead. Iran: 20.610 with 1,556 dead. France: 14,459 cases with 1,842 dead. South Korea: 8,897 with 104 dead. Switzerland: 6,836 with 80 dead. Britain: 5,018 cases, 233 dead.  Netherlands: 3,631 cases, 136 dead. Austria: 2,992 cases, 8 dead. Belgium: 2,815 cases, 67 dead. Norway: 2,164 cases, with 7 dead. 

Sweden: 1, 770 cases, 20 dead. Canada: 1,328 cases, 19 dead. Denmark: 1,326 cases, 13 dead. Portugal: 1,280 cases, 12 dead. Malaysia: 1,183 cases, 8 dead. Brazil: 1,178 cases, 8 dead. Australia: 1,072 cases, 7 dead. Japan: 1,054 with 36 dead. Czechia: 995 cases. Turkey: 947 cases, 21 dead. Israel: 883 cases, one dead. Ireland: 785 cases, 3 dead. Diamond Princess: 712 with 8 dead. 

Luxembourg: 670 cases, 8 dead. Pakistan: 645 cases, 3 dead.  Chile: 537 cases. one dead.  Poland: 536 cases, 5 dead. Ecuador: 532 cases, 7 dead. Greece: 530 cases, 13 dead. Finland: 532 cases, 1 dead. Qatar 481 cases. Iceland: 473 cases, 1 dead. Indonesia: 369 cases, 38 dead. Singapore: 432 cases, 2 dead. Thailand: 411 cases, 1 dead. Saudi Arabia: 392. Slovenia: 383 cases, 1 dead. Romania: 367 cases. 

India: 332 cases, 5 dead. Peru: 318 cases, 5 dead. Bahrain: 310 cases, 1 dead. Philippines: 307 cases, 19 dead. Russia: 306 cases, 1 dead. Estonia: 306 cases. Egypt: 294 cases with 10 dead. Hong Kong: 274 cases with 4 dead. Panama: 245 cases, 3 dead.  South Africa: 240 cases. Lebanon: 230 cases, 4 dead. Iraq: 124 with 17 dead. Croatia: 206 cases, 1 dead. Mexico: 203 cases, 2 dead.

Colombia: 196 cases. Slovakia 178 cases. Kuwait: 176 cases. Serbia: 118 cases, one dead. Bulgaria: 163 cases 3 dead. San Marino: 160 cases, 20 dead. Armenia: 160 cases. Argentina: 158 cases, 4 dead. Taiwan:  153 cases with 2 dead. UAE: 153 cases, 2 dead. Algeria: 139 cases, 15 deaths. Latvia: 124 cases.  Costa Rica: 117 cases, 2 dead. Dominican Republic: 112 cases, 3 dead.

Uruguay: 110 cases. Hungary: 103 cases. 4 dead. Jordan: 100 cases. Lithuania: 99 cases, 1 dead.  Morocco: 96 cases, 3 dead. Vietnam: 94 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina: 93 cases, 1 dead. Faeroe Islands: 92 cases. Andorra: 88 cases. North Macedonia: 85 cases, 9 dead. Cyprus: 84 cases, 1 dead. Brunei: 83 cases. Moldova: 80 cases, 1 dead. Sri Lanka: 77 cases. Albania: 78, 2 dead. Belarus: 76 cases. Malta: 73. Venezuela: 70 cases.  New Zealand: 66 cases. Burkina Faso: 64 cases, 3 dead. Tunisia: 60 cases, 1 dead. Guadeloupe: 56 cases, 1 dead. Senegal: 56 cases. Kazakhstan: 54 cases. Azerbaijan: 53 cases, 1 dead. Cambodia, Palestine: 53 cases. Oman: 52 cases.

Georgia, Trinidad and Tobago: 49 cases. Ukraine: 47 cases, 3 dead. Reunion: 47 cases.  Uzbekistan: 41 cases.  Cameroon: 40 cases. Martinique: 37 cases, 1 dead.  Liechtenstein: 37. Channel Islands: 32.  Bangladesh: 24 cases, 2 dead. Afghanistan, Honduras: 24 cases. DRC: 23 cases, 1 dead. Paraguay 22 cases, 1 dead. Nigeria: 22 cases. Cuba: 21 cases, 1 dead. Ghana: 21 cases, 1 dead. Grand Princess: 21 cases. Puerto Rico: 21 cases, 1 dead.

Jamaica: 19 cases, 1 dead. Bolivia, Macau: 19 cases. Guyana: 18 cases, 1 dead. Monaco, French Guiana: 18 cases. Guatemala, Rwanda: 17 cases. Montenegro, Togo: 16 cases. French Polynesia, Guam: 15 cases. Mauritius: 14 cases, 1 dead. Barbados, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan: 14 cases. Maldives: 13 cases. Mayotte: 11 cases. Gibraltar, Jersey, Mongolia: 10 cases.

Ethiopia: 9 cases. Kenya, Seychelles: 7 cases. Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, US Virgin Islands: 6 cases. Gabon: 5 cases, 1 dead. Aruba, St Martin, Suriname: 5 cases.  Bahamas, New Caledonia: 4 cases. Cayman Islands: 3 cases, 1 dead. Curacao: 3 cases, 1 dead.

Cabo Verde, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, El Salvador, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Saint Barthelemy, Zimbabwe: 3 cases. Sudan: 2 cases, 1 death. Angola, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Fiji, Greenland, Guinea, Haiti, Isle of Man, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe: 2 cases.

Antigua and Barbuda, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Gambia, Guernsey Montserrat, Nepal, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Sint Maarten, St Vincent Grenadines, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vatican City all have one case.

The Congo's Virunga National Park closes among fears that mountain gorillas can catch the virus from human visitors.

Shamed movie producer and convicted rapist Harvy Wienstein tests positive in prison where he is now in isolation.

Veteran Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, 79, tests positive.

Belize, Myanmar, Turks and Caicos islands report their first cases.


March 21

Lockdowns begin across Africa. 41 of 54 nations show infections.

Britain's John Lewis stores close.

Pret A Manger UK to close 400 stores.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Dominica, Grenada, Mozambique, Syria report their first cases.


March 20

As of 3.30 pm today, 245,532  people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 88,437, and 10,048 people have died. There are 147,047 active cases. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,967 with 3,248 dead. Italy: 41,035 with 3,248 dead. Iran: 18,407 with 1,284 dead. Spain: 18,077 with 831 dead. Germany:  15,439 cases, 44 dead. USA: 14,366 cases, 217 dead. France: 10,995 cases with 372 dead. South Korea: 8,652 with 94 dead. Switzerland: 4,222, with 43 dead. Britain: 3,269 cases, 144 dead.  Netherlands: 2,460 cases, 76 dead. Austria: 2,179 cases, 6 dead. Belgium: 1,795 cases, 21 dead. Norway: 1,790 cases, with 7 dead.  Sweden: 1,439 cases, 11 dead. Denmark: 1,151 cases, 6 dead.

Japan: 943 with 33 dead. Malaysia: 915 cases, 2 dead. Australia: 876 cases, 7 dead. Canada: 873 cases, 12 dead. Portugal: 786 cases, 4 dead.  Czechia: 774 cases Diamond Princess: 712 with 7 dead. Israel: 677 cases. Brazil: 647 cases, 7 dead. Ireland: 557 cases, 3 dead. Luxembourg: 484 cases, 4 dead. Greece: 464 cases, 6 dead. Qatar 460 cases. Pakistan: 456 cases, 3 dead. Finland: 400 cases.

Indonesia: 369 cases, 32 dead. Poland: 367 cases, 5 dead. Turkey: 359 cases, 4 dead. Singapore: 345 cases. Chile: 342 cases. Iceland: 330 cases. Thailand: 322 cases, 1 dead.  Slovenia: 319 cases, 1 dead. Estonia: 283 cases. Bahrain: 279 cases, one dead.

Romania: 277 cases. Saudi Arabia: 274 cases. Ecuador: 260 cases, 4 dead. Egypt: 256 cases with 7 dead. 

Hong Kong: 256 cases with 4 dead. Peru: 234 cases, 4 dead. Philippines: 230 cases, 18 dead. India: 206 cases, 5 dead. Russia: 199 cases, 1 dead. Iraq: 192 with 13 dead. Mexico: 164 cases, 1 dead. Kuwait: 159 cases. Lebanon: 158 cases, 4 dead.

South Africa: 150 cases. San Marino: 144 cases, 14 dead. UAE: 98 cases. Panama: 137 cases, 1 death. Armenia: 136 cases.

Taiwan: 135 cases, 2 dead.  Argentina: 128 cases, 3 dead. Colombia: 128 cases. Slovakia: 124.  Serbia: 118 cases. Croatia: 113 cases, 1 dead. Bulgaria: 112 cases, 3 dead. Latvia: 111 cases. Uruguay: 94 cases. Algeria 90 cases, 9 deaths. Costa Rica: 89 cases, 2 dead. Vietnam: 87 cases, 2 dead. Hungary: 85 cases, 1 dead. Faeroe Islands: 80 cases. Andorra: 74 cases. Brunei: 73 cases. Belarus, Jordan, Bosnia Herzegovina: 69 cases. Cyprus: 67 cases. Morocco: 66 cases, 3 death. Sri Lanka: 65 cases. Albania: 64, 2 dead. Malta: 53. Tunisia, North Macedonia: 50 cases.

Moldova: 49 cases, one dead. Kazakhstan: 49 cases. Lithuania, Oman: 48 cases. Cambodia, Palestine: 47 cases. Guadeloupe: 45 cases. Azerbaijan: 44 cases, one dead. Georgia: 43 cases. Venezuela: 42 cases New Zealand: 39 cases. Senegal: 36  cases. Dominican Republic: 34 cases, 2 dead.

China reports zero domestic cases.

A 26 year old man becomes the first person arrested in Britain for failing to self-isolate.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Eritrea, Timore Leste, Uganda, report their first cases.


March 19

Britain mobilises 20,000 troops and sets up a tent mortuary in London.

China reports zero domestic cases.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Angola, Cabo Verde, Haiti, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe report their first cases.


March 18

Glastonbury concert in Britain is cancelled.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Chad, El Salvadore, Fiji, Isle of Man, Nicaragua, Niger report their first cases. 


March 17

As of 2.30 pm today, 182,603 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 79,881, and 7,171 people have died. There are 95,551 active cases. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,881 with 3,226 dead. Italy: 27,980 with 2,158 dead. Iran: 14,991 with 853 dead. Spain: 9,942 with 342 dead. South Korea: 8,320 with 81 dead. Germany: 7,272 cases, 17 dead. France: 6,633 cases with 148 dead. USA: 4,706 cases, 91 dead. Switzerland: 2,353, with 19 dead. Britain: 1,543 cases, 55 dead. Netherlands: 1,141 cases, 24 dead. Norway: 1,348 cases, with 3 dead.  Sweden: 1,121 cases, 7 dead. Belgium: 1,058 cases, 10 dead. Austria: 1,018 cases, 3 dead.

Denmark: 914 cases, 4 dead. Japan: 833 with 28 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Malaysia: 566 cases.

Canada: 441 cases, 4 dead. Qatar: 439 cases. Australia: 401 cases, 5 dead. Greece: 352 cases, 4 dead. Czechia: 344 cases. Portugal: 331 cases, one dead. Israel: 298 cases. Finland: 278. Slovenia: 253 cases, 1 dead. Singapore: 243 cases. Brazil: 234 cases. Bahrain: 228 cases, one dead. Ireland: 223 cases, 2 dead. Estonia: 205 cases.

Iceland: 199 cases. Pakistan: 184 cases, 1 dead. Poland: 177 cases, 4 dead. Romania: 168 cases. Egypt: 166 cases with 4 dead. Chile: 156 cases. Hong Kong: 155 cases with 4 dead. Thailand: 147 cases, 1 dead. Philippines: 142 cases, 12 dead. Indonesia: 134 cases, 5 dead. Iraq: 133 with 10 dead. Saudi Arabia: 133 cases. India: 129 cases, 2 dead. Kuwait: 123 cases. San Marino: 109 cases, 7 dead. Lebanon: 109 cases, 3 dead.

UAE: 98 cases. Russia: 93 cases. Peru: 86 cases. Luxembourg: 81, one dead. Slovakia: 72. Panama: 69 cases, one dead. Taiwan: 67 cases, 1 dead. Argentina: 65 cases, 2 dead. South Africa: 64 cases. Bulgaria: 62 cases 2 dead. Vietnam: 61 cases. Algeria: 60 cases, 4 deaths. Ecuador: 58 cases, 2 dead. Croatia, Serbia: 57 cases1 dead. Brunei, Colombia: 54 cases. Mexico: 53 cases. Armenia: 52 cases. Albania: 51, one dead. 

Turkey: 47 cases. Cyprus: 46 cases. Costa Rica: 41 cases. Hungary, Palestine: 39 cases. Morocco: 28 cases, one death. Belarus: 36 cases. Latvia: 34 cases. Georgia: 33 cases. Malta: 30. Jordan, Moldova: Uruguay: 29. Sri Lanka: 28 cases. Senegal: 27 cases. Azerbaijan: 25 cases, one dead. Bosnia Herzegovina: 25 cases. North Macedonia. Oman: 24 cases. Dominican Republic: 21 cases, 1 dead. Afghanistan, Grand Princess: 21 cases. Tunisia: 20 cases.

Lithuania, Faeroe Islands: 18 cases. Venezuela: 17 cases. Martinique: 15 cases, 1 dead. Burkina Faso, Jamaica: 15 cases. Andorra: 14 cases. Maldives: 13 cases. Cambodia, Macau: 12 cases. New Zealand, Bolivia, French Guiana: 11 cases. Kazakhstan: 10 cases.

Monaco, Reunion: 9 cases. Guatemala: 8 cases, one dead. Bangladesh, Paraguay, Uzbekistan 8 cases. Guyana: 7 cases, 1 dead. Ukraine: 7 cases, 1 dead. Liechtenstein, Rwanda: 7 cases.  Channel Islands, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Honduras: 6 cases. Ethiopia, Cameroon, Puerto Rico: 5 cases. 

Cuba, Ivory Coast, Mongolia, Trinidad and Tobago: 4 cases. DRC, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, Kenya, Saint Barthelemy and Seychelles: 3 cases. Nigeria: 2 cases, 1 death. Aruba, Curacao, Namibia, Saint Lucia, St Martin: 2 cases. Cayman Islands: 1 case, one death. Sudan: 1 case, 1 death. Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, Greenland, Guinea, Guernsey, Liberia, Mayotte, Mauritania, Nepal, Somalia, St Vincent Grenadines, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, US Virgin Islands,Vatican City all have one case.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Bermuda, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Sint Maarten, Zambia report their first cases.


March 16

As of 3.30 pm today, 160,552 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 77,753, and 6,516 people have died. There are 85,283 active cases. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,860 with 3,213 dead. Italy: 24,747 with 1,809 dead. Iran: 13,938 with 724 dead. South Korea: 8,236 with 75 dead. Spain: 7,847 with 292 dead. Germany: 5,813 cases, 11 dead. France: 5,423 cases with 127 dead. USA: 3,773 cases, 69 dead. Switzerland: 2,217, with 14 dead. Britain: 1,1391 cases, 35 dead. Norway: 1,256 cases, with 3 dead. Netherlands: 1,135 cases, 20 dead. Sweden: 1,040 cases, 3 dead.

Belgium: 886 cases, 4 dead. Denmark: 864 cases, 2 dead. Austria: 860 cases, 1 dead. Japan: 839 with 24 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead.

Malaysia: 428 cases. Qatar: 401 cases. Canada: 341 cases, 1 dead. Greece: 331 cases, 4 dead. Australia: 300 cases, 5 dead. Czechia: 293 cases. Portugal: 245 cases. Finland: 244. Singapore: 226 cases. Slovenia: 219 cases, 1 dead. Bahrain: 214 cases. Israel: 213 cases. Brazil: 151 cases. Iceland: 180 cases. Estonia: 171 cases. Ireland: 170 cases, 2 dead. Hong Kong: 149 cases with 4 dead. Philippines: 140 cases, 12 dead. Romania: 139 cases. Egypt: 126 cases with 2 dead. Poland: 125 cases, 3 dead. Iraq: 124 with 10 dead. Saudi Arabia: 118 cases. Indonesia: 117 cases, 5 dead. Thailand: 114 cases, 1 death. India: 112 cases, 2 dead. Kuwait: 112 cases. San Marino: 109 cases, 7 dead.

Lebanon: 99 cases, 3 dead. UAE: 98 cases. Luxembourg: 77, one dead. Chile: 75 cases. Peru: 71 cases. Russia: 63 cases. Slovakia, South Africa: 61 cases. Taiwan: 59 cases with 1 dead. Vietnam: 56 cases. Pakistan: 53 cases. Bulgaria: 51 cases 2 dead. Brunei: 50 cases.

Croatia: 49 cases. Algeria: 48 cases, 4 deaths. Serbia: 48 cases. Argentina: 46 cases, 2 dead. Panama: 43 cases, 1 dead. Mexico: 43 cases. Albania: 42, one dead. Palestine: 38 cases. Ecuador: 37 cases, 2 dead. Costa Rica: 35 cases. Colombia: 34 cases. Georgia: 33 cases. Cyprus, Hungary: 33 cases. Latvia: 30 cases. Morocco: 28 cases, one death. Belarus: 27 cases. Armenia: 26 cases.

Bosnia Herzegovina, Senegal: 24 cases. Azerbaijan: 19 cases, one dead. Moldova: 23. Oman: 22 cases. Grand Princess: 21 cases. Malta: 21. Tunisia: 20 cases. North Macedonia: 19 cases. Sri Lanka, Turkey: 18 cases. Venezuela: 17 cases. Afghanistan: 16 cases. Lithuania: 14 cases.  Maldives: 13 cases. Cambodia: 12 cases. Macau: 11 cases. Dominican Republic, Faeroe Islands: 11 cases. Bolivia, Jamaica, Jordan, Martinique: 10 cases.

Kazakhstan: 9 cases. New Zealand: 8 cases. French Guiana, Liechtenstein, Paraguay, Reunion: 7 cases. Ghana, Honduras, Uruguay: 6 cases. Andorra, Bangladesh, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Rwanda: 5 cases. 

Cameroon, Cuba, Ethiopia, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Trinidad and Tobago: 4 cases. Burkina Faso, Channel Islands, French Polynesia, Guam, Kenya, Seychelles, Ukraine: 3 cases. Aruba, Curacao, DRC, Guatemala, Monaco, Namibia, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, St Martin: 2 cases. Sudan: 1 case, one death. Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, Gibraltar, Guinea, Guernsey, Mayotte, Mauritania, Mongolia, Nepal, Saint Barthelemy, St Vincent Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Vatican City all have one case.

Bahrain records its first death, with the death of a 65-year-old woman who had underlying conditions. Benin, Greenland, Somalia, Tanzania record first cases.

US humanitarian group the Peace Corps, says it will temporarily suspend all global operations and evacuate its volunteers, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

New York and Los Angeles shut bars and restaurants. A flight is grounded at JFK when the pilot is suspected of having the virus.

Italy sees and overnight death toll of 349.

The River of Grace Community Church in Gyeonggi Province, south of Seoul sprayed salt water inside the mouths of followers out of a false belief it would help prevent the spread of the virus, but by using the same spray bottle without disinfecting the nozzle, it resulted in 46 church-goers infected, authorities say.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority cuts its interest rate to 0.86 per cent.

MS Braemar will be allowed to dock in Cuba. The cruise ship has 5 patients on board.

World markets continue to plunge.

Angry crowds in Iran stormed into the courtyards of Mashhad’s Imam Reza shrine and Qom’s Fatima Masumeh shrine. Crowds typically pray there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, touching and kissing the shrine. 

A 21-year-old Spanish football coach has died of the virus, after doctors also diagnosed him with leukemia.

Francisco Garcia, a 21-year-old Spanish football coach, becomes the youngest who managed the junior team of Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta, was rushed to hospital with severe symptoms of the virus.

Actor Idris Elba tests positive.

US President Donald Trump tells US to go on lockdown for 15 days to stop the spread of the virus.

France goes on full lockdown

Britain's NHS will axe all non-emergency operations. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says people should work from home for at least 12 weeks.

South Africa declares the outbreak a national emergency and closes its borders.

Hundreds of inmates escape from prisons in Brazil after their temporary leave was cancelled for fears they might bring the virus back to the prisons with them.

India closes the Taj Mahal.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Barbados, Gambia, Montenegro report their first cases.


March 15

As of 3.30 pm today, 156,745 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 75,937, and 5,839 people have died. There are 74,989 active cases. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,844 with 3,199 dead. Italy: 21,157 with 1,441 dead. Iran: 12,729 with 611 dead. South Korea: 8,162 with 75 dead. Spain: 6,391 with 196 dead. Germany: 4,599 cases, 9 dead. France: 4,469 cases with 91 dead. USA: 2,982 cases, 60 dead. Switzerland: 1,375, with 13 dead. Britain:1,140 cases, 21 dead. Norway: 1,109 cases, with 3 dead. 

Sweden: 961 cases, 2 dead. Netherlands: 959 cases, 12 dead. Denmark: 836 cases, one dead. Japan: 804 with 22 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Belgium: 689 cases, 4 dead. Austria: 655 cases, 1 dead.

Qatar: 337 cases. Canada: 252 cases, 1 dead. Australia: 249 cases, 3 dead. Malaysia: 238 cases. Greece: 228 cases, 3 dead. Finland: 225. Bahrain: 212 cases. Singapore: 212 cases. Israel: 193 cases. Czechia: 189 cases. Slovenia: 181 cases, 1 dead. Portugal: 169 cases. Iceland: 161 cases. Brazil: 151 cases. Hong Kong: 142 cases with 4 dead. Ireland: 129 cases, 2 dead. Romania: 123 cases. Estonia: 115 cases. Philippines: 111 cases, 8 dead.  Iraq: 110 with 10 dead.  Egypt: 110 cases with 2 dead. Kuwait: 100 cases. Poland: 104 cases, 3 dead.

Saudi Arabia: 103 cases. San Marino: 101 cases, 5 dead. India: 82 cases, 2 dead.

Indonesia: 96 cases, 5 dead. Lebanon: 93 cases, 3 dead. UAE: 85 cases. Thailand: 82 cases, 1 death. Chile: 61 cases. Russia: 59 cases. Taiwan: 53 cases with 1 dead. Vietnam: 53 cases. Luxembourg: 51, one dead. Serbia: 46 cases. Argentina: 34 cases, 2 dead. Slovakia: 44 cases. Panama: 43 cases, 1 dead. Peru: 43 cases. Bulgaria: 41 cases 2 dead. Brunei: 40. Algeria: 39 cases, 3 deaths. Croatia: 39 cases. Albania: 38, one dead. Palestine, South Africa: 38 cases. Pakistan: 33 cases. Georgia, Hungary: 30 cases. Ecuador: 28 cases, 2 dead. Belarus, Costa Rica: 27 cases.

Cyprus, Latvia, Mexico: 26 cases. Colombia, Senegal: 24 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina, Grand Princess: 21 cases. Armenia,: 20 cases. Azerbaijan: 19 cases, one dead. North Macedonia, Oman: 19 cases. Malta, Tunisia: 18 cases. Morocco: 18 cases, one death. Moldova: 12. Afghanistan , Dominican Republic: 11 cases. Bolivia, Faeroe Islands, Macau, Maldives, Martinique, Sri Lanka, Venezuela: 10 cases.

Lithuania: 9 cases.  Jamaica, New Zealand: 8 cases. Cambodia, French Guiana, Paraguay: 7 cases.  Kazakhstan, , Reunion, Turkey, Uruguay: 6 cases. Bangladesh: 5 cases. Cuba, Liechtenstein, Puerto Rico: 4 cases. Channel Islands, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Ukraine: 3 cases. Aruba, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Curacao. DRC, Ghana, Ivory Coast,  Monaco, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, St Martin, Trinidad and Tobago: 2 cases. Guyana: 1 case, one dead. Sudan: 1 case, 1 dead. Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bhutan, Cayman Islands, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Gabon, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Guatemala, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritania,  Mayotte, Mongolia, Nepal, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, St Vincent Grenadines, Suriname, Togo,  US Virgin Islands, Vatican City all have one case.

US Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders debate takes place behind closed doors in light of the virus.

Trump tells Americans there is no need to horde supplies.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Benin Greenland, Liberia, Somalia, Tanzania all reported their first cases.


March 14

As of 1 pm today, 145,640 people have been infected by Covid-19. Deaths are 5,436 and 72,528 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,832 with 3,189 dead. Italy: 17,660 with 1,266 dead. Iran: 11,364 with 514 dead. South Korea: 8,086 with 72 dead. Spain: 5,232 with 133 dead. . Germany: 3,675 cases, 8 dead. France: 3,661 cases with 79 dead USA: 2,289 cases, 50 dead. Switzerland: 1,139, with 11 dead.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Norway: 996 cases, with 1 dead. Sweden: 687 cases, one dead. Denmark: 804 cases. Netherlands: 614 cases, 10 dead. Britain: 798 cases, 11 dead. Japan: 734 with 21 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Belgium: 559 cases, 3 dead. Austria: 504 cases, 1 dead.

Qatar: 320 cases. Bahrain: 210 cases. Singapore: 200 cases. Australia: 199 cases, 3 dead. Canada: 198 cases, one dead. Malaysia: 197 cases. Greece: 190 cases, 1 dead. Finland: 155. Brazil: 151 cases. Israel: 143 cases. Czechia, Slovenia: 141 cases. Iceland: 134 cases. Hong Kong: 132 cases with 4 dead. Portugal: 112 cases. Iraq: 101 with 9 dead. Kuwait: 100. cases.

Romania: 95 cases. Egypt: 67 cases with 2 dead. Ireland: 90 cases, one dead. Saudi Arabia: 86 cases. UAE: 85 cases. India: 82 cases, 2 dead. San Marino: 80 cases, 5 dead. Estonia: 79 cases. Lebanon: 77 cases, 3 dead. Thailand: 75 cases, 1 death. Indonesia: 69 cases, 4 dead. Poland: 68 cases, 2 dead. Philippines: 64 cases, 6 dead.  Taiwan: 50 cases with 1 dead.

Russia: 45 cases. Vietnam: 44 cases. Chile: 43 cases. Luxembourg, Peru: 38 cases. Brunei: 37. Serbia, Palestine: 35 cases. Argentina: 34 cases, 2 dead. Albania: 33, one dead.  Croatia, Slovakia: 27 cases. Bulgaria: 31. Pakistan: 28 cases. Belarus: 27 cases. Panama: 27 cases, 1 dead. Algeria: 26 cases, 2 deaths. Georgia: 25 cases. South Africa: 24 cases. Costa Rica: 23 cases.  Ecuador: 23 cases, one dead. Grand Princess, Senegal: 21 cases. Hungary, Oman: 19 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina: 18 cases. Latvia: 17 cases. Colombia, Tunisia: 16 cases.  Azerbaijan, Mexico: 15 cases. Cyprus, North Macedonia: 14 cases. Malta: 12 cases. Bolivia, Macau: 10 cases.

Maldives: 9 cases. Armenia, Jamaica: 8 cases. Afghanistan , Cambodia, Morocco: 7 cases. French Guiana, Lithuania, Moldova, New Zealand, Paraguay. Sri Lanka : 6 cases. Dominican Republic, Reunion, Turkey: 5 cases.

Cuba, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Uruguay: 4 cases. Bangladesh, Channel Islands, Faeroe Islands, French Polynesia, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Ukraine: 3 cases. Aruba, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Ghana, Honduras, Monaco, Nigeria, St Martin, Venezuela: 2 cases. 

Guyana: 2 cases, one dead. Sudan: 2 cases, 1 dead.

Andorra, Antigua Barbuda, Bhutan, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Guadeloupe,  Guatemala, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritania,  Mongolia, Nepal, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, St Vincent Grenadines, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, , Vatican City all have one case.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Bahamas, Central African Republic, Congo, Uzbekistan all report their first cases.


March 13

Confusion over Brazil's president Jair Bolsanaro tests result, as news reports the results were positive, but Bolsanaro is reporting on social media that he tested negative.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma announces donation of test kits and facemasks to US. Ma is the founder of internet shopping giant Alibaba which owns the South China Morning Post. US President Donald Trump declares a national emergency but continues to offer false advice to the public. When asked if he will be tested because of his interaction with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's aid, who tested positive, he said he probably would anyway, but it's not urgent because he is not showing any symptoms.

As of 1.30 pm today, 134,702 people have been infected by Covid-19. Deaths are 4,979 and 70,381 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,814, with 3,176 dead. Italy: 15,113 with 1,016 dead. Iran: 10,075  with 429 dead. South Korea: 7,979 with 67 dead. Spain: 3,146 with 86 dead. France: 2,876 cases with 61 dead. Germany: 2,745 cases, 6 dead. USA: 1,731 cases, 41 dead.

Switzerland: 868, with 7 dead. Norway: 800 cases, with 1 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Japan: 691 with 19 dead. Sweden: 687 cases, one dead. Denmark: 674 cases. Netherlands: 614 cases, 5 dead. Britain: 590 cases, 10 dead. Belgium: 399 cases, 3 dead. Austria: 361 cases, 1 dead. Qatar: 262 cases. Bahrain: 197 cases. Singapore: 187 cases. Malaysia: 158 cases. Australia: 156 cases, 3 dead. Canada: 142 cases, one dead. Hong Kong: 130 cases with 3 dead. Greece: 117 cases, 1 dead. Israel: 109 cases. Czechia: 113 cases. Finland, Iceland: 109 cases. Slovenia: 96 cases. UAE: 85 cases. Iraq: 83 with 8 dead. Egypt: 67 cases with 2 dead. Kuwait: 72. cases. Portugal: 78 cases. Brazil: 77 cases. India: 74 cases, one dead. San Marino: 74 cases, 5 dead. Ireland: 70 cases, one dead. Thailand: 70 cases, 1 death. Lebanon: 68 cases, 3 dead. Romania: 59 cases. Philippines: 52 cases, 3 dead. Poland: 51 cases, one dead.

Taiwan: 49 cases with 1 dead. Saudi Arabia: 45 cases. Vietnam: 39 cases. Indonesia: 34 cases, one dead. Russia: 34 cases. Chile: 33 cases. Palestine: 31 cases, one dead. Argentina: 30 cases, 1 death. Croatia: 27 cases. Estonia: 27 cases. Algeria: 26 cases, 2 deaths. Luxembourg: 26 cases. Brunei, Georgia: 25 cases. Serbia: 24 cases. Albania, Bulgaria, Costa Rica: 23 cases. Peru: 22 cases. Belarus, Grand Princess, Pakistan, Slovakia: 21 cases.

Oman: 18 cases. Ecuador, South Africa:  17 cases. Hungary, Latvia: 16 cases. Azerbaijan: 15 cases. Panama: 14 cases, 1 dead. Tunisia: 13 cases. Mexico: 12 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina: 11 cases. Cyprus, Macau, Senegal: 10 cases.

Colombia, Malta, North Macedonia: 9 cases. Maldives: 8 cases. Afghanistan: 7 cases. Armenia, French Guiana, Moldova, Morocco: 6 cases. Cambodia, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Paraguay: 5 cases. Liechtenstein, Reunion: 4 cases. Bangladesh, Bolivia, Channel Islands, Cuba, Lithuania, Martinique, Sri Lanka,  Ukraine: 3 cases. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Faroe Islands, Ghana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nigeria, St Martin: 2 cases. Andorra, Bhutan, DRC, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Saint Barthelemy, St Vincent Grenadines, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City all have one case. Guyana, one dead.

Rome closes all Catholic churches.

Russia builds a hospital to deal with the virus, even though it only has 34 confirmed cases at the moment.

South Korea sees newly infected recovered patients exceed fresh infections for the first time.

The US government awards US$1.3 million to two companies trying to find a faster virus test.

Cases of the virus are confirmed at United Nations headquarters in New York. 

Asian markets fall after tthe US and European makets lose around 10 per cent. Global markets go on a rollercoaster ride over the virus crisis as it upends events across the world and affects people from all walks of life. Governments are imposing draconian measure, never before seen in peacetime - sealing borders, closing schools and colleges and cancelling events, meetings and business travel. Top events on the sporting an enterainment calendars have been cancelled.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, tested positive.

Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi becomes the first player in England's Premier League to test positive.

The Corona Open Gold Coast surfing competition, sponsored by Corona beer has been cancelled.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is tested after his press secretary tested positive at the end of a trip they both took to US President Donald Trump's resort in Florida.

Austria calls on its tourists to return.

Cruise ship the MS Braemar discovers five passengers are infected while it is anchored off Curacao yesterday. Barbados refuses permission to dock and it heads to the Bahamas.

Russian-German pianist Igor Levit says he is taking to Twitter to play his concerts in response to the shuttering of major music venues across Germany.

Mt Everest is shut. China halted access from its side and now Nepal has stopped access from its territory.

Iran's security forces have been ordered to clear the streets nationwide within 24 hours in a bid to stop the virus.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Mayotte, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles all report their first cases.


March 12

Italy's health system buckles under the weight of thousands of extra patients. There is not enough resources to treat all who need to be treated. All shops other than pharmacies are closed. The death toll climbs 31 per cent to 827 in 24 hours. Authorities tell hospitals to stop treating the elderly. Top doctors suggest the country's medics switch to a "catastrophic" approach usually used during war time, where they will not treat people on a "first come, first served basis" but rather according to their chances of survival.

As of 1.30 pm today, 126,367 people have been infected by Covid-19. Deaths are 4,633 and 68,304 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,796, with 3,169 dead. Italy: 12,462 with 827 dead. Iran: 9,000 with 354 dead. South Korea: 7,869 with 66 dead. France: 2,281 cases with 48 dead. Spain: 2,277 with 55 dead. Germany: 1,966 cases, 3 dead. USA: 1,327 cases, 38 dead.

Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Switzerland: 652, with 4 dead. Japan: 639 with 15 dead. Norway: 629 cases. Denmark: 514 cases. Netherlands: 503 cases, 5 dead. Sweden: 500 cases, one dead. Britain: 465 cases, 8 dead. Belgium: 314 cases, 3 dead. Qatar: 262 cases. Austria: 246 cases. Bahrain: 195 cases. Singapore: 178 cases. Malaysia: 149 cases. Australia: 139 cases, 3 dead. Hong Kong: 130 cases with 3 dead. Canada: 118 cases, one dead.

Greece: 99 cases. Israel: 97 cases. Czechia: 94. Iceland: 85 cases. UAE: 74 cases. Kuwait: 72. cases. Iraq: 71 with 7 dead. San Marino: 69 cases, 2 dead. Lebanon: 68 cases, 2 dead. Egypt: 67 cases with 1 dead. Finland: 65 cases. India: 62 cases. Portugal: 61 cases.

Thailand: 59 cases, 1 death. Slovenia: 57 cases. Brazil: 52 cases. Philippines: 49 cases, 2 dead. Taiwan: 48 cases with 1 dead. Romania: 47 cases. Saudi Arabia: 45 cases. Ireland: 43 cases. Vietnam: 39 cases. Indonesia: 34 cases. Poland: 31 cases. Palestine: 30 cases. Russia: 28 cases. Georgia: 24 cases. Chile: 23 cases. Costa Rica: 22 cases. Argentina: 21 cases, 1 death. Grand Princess: 21 cases. Algeria, Pakistan: 20 cases.

Croatia: 19 cases. Oman, Serbia: 18 cases. Ecuador, Peru: 17 cases. Estonia: 16 cases. Albania: 15 cases, one dead. Panama: 14 cases, 1 dead. Hungary, South Africa: 13 cases. Mexico: 12 cases. Azerbaijan, Brunei: 11 cases. Latvia, Macau, Slovakia: 10 cases.

Belarus, Colombia: 9 cases. Maldives: 8 cases. Afghanistan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, North Macedonia, Tunisia: 7 cases. Cyprus, Morocco: 6 cases. Dominican Republic, French Guiana, New Zealand, Paraguay: 5 cases.

Senegal: 4 cases. Bangladesh, Cuba, Cambodia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Martinique, Moldova: 3 cases. Bolivia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Channel Islands, Faroe Islands, Honduras, Jamaica, St Martin: 2 cases. Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, DRC, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be tested after coming into contact with coronavirus patients. Nine cabinet members, five legislators and three mayors start self-quarantine after exposure to a patient who tested positive. A 67-year old Filipino woman became the second fatality in the country,

Movie star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive while in Australia. They share the news, becoming the most famous people to announce their status.

Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announces a stimulus package worth billions of dollars to counter the impact of the virus.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tests positive, becoming the first Serie A player to be confirmed infected. The 25-year-old is asymptomatic. Inter Milan, which played Juventus on Saturday, suspends all competitive activity until further notice.

World figure skating championships due to start in Montreal next week are cancalled.

Haruyuki Takahashi, a member of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee tells Kyodo News Agency that he will propose that this year's Olympics be suspended for a year or two. Japan stops short of banning cherry blossom viewing but suggests people don't hold hanami parties, where friends and famlies usuallyl gather under the trees with food and drink. Meteorologists expect the trees in Tokyo to start blossoming on March 17.

Germany's Bundesliga stops allowing fans to its matches.

Three members of Formula One teams are in quarantine after being tested for the virus ahead of the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Stock exchanges dive again off Trump's speech in which he failed to provide concrete measures to stem the market bloodbath.  Germany's DAX drops below 10,000 for the first time since 2016. Nordic markets open in the red.  CAC shares slive 5.11 per cent on opeining. London's FTSE falls 5.4 per cent despite Bank of England's stimulus plan. Japan's Nikkei lost 4.41 per cent. South Korea's Kospi slips 3.87 per cent. India's Sensex shed 2,700 points.

Bitcoin plummets 12.5 per cent.

China says the peak of the outbreak has passed.

Tens of thousands of panicked travellers in Europe scramble to get to the US before the 30-day black out period which starts at midnight on Friday, as announced by US President Donald Trump. He blamed the EU for his decision, saying it had failed to contain the virus. European leaders hit out at the decision, saying they were not consulsted.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Antigua Barbuda, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mauritania, Saint Lucia, Sudan, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela report their first cases. China records a new low of only 15 new cases. 


March 11

As of 3pm today, 119,217 people have been infected by Covid-19. Deaths are 4,299 and 66,561 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,778, with 3,158 dead. Italy: 10,149 with 631 dead. Iran: 8,042 with 291 dead. South Korea: 7,755 with 61 dead. France: 1,784 cases with 33 dead. Spain: 1,695 with 36 dead. Germany: 1,565 cases, two dead. USA: 1,010 cases, 31 dead. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Japan: 587 with 12 dead. Switzerland: 497, with 3 dead. Norway: 400 cases. Britain: 383 cases, 6 dead. Netherlands: 382 cases, 4 dead. Sweden: 355 cases. Belgium: 267 cases. Denmark: 262 cases. Austria: 182 cases. Singapore: 166 cases. Malaysia: 129 cases. Hong Kong: 121 cases with 3 dead. Australia: 116 cases, 3 dead. Bahrain: 110 cases. Canada: 94 cases, one death. Greece: 89 cases. Iceland: 81 cases. Israel: 75 cases. UAE: 74 cases. Iraq: 71 with 7 deaths. Kuwait: 69. Czechia: 63 cases. India, San Marino: 62 cases. Egypt: 59 cases with 1 death. Thailand: 53 cases, 1 death. Lebanon: 41 cases, one death. Taiwan: 47 cases with 1 death. Portugal: 41 cases. Finland: 40 cases. Brazil, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam: 34 cases. Philippines: 33 cases. Romania, Palestine: 29 cases. Indonesia: 27 cases. Qatar: 24 cases. Georgia: 23 cases. Grand Princess: 21 cases. Algeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia: 20 cases. Argentina, Pakistan: 19 cases. Oman: 18. Ecuador, Chile: 17 cases. Croatia: 15 cases. Estonia, Costa Rica: 13 cases. Hungary: 12. Azerbaijan, Peru: 11 cases. Albania, Macau: 10 cases. Belarus: 9 cases. . Latvia, Panama: 8 cases. Afghanistan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Mexico, North Macedonia, Slovakia, South Africa: 7 cases. Brunei, Bulgaria, Maldives, Tunisia: 6 cases.Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Malta, New Zealand, Paraguay, Serbia: 5 cases. Senegal: 4 cases. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Lithuania, Martinique, Moldova, Morocco: 3 cases. Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Channel Islands, Cyprus, Faroe Islands,  Nigeria, St Martin: 2 cases. Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, DRC, Gibraltar, Jamaica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Saint Barthelemy, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

WHO DECLARES PANDEMIC

New York, Chicago, join Boston in cancelling St Patrick's day celebrations.

The death toll from the Xinjia Express Hotel which collapsed during remodelling rises to 26. The seven-storey building was converted into a makeshift quarantine centre that housed people needed quarantine. It collapsed on Saturday, when builders working on remodelling lower floors accidentally destroyed a crucial support pillar. Three people are still missing.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

China announces that certain key companies in Wuhan will resume production. Businesses providing daily necessities, are involved in the prevention or control of the virus, linked to public utilities will start immediately. Companies that do not fit this category and are key to the global supply chain will be able to resume operating after approval.

A former senior official in Wuhan has been charged with corruption. Cai Jie was secretary general of the Communist Party municipal committee in Wuhan city. He was arrested on charges of taking bribes and abusing his power.

Italy puts up 25 billion Euros to fight the virus. The announcement was made by Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte as the country passed the 10,000 infections mark, for the highest rate of infectin outside of mainland China.

US President Donald Trump announces a raft of measures including a 30-day travel ban for people entering from the Shengen area of Europe. It will take effect at midnight on Friday. He also states that the ban will include trade, only to walk that back a few hours later and say it only covers people.

Rudy Gobert, seen here at the FIBA finals in Beijing, is the first player in the NBA to test positive.
Photo: Reuters

The NBA suspends its current season. The Jazz v Thunder game is postponed after a star is ruled out due to "illness". Rudy Gobert is named as NBA's patient zero, after he joked about the virus at a press conference a few days earlier and touched all the media mics.

Ghana, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago all record their first cases. 


March 10

As of 3pm today, 114,435 people have been infected by Covid-19. Deaths are 4,027 and 64,099 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,757, with 3,136 dead. Italy: 9,172 with 463 dead. South Korea: 7,513 with 54 dead. Iran: 7,161 with 237 dead. France: 1,412 cases with 30 dead. Spain: 1,231 with 30 dead. Germany: 1,224 cases, two dead. USA: 708 cases, 27 dead.  Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Japan: 530 with 9 dead. Switzerland: 374, with 2 dead. Britain: 321 cases, 5 dead. Netherlands: 321 cases, 5 dead. Sweden: 261 cases. Belgium: 239 cases. Norway: 227 cases. Singapore: 160 cases. Austria: 131 cases. Malaysia: 117 cases. Hong Kong: 116 cases with 3 dead. Bahrain: 109 cases. Australia: 101 cases, 3 dead. Denmark: 90 cases. Greece: 84 cases. Canada: 77 cases, one death. Iraq: 71 with 7 deaths. Iceland, Kuwait: 65. Egypt: 59 cases with 1 death. UAE: 59 cases. San Marino: 51 cases. Thailand: 50 cases, 1 death. Israel: 50 cases. India: 47 cases. Taiwan: 45 cases with 1 death. Lebanon: 41 cases. Czechia: 40 cases. Portugal: 39 cases. Finland: 33 cases. Vietnam: 31 cases. Brazil, Palestine, Slovenia: 25 cases, Ireland, Philippines: 24 cases. Grand Princess: 21 cases. Algeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia: 20 cases. Indonesia: 19 cases. Oman, Qatar: 18 cases. Argentina, Romania, Poland: 17 cases. Pakistan: 16 cases. Ecuador, Georgia: 15 cases. Chile, Croatia: 12 cases. Estonia, Macau: 10 cases. Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Hungary, Peru: 9 cases. Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa: 7 cases. Albania, Belarus, Latvia, Maldives: 6 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Tunisia: 5 cases. Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Malta, North Macedonia, Senegal: 4 cases. Bangladesh, Colombia: 3 cases. Cambodia, Cameroon, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Martinique, Morocco, Nigeria, Serbia, St Martin: 2 cases. Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Panama, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Saint Barthelemy, Togo, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

China's President Xi Jinping says Wuhan has turned the tide against the virus. He vists the city at the heart of the global epidemic. During his trip, Hubei says it will ease travel restrictions to allow people in low-risk areas to travel within the province. State media reports that the last of Wuhan's makeshift hospitals that were converted from public buildings has closed.

Italy's deputy economy minister Laura Castelli says Italians may be allowed to suspend mortgage payments and some tax payments to help deal with the economic shock. The lockdown of the red-zones is extended to the whole country.

A screen shows a CCTV state media broadcast of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Wuhan at a shopping centre in Beijing
Photo: Reuters

Cyprus temporarily closes its largest hospital after its chief heart surgeon is diagnosed positive.

Iran reports its highest daily death toll at 54, bringing its total to 291.

US President Donald Trump says he was looking for his government to help hourly-paid workers to make sure they don't miss a paycheque.

Mongolia seals off its cities, barring anyone from leaving ore entering for six days and bans most international flights after it registered its first case.  All shops, other than those selling food, petrol and tyres are also shut.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Cuba, French Polynesia, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Reunion, St Vincent Grenadines report their first cases.


March 9

As of noon today, more than half the world's countries are infected with 110,034 cases of Covid-19. Deaths are 3,825 and 61,977 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China: 80,736, with 3,119 dead. South Korea: 7,82 with 69 dead. Italy: 7,376 with 366 dead. Iran: 6,566 with 194 dead. France: 1,209 cases with 19 dead. Germany: 1,040 cases. Diamond Princess: 696 with 7 dead. Spain: 674, with 17 dead. USA: 541 cases, 22 dead, Japan: 502 with 7 dead. Switzerland: 337, with 2 dead. Britain: 278 cases, 3 dead. Netherlands: 265 cases, 3 dead, Sweden: 203 cases. Belgium: 200 cases. Norway: 176 cases. Singapore: 150 cases. Hong Kong: 115 cases with 3 dead. Austria: 104 cases.  Malaysia: 99 cases. Australia: 89 cases, 3 dead. Bahrain: 85 cases. Greece: 73 cases. Canada: 66 cases. Kuwait: 64 cases. Iraq: 60 with 6 deaths. Iceland: 58. Egypt: 55 cases with 1 death. Thailand: 50 cases, 1 death. Taiwan: 45 cases with 1 death. UAE: 45 cases. India: 40 cases. Israel: 39 cases. San Marino: 36 cases, 1 death. Denmark: 35 cases. Czechia, Lebanon: 32 cases. Portugal, Vietnam: 30 cases. Brazil, Finland: 25 cases. Palestine: 22 cases, Grand Princess, Ireland: 21 cases. Algeria: 20 Russia: 17 cases. Oman, Slovenia: 16 cases. Ecuador: 15, one death. Qatar,   Romania and Saudi Arabia: 15 cases. Georgia: 13 cases. Argentina: 12 cases, one death. Croatia: 12 cases. Poland: 11 cases. Chile, Estonia, Macau: 10 cases. Philippines: 10 cases, one death. Azerbaijan, Costa Rica: 9 cases, Hungary, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru: 7 cases. Belarus, Indonesia: 6 cases. Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guyana, Luxembourg, New Zealand: 5 cases. Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Maldives, Senegal: 4 cases.Bangladesh, Bosnia Herzegovina, Latvia, Malta, North Macedonia, Saint Barthelemy Slovakia, South Africa: 3 cases. Albania, Cambodia, Cameroon, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Martinique, Morocco, St Martin, Tunisia: 2 cases. Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, Colombia, Estonia, Gibraltar, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Togo, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

Italy places the whole country on lockdown, after positive cases surge past the 9,000 mark, threatening prison for those we do not comply. Eight people die in a virus-related prison riot in Italy.

Black Monday: New York Stock Exchange pauses market trading for 15 minutes after the Dow plunges more than 1,700 points, ending the 11-year bull run. The S&P500 drops 7 per cent.

Biggest fall in crude oil prices since the Gulf War in 1991 with Brent crude trading at around US$36 a barrel.

Gold hits a seven year high, trading at US$1,700 per ounce.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Bolivia, DRC, Jamaica, Mongolia, Panama, Turkey  all report their first cases.


March 8

As of noon today, 105,981 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,570 and 59,916 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,695 with 3,070 dead, South Korea: 7,134 with 50 dead, Italy 5,883 with 233 dead, Iran: 5,823 with 145 dead,  France 949 cases with 16 dead, Germany: 799 cases, Diamond Princess: 706 with 7 dead, Spain 500, 8 dead, Japan: 461 with 6 dead, USA 424 cases, 19 dead, Switzerland: 268, one dead, Britain: 206 cases, two dead, Netherlands: 188 cases, one dead, Belgium 169 cases, Sweden: 161 cases, Norway 147 cases, Singapore: 138 cases, Hong Kong: 108 cases, two dead, Malaysia: 93 cases, one death, Bahrain:  85 cases, two dead, Austria: 79 cases,  Australia: 63 cases, 3 dead, Kuwait: 61 cases, Canada: 54 cases, Iraq: 54, two deaths, Thailand: 50 cases, 1 death, Iceland: 50, one death,  Greece 46 cases,  Taiwan: 45 cases with 1 death, UAE: 45, India 34, San Marino: 23 cases, 1 death, Denmark: 23 cases, Lebanon, Palestine: 22 cases, Grand Princess, Israel: 21 cases. Portugal: 20 cases, Czechia: 19 cases, Ireland, Vietnam: 18 cases, Algeria: 17, Oman: 16. Egypt, Finland: 15 cases. Brazil, Ecuador, Russia: 13 cases, Croatia: 12. Estonia, Macau, 10 cases. Argentina, Azerbaijan, Romania: 9 cases. Qatar: 8 cases, Slovenia: 7 cases.Belarus, Mexico, Pakistan Philippines: 6 cases. New Zealand, French Guiana, Poland, Saudi Arabia: 5 cases. Chile, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Senegal with 4 cases. Bosnia Herzegovina, Malta, North Macedonia, Saint Barthelemy: 3 cases. Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Maldives, Martinique, Morocco, South Africa: 2 cases. Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay,Peru, Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

Italy puts around 16 million people in lockdown in Lombarday and other northern provinces.

Russia declines to cut oil production, starting a price war with Saudi Arabia..

The Grand Princess will dock at Oakland, California.

North Korea begins evacuating foreign diplomats for Vladivostok in russia.

Egypt confirms 45 people on a Nile cruise have been affected by the virus with 34 testing postive. They have been taken to a hospital in the western desert. Crowds gather at the Health Minstry in Cairo to be tested before going abroad as labour.

Bahrain bans spectators from the F1 race.

Saudi Arabia puts about half a million people in lockdown.

Brunei, Burkina Faso, Channel Islands, Cyprus, flag their first cases

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


March 7

As of 1 pm today, 101.917 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,483 and 57,375 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,651 with 3,070 dead, South Korea: 6,593 with 42 dead, Iran: 4,747 with 124 dead, Italy 4,636 with 197 dead, Diamond Princess: 706 with 6 dead, Germany: 670 cases,  France 653 cases with 7 dead, Japan: 420 with 6 dead, Spain 400, 3 dead, USA 317 cases, 20 dead, Switzerland: 214, one dead, Britain: 163 cases, two dead, Singapore: 130 cases, Netherlands: 128 cases, Belgium 109 cases, Norway 108 cases, Hong Kong: 107 cases, two dead, Sweden: 101 cases, Malaysia: 83 cases, one death, Australia Bahrain:  60 cases, two dead, Kuwait: 58 cases. Greece 45 cases, Iceland: 43, Thailand: 48 cases, one death, Taiwan: 45 cases with 1 death, Iceland: 43, Austria: 41 cases, Canada: 37, Iraq: 40, two deaths, India 31, UAE: 29, Denmark: 23 cases, Lebanon: 22 cases, Grand Princess, Israel, San Marino: 21 cases, 1 death, Czechia, Ireland: 18, Algeria: 17, Oman,  Vietnam: 16 cases, Egypt, Finland: 15 cases, Ecuador: 13 cases, Croatia: 11. Estonia, Macau, 10 cases. Romania: 9 cases. Qatar: 8 cases, Slovenia: 7 cases. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Mexico, Pakistan: 6 cases. Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia: 5 cases. Chile, Georgia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Senegal with 4 cases. North Macedonia, Saint Barthelemy: 3 cases. Argentina, Bosnia Herzegovina, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Morocco: 2 cases.Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vatican City all have one case.

The Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhouin, the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian collapses just after 7pm, according to Mnw.cn, an online news site operated by the official Fujian Daily. Around 70 people were in the hotel when it fell. Almost half of them were rescued within a few hours.

Music fest South by Southwest is cancelled

Albania, Bangladesh flag their first cases.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


March 6

.As of 11 am today, 98.041 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,349 and 53,827people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,426 with 3,012 dead, South Korea: 6,088 with 40 dead, Italy 3,858 with 148 dead, Iran: 3,513 with 107 dead, Diamond Princess: 706 with 6 dead France 423 cases with 7 dead, Germany: 349 cases,  Japan: 330 with 6 dead, Spain 282, one dead, USA 230 cases, 20 dead, Switzerland: 119, one dead, Singapore: 117 cases, Britain: 116 cases, one dead, Hong Kong: 105 cases, two dead, Sweden: 94 cases, Norway 56, Netherlands: 82, Kuwait: 58 cases, Bahrain: 55, Australia: 55 cases, two dead, Malaysia: 50 cases, one death, Belgium 50 cases, Thailand: 47 cases, one death, Taiwan: 44 cases with 1 death, Austria: 41 cases, Canada: 37, Iraq: 35, two deaths, Iceland: 34, Greece 31cases, India: 30, UAE: 29 cases, San Marino: 21 cases, 1 death. Israel: 16 cases, Lebanon: 16 cases, Oman: 16 cases, Vietnam: 16 cases, Ecuador: 13 cases. With 12 cases: Algeria, Czechia, Finland. With 10 cases: Croatia, Denmark, Macau. With eight cases: Portugal,  Qatar. With six cases: Belarus, Ireland, Romania. With five cases: Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. With four cases: Brazil, Chile, Georgia, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Senegal. With three cases:  Azerbaijan, Egypt, Estonia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Saint Barthelemy, Slovenia. Two cases: Hungary, Indonesia, Morocco. One case: Afghanistan, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Faroe Island, Gibraltar, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nepal, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Hong Kong confirms that a dog has caught covid-19 from its owner. 

Global infections hit the 100,000 mark.

Projections of deaths and rates of infection vary wildly.

Italy's Serie A football league is due to return this weekend.

Speaking during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) main campus in Atlanta, Georgia, US President Donald Trump took a swipe at Washington state's governor, Jay Inslee, calling him "a snake", and walking back his vice presidents compliment for Inslee, who is overseeing the response to the most serious outbreak in the US. Trump also remarked that he would prefer passengers, who had been exposed to the virus, on the Grand Princess to remain onboard, so that they don't add to the US national infection total. And even though health authorities in the country have said there is a huge deficit of test kits, Trump implied that anyone who wanted a test would be able to have one.

VP Mike Pence says at the Whitehouse that 21 people aboard the Grand Princess are infected. He says the cruise ship will be taken to a non-commercial port where those aboard can be tested and quarantined as needed.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

 Bulgaria, French Guiana, Maldives Malta, Moldova, Paraguay flag their first confirmed cases.  The infection from Vatican City was not the pope.


March 5

As of 11 am today, 95,266 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,283 and 52.898 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,409 with 2,3012 dead, South Korea: 5,766 with 35 dead, Italy 3,089 with 107 dead, Iran: 2,922 with 92 dead, Diamond Princess: 705 with 6 dead, Japan: 331 with 6 dead, France 285 cases with 4 dead, Germany: 262 cases, Spain 222, one dead, USA 157 cases, 9 dead, Singapore: 112 cases, Hong Kong: 105 cases, two dead, Switzerland: 90, Britain: 87 cases, Norway 56, Kuwait: 56 cases, Australia: 52 cases, Bahrain: 52, Malaysia: 50 cases, one death, Thailand: 43 cases, one death,  Taiwan: 42 cases with 1 death, Netherlands: 38, Iraq: 35, Sweden: 35 cases, Canada: 33, Austria: 29, India: 28, UAE: 27 cases, Iceland: 26, Belgium 23 cases, San Marino: 16 cases, 1 death. Vietnam: 16 cases, Israel: 15 cases, Oman: 15, Lebanon: 13,  Algeria: 12 cases, Croatia: 10 cases, Denmark 10 cases, Ecuador: 10 cases, Macau: 10 cases, Greece 9 cases. With eight cases each: Czechia, Qatar, With six cases: Belarus, Finland, Ireland, With five cases: Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal5. With four cases: Brazil, Romania, Senegal. With three cases:  Azerbaijan, Georgia, Philippines, Russia, Saint Barthelemy. Two cases: Egypt, Estonia, Hungary, Indonesia. One case: Afghanistan, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Cambodia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Faroe Island, Gibraltar,  Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine.

A Hong Kong pet dog has tested 'weakly positive' in swab test, but a government health advisor said it would take a blood test to confirm it.

The coronavirus has evolved into two major types, with differing transmission rates and geographical distribution, according to a study published in the National Science Review on Tuesday.

A group of Chinese scientists analysed 103 coronavirus genomes and identified mutations in 149 sites across the strains.

They found that one type, which they called the L type, was more prevalent than the other, the S type, meaning it was more infectious. They also found that the L type had evolved from the S type, and that the L type was far more widespread before January 7 and in Wuhan, ground zero of the outbreak.

Bhutan,  Colombia, Cameroon, Peru, Serbia, Slovakia, Togo, Vatican City flag their first confirmed cases.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


March 4

As of 11 am today, 92,818  people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,160 and 48,226 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,151 with 2,943 dead, South Korea: 5,186 with 31 dead, Iran: 2,336 with 77 dead, Italy 2,036 with 52 dead, Diamond Princess: 705 with 6 dead, Japan: 284 with 6 dead, France 204 cases with 4 dead, Germany: 188 cases, Spain 150, one dead,  Singapore: 110 cases, USA 103 cases, 9 dead, Hong Kong: 100 cases, two dead, Kuwait: 56 cases, Britain: 51 cases, Bahrain: 47,  Thailand: 43 cases, one death,  Taiwan: 42 cases with 1 death, Switzerland: 42, Malaysia: 36 cases, Australia: 33 cases, one death,  Canada: 27, Norway 25, Sweden: 24 cases, Iraq: 21, UAE: 21 cases, Austria: 18, Netherlands: 18, Vietnam: 16 cases, Oman: 12, Macau: 10 cases, Israel: 10 cases, Lebanon: 10 cases, San Marino: 10 cases, Belgium 8 cases, Croatia: 7 cases, Greece 7 cases, Ecuador: 6, Finland: 6 cases, India: 6, Russia: 6 cases, Algeria: 5, Czechia: 5 cases, Mexico: 5 cases, Pakistan: 5 cases, Denmark 4 cases, Azerbaijan: 3 cases, Georgia: 3 cases, Iceland: 3, Philippines: 3 cases, one dead, Qatar: 3, Romania: 3 cases, Belarus 2 cases, Brazil 2 cases, Egypt: 2, Indonesia: 2, Portugal: 2, Senegal: 2, Single cases: Afghanistan,  Andorra, Armenia, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Scientists in China say the virus has mutated into two different strains, making finding a cure more difficult. The deadlier strain is the one circulating the globe and scientists say its aggression could mean that it won't survive too long as infected people seek medical attention and many die.

Japan says the Olympic games are in doubt.

Cruise ship Grand Princess is anchored off California, its journey interrupted by the fact that a previous passenger has tested positive. Several crew and passengers are showing symptoms. Test kits are flown out to the ship.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Bosnia Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Martinique Palestine, South Africa all flag their first cases.


March 3

As of 11 am today, 90,912 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,117 and 47,997 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 80,151 with 2,943 dead, South Korea: 4,812 with 29 dead, Italy 2,036 with 52 dead, Iran: 1,501 with 66 dead, Diamond Princess: 705 with 6 dead, Japan: 274 with 6 dead, France 191 cases with 3 dead, Germany: 157 cases, Spain 119,  Singapore:108 cases, Hong Kong: 100 cases, two dead, USA 91 cases, 6 dead, Kuwait: 56 cases, Bahrain: 47, Thailand: 43 cases, one death, Switzerland: 42, Taiwan: 41 cases with 1 death, Britain: 40 cases. Australia: 30 cases, one death, Malaysia: 29 cases, Canada: 27, Norway 25, Iraq: 21, UAE: 21 cases, Austria: 18, Netherlands: 18, Vietnam: 16 cases, Sweden: 15 cases, Macau: 10 cases, Israel: 10 cases, Lebanon: 10 cases, Belgium 8 cases, San Marino: 8 cases, Croatia: 7 cases, Greece 7 cases, Ecuador: 6, Finland: 6 cases, India: 6, Oman: 6, Russia: 6 cases, Algeria: 5, Mexico: 5 cases, Pakistan: 5 cases, Denmark 4 cases, Azerbaijan: 3 cases, Czechia: 3 cases, Georgia: 3 cases, Iceland: 3, Philippines: 3 cases, one dead, Qatar: 3, Romania: 3 cases, Belarus 2 cases, Brazil 2 cases, Egypt: 2, Indonesia: 2, Portugal: 2, Single cases: Afghanistan,  Andorra, Armenia, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia.

The Pope is declared negative for Covid-19.

US President Donald Trump says he will donate a quarter of his salary to virus research.

Hong Kong's leader, Carry Lam Yuet-ngor Hong Kong’s leader does not deny reports that she sent a letter to Beijing complaining about her “unsatisfactory” cabinet and saying the coronavirus outbreak could be spun to the government’s advantage.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Faeroe Islands, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, signal their first infections.


March 2

As of 8:30 am today, 88,227 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 3,006 and 41,997 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 79,824 with 2,870 dead, South Korea: 3,736 with 20 dead, Italy 1,694 with 34 dead, Iran: 978 with 54 dead, Diamond Princess: 705 with 6 dead, Japan: 256 with 12 dead, France 130 cases with two dead,  Singapore:106 cases, Hong Kong: 96 cases, two dead, USA 74 cases, one dead, Spain: 71 cases, Germany: 66 cases, Kuwait: 45 cases, Thailand: 42 cases, one death, Taiwan: 40 cases with 1 death, Bahrain: 38 cases, Britain: 35 cases, one death. Malaysia: 29 cases, Australia: 24 cases, one death, UAE: 21 cases, Canada: 20 cases, Iraq: 19 cases, Norway 19, Vietnam: 16 cases, Sweden: 15 cases, Macau: 10 cases, Netherlands: 10, Switzerland: 10 cases, Croatia: 7 cases, Greece 7 cases, Lebanon: 7 cases, Finland: 6 cases, Oman: 6, Austria: 5 cases, Israel: 5 cases, Russia: 5 cases, Mexico: 4 cases, Pakistan: 4 cases, Czechia: 3, India: 3 cases, Philippines: 3 cases, one dead, Romania: 3 cases, Belarus 2 cases, Belgium 2 cases, Brazil 2 cases, Denmark 2 cases, Georgia: 2 cases,  1 confirmed case: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Monaco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Qatar, San Marino, Sri Lanka.

Lee Man-hee, the leaders of the Shincheonji sect responsible for more than half of South Korea's 4,000 plus infections has apologised. The 88-year-old said the infections were not intentional.

US President Donald Trump demands a vaccine in a few months, only to be told by Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top epidemiologist that it could take a year, to 18 months to pass trials.

Ma Jianguo, 23, is sentenced to death for stabbing two officials to death at a rodblock in Yunnan Province when they filmed him taking down a road block so that he could drive his van through.

Dr Zhang Junjian, the director of the temporary hospital set up in an exhibition centre in Wuhan says although his staff has a very heavy work load they should be able to wrap up operations by the end of the month.

France shuts the Louvre and bans public gatherings larger than 5,000.

Argentina, Chile, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Ukraine, report their first cases.


March 1

The Pope announces he as a cold, which has forced him to miss the annoual Lenten spiritual retreat with senior Vatican officials near Rome. The Vatican has dismissed speculation of any link to the coronavirus.

Researchers in the US claim that the virus may have been circulating in Washington State for six weeks before it was detected.

Andorra, Chile, Indonesia, Latvia, Morocco, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia report their first cases.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 29

As of noon today,85,176 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 2,923 and 39,426 people have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 79,251 with 2,835 dead, South Korea: 2,931 with 16 dead, Italy 888 with 21 dead, Diamond Princess: 705 with 6 dead,  Iran: 388 with 34 dead, Japan: 235 with 5 dead,  Singapore: 98 cases, Hong Kong: 94 cases, two dead, USA 60 cases, France 57 cases with two dead, Germany: 53 cases, Kuwait: 45 cases, Thailand: 41 cases, Bahrain: 36 cases, Taiwan: 34 cases with 1 death. Spain: 32 cases, Malaysia: 25 cases, Australia: 24 cases, Britain: 20 cases, UAE: 19 cases, Vietnam: 16 cases, Canada: 14 cases, Macau: 10 cases, Iraq: 8 cases, Sweden: 7 cases, Oman: 6, Croatia: 5 cases, Russia: 5 case, Switzerland: 5 case, Greece: 4 case, Israel: 4 cases, India: 3 cases, Lebanon: 3 cases, Philippines: 3 cases, one dead, Romania: 3 cases, Austria: 2 cases, Finland: 2 cases, Georgia: 2 cases, Mexico: 2 cases, Netherlands: 2, Pakistan: 2 case. 1 confirmed case: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Monaco, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Sri Lanka.

Google restricts staff travel and discovers an employee in its Zurich office is infected.

ArmeniaCzechia,  Dominican Republic, St Barth, Saint Martin all report their first cases.


February 28

As of 8am today, 82,731 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 2,814 and 33,276 have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 78,498 with 2,744 deaths, South Korea: 1,766 with 13 deaths, Diamond Princess: 705 with four dead, Italy 655 with 17 deaths, Iran: 245 with 26 deaths, Japan: 189 with 4 deaths,  Singapore: 93 cases only, Hong Kong: 91 with two deaths, USA 60 cases only, Germany: 46 cases only, Kuwait: 43 cases only, Thailand: 40 cases only, France 38 with two deaths, Bahrain: 33 cases only, Taiwan: 32 with 1 death. Australia: 23 cases only, Malaysia: 22 cases only,  Vietnam: 16 cases only, Britain: 15 cases only, Spain: 15 cases only, Canada: 13 cases only, UAE: 13 cases only, Macau: 10 cases only, Switzerland: 8 case only, Iraq: 7 cases only, Sweden: 7 cases only, Oman: 4 cases only, Austria: 3 cases only, Croatia: 3 cases only, Greece: 3 case only, India: 3 cases only, Israel: 3 cases only, Philippines: 3 with one death,  Finland: 2 cases only, Lebanon: 2 cases only, Pakistan: 2 cases only, Russia: 2 cases only, Afghanistan: 1 case only,  Algeria: 1 case only, Belgium: 1 case only, Brazil 1 case only, Cambodia: 1 case only, Denmark: 1 case only, Egypt: 1 case only, Estonia: 1 case only, Georgia: 1 case only, Nepal: 1 case only, Netherlands: 1 case only, North Macedonia: 1 case only, Norway: one cae only, Romania: 1 case only, San Marino: 1 case only, Sri Lanka: 1 case only.

China introduces more controls in Beijing where authorities announce that supermarkets must allow an average of two square metres per customer. The move limits the number of people in a shop at any given times but forces shoppers to queue outside.  The city as also clamped down on the number of visitors to its parks. Ten of the capital’s top parks, including the historic Summer Palace, will cap the number of visitors at any given time to 30 percent of their maximum capacity, said Xinhua. Cinemas in the city are allowed to re-open but must sell “non-adjacent tickets” in every other row. Stores and restaurants have to slash three hours off their operating hours. The restrictions and cuts come at a time when the cost of doing business is increased and there are far fewer customers around.

K-pop superstar group BTS cancels a series of planned concerts in Seoul in April due to concerns about a soaring viral outbreak in South Korea.

Hong Kong authorities say the they quarantined a pet dog after nasal and oral samples tested positive. The dog did not have any symptoms. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said it will conduct further tests to confirm if the dog had been infected with the virus or if the samples were only the result of environmental contamination. The incident set off a firestorm online of people concerned that this will encourage owners to abandon their pets.

Tokyo Disney closes for two weeks.

In Mexico, some 5,600 people are being held in the port of Cozumel while being checked out for the virus. The MSC Meraviglia docked on Cozumel siland after being turned away at two previous destinations, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, because a crew member and a tourist had been diagnosed with flu.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Qatar, Ireland, Ecuador, Luxemborg, report their first cases.


February 27

As of 8am today, 81,260 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 2,770 and 30,006 have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 78,064 with 2,715 deaths, South Korea: 1,262 with 12 deaths, Diamond Princess: 691 with four dead. Italy 374 with 12 deaths, Japan: 171 with two death, Iran: 139 with 19 deaths, Singapore: 93 cases only, Hong Kong: 91 with two deaths, USA 60 cases only, Thailand: 40 cases only, Bahrain: 33 cases only, Taiwan: 31 with 1 death. Australia: 23 cases only, Malaysia: 22 cases only, France 18 with two deaths, Germany: 18 cases only, Kuwait: 18 cases only, Vietnam: 16 cases only, Britain: 13 cases only, UAE: 13 cases only, Macau: 10 cases only, Canada: 10 cases only,  Spain: 8 cases only, Iraq: 5 cases, cases only, Philippines: 3 with one death, Croatia: 3 cases only, India: 3 cases only,  Austria: 2 cases only, Finland: 1 case only,. Israel: 2 casse only, Oman: 2 cases only, Pakistan: 2 cases only, Russia: 2 cases only, Sweden: 2 cases only, Afghanistan: 1 case only,  Algeria: 1 case only, Belgium: 1 case only, Brazil 1 case only, Cambodia: 1 case only, Egypt: 1 case only, Georgia: 1 case only, Greece: one case only,  Lebanon: 1 case only, Nepal: 1 case only, North Macedonia: 1 case only, Norway: one cae only, Romania: 1 case only, Sri Lanka: 1 case only, Switzerland: 1 case only.

Denmark confirms its first case in a man returning from holiday in Italy. Estonia reports its first case after a resident who returned to the Baltic state from his homeland, Iran. 

Saudi Arabia halts travel to Islam's holiest site, just months ahead of the annual hajj, stopping all foreigners from reaching Mecca and the Kaaba.

Another cruise ship, MS Braemar, is suspected of carrying infected crew and passangers. The vessel docked in the Dominican Republic after a two-week cruise, with 1,500 on board. But no one was allowed to disembark after four Filipinos, two Americans and two Brits were found to have a fever and flu-like symptoms.

A woman in Japan who had Covid-19 and recovered has tested positive again. Japan closes its schools until the end of March.

The US and South Korean militaries announce they are postponing forthcoming joint exercises.

Italy urges tourists not to stay away, saying it is managing the outbreak, but a sharp rise in case numbers did not help their case. By the end of today, 528 infections have been confirmed and 14 deaths. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio condemns “false reports circulating abroad” about panic in the country, saying they were doing “more damage” than the virus itself. “If schools are open, if our children are going to school, tourists and business people can come,” 

Australia decides to consider the outbreak a pandemic, going a step beyond WHO. Australian universities are offering Chinese students stranded in their homeland travel money and discounted tuition and the largest campus delayed the start of the academic year, trying to keep their lucrative enrollments amid a viral epidemic.

Bruce Aylward, leader of a joint WHO-China mission of experts, also warns other nations are “simply not ready” to contain the outbreak.

In Europe, countries neighbouring Italy decide to keep their borders open despite the spread of the virus to Tuscany, Sicily and Liguria. But several governments encourage their nationals to postpone trips.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
Photo: Reuters

The United Nations says quarantines must be "proportionate" and respect the rights of those in isolation. UN Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet hailed the medical teams around the world working to rein in the COVID-19 outbreak. But she said that respect for human rights needed to guide the response.“All public health measures should be carried out without discrimination of any kind,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. “Quarantines which restrict the right to freedom of movement should be proportionate to the risk, time-bound and safe,” she said. “The rights of those under quarantine must be protected, including rights to food and clean water, the right to be treated humanely, access to health care, the right to be informed and freedom of expression.”

UN health chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus implores the world to act now to stop the virus from spiralling out of control.

Pope Francis, 83, is said to be suffering from a "mild ailment".

The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which neighbours Hong Kong, bans consumption of cats and dogs. Draft regulations puts nine permitted meats on a "white list" with all other meats being banned. The list includes pork, shepp/goats, beef and chicken, duck and goose along with donkey, rabbit, fish and seafood, but excludes snakes, turtles and frogs.

Taiwan authorities accuse mainland Chinese internet trolls of sowing panic over the coronavirus outbreak, with much of the disinformation falsely implying the island has an out of control epidemic. Police say they are investigating a surge of stories spreading online and through social media claiming President Tsai Ing-wen’s government was trying to cover up an outbreak.

China’s winter football transfer window looks poised to close with a whimper on Friday, with Chinese Super League clubs spending just EUR28 million so far, the lowest since 2011. A double blow of the coronavirus and a new salary cap has seen the bottom fall out of China's football’s transfer market, while Odion Ighalo led what could become an exodus of foreign stars. Wages are now capped at EUR3 million a year, and the Chinese Super League on hold over the coronavirus outbreak.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria report their first cases.


February 26

As of 8am today, 80,413 people are infected with Covid-19. Deaths are 2,711 and 27,476 have recovered. The area tallies are as follows:

Mainland China, 77,660 with 2,663 deaths, South Korea: 977 with 11 deaths. Diamond Princess: 691 with four dead. Italy 322 with seven deaths, Japan: 70 with one death, Iran: 95 with 16 deaths, Singapore: 91, zero deaths, Hong Kong: 85 with two deaths, USA 53 with zero deaths, Thailand: 37 with zero deaths, Taiwan: 31 with 1 death. Australia: 23 with zero deaths, Malaysia: 22 with zero deaths, Germany: 18 with zero deaths, Vietnam: 16 with zero deaths, France 14 with one death, Britain: 13 with zero deaths, UAE: 13 with zero deaths, Macau: 10 with zero deaths, Canada: 10, with zero deaths, Bahrain: 8  with zero deaths, Kuwait: 9 with zero deaths, Iraq: 5 cases, zero deaths, Philippines: 3 with one death, India: 3 cases only,  Spain: 3 cases only, Austria: 2 cases, zero deaths, Oman: 2 cases only, Russia: 2 cases only, Afghanistan: 1 case only,  Algeria: 1 case only, Belgium: 1 case only, Cambodia: 1 case only, Egypt: 1 case only, Finland: 1 case only. Israel: 1 case only, Lebanon: 1 case only, Nepal: 1 case only, Sri Lanka: 1 case only, Sweden: 1 case only, Switzerland: 1 case only..

South Korea reports 169 new infections over night, and one more death. Authorities start checks on more than 200,000 members of the Shincheonji religious sect.

Cambodia offers tourists special deals to visit Angkor temple park.

Pope Francis, 83, is seen blowing his nose and coughing during the Ash Wednesday service. His voice sounds hoarse.  He celebrates morning mass as usual, greeting participants at the end, but clears his diary of everything apart from meetings at the Vatican. The pope has not dialed back any of his activities which often involve mingling with crowds and shaking hands. He lost part of a lung as a young man, and although he suffers from sciatica he very rarely misses appointments.

Japan's health minister Katsunobu Kato says dozens of people allowed to disembark from the cruise ship Diamond Princess have symptoms. Japan's Olympics boss, Toshiro Muto says there is no plan to scrap the summer Olympics due to be held in Tokyo. "We have not thought about it," he says. The Davis Cup match against Equador, however, will be played behind closed doors next week.

San Francisco mayor London Breed declares a state of emergency in the city, even though there are no confirmed cases. "We need to step-up preparedness," he says in statement. Hours later, San Fracnisco registers its first case.

US President Donald Trump addresses the nation on the virus saying "There's a chance it won't spread".  Minutes later, California confirmed a new case that might be the first instance of a non-travel related infection. Previously all cases in the US were imported from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and two people who had close contact with them. The case in San Francisco had not been on the ship nor travelled to China and was not exposed to someone who was infected. Trump taps Vice-president Mike Pence to be is virus czar.

Medical workers in China are being infected at a high rate, but others are dying from exhaustionThey include Song Yingjie, a 28-year-old pharmacist, who was single-handedly managing his hospital’s medicine prescriptions, then checking temperatures at a highway stop at night. He worked until midnight on February 2, standing on the roadside in freezing wind, according to a colleague who was with him. It was his 10th consecutive day on the virus response team. He was found dead in his hospital dormitory the next afternoon. The cause was cardiac arrest from exhaustion. Another was Wang Tucheng, 37, a village doctor in Henan’s Xinwangzhuang village who was found dead on February 10 in his clinic. His diagnosis was also cardiac arrest due to overwork and fatigue. In Nanjing, Xu Hui, leader of a hospital’s virus control group, worked for 18 days straight, then went home after a meeting on February 6, “lay down and never got up,” according to state media. She was 51. Exhaustion is one reason medical workers have high vulnerability to infection, said John Nicholls, a Hong Kong University pathologist who worked on the 2003 SARS outbreak (he never saw deaths from overwork during SARS, though). Others include lack of training in personal protective equipment, contaminated surfaces, close contact with sick patients, and — perhaps most pertinent to China’s situation — people operating outside their area of expertise.

Speaking at a news conference organized by China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO), Du Hangwei, vice minister of China’s public security bureau, says many local officers had implemented anti-virus measures which, while effective, had prevented people from leaving compounds or even going downstairs. Du describes these measures as “excessive enforcement, simplistic enforcement, crude enforcement”. He adds that the relevant departments have demanded local security bureaus rectify such enforcement measures. Over the past several weeks, media reports have surfaced in China showing police violently breaking up small gatherings, or physically threatening individuals who do not wear facemasks.

Denmart, Estonia, San Marino, Netherlands confirm their first cases. 


February 25

As of 9am today, 79,571 are infected with Covid-19. Some 2,630 people have died and 25,948 have recovered.

Mainland China, 77,658 with 2,663 deaths, Japan: 838 with four deaths, South Korea: 833 with eight death, Italy 229 with seven deaths, Singapore: 90, zero deaths, Hong Kong: 81 with two deaths, Iran: 47 with 12 deaths, Thailand: 35 with zero deaths, US: 35 with zero deaths, Australia: 23 with zero deaths, Malaysia: 22 with zero deaths, Germany: 16 with zero deaths, Vietnam: 16 with zero deaths, Britain: 13 with zero deaths, France 12 with one death, UAE: 11 with zero deaths, Macau: 10 with zero deaths, Canada: 10, with zero deaths, Philippines: 3 with one death, India:3 cases only, Kuwait: 3 cases only, Spain: 3 cases only, Oman: 2 cases only, Russia: 2 cases only, Afghanistan: 1 case only, Bahrain: 1 case only, Belgium: 1 case only, Cambodia: 1 case only, Egypt: 1 case only, Finland: 1 case only. Israel: 1 case only, Kuwait: 1 case only., Lebanon: 1 case only, Nepal: 1 case only, Sri Lanka: 1 case only, Sweden: 1 case only.

Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Afghanistan record their first cases. Brazil flags possible case which, if confirmed, would be the first case in South America.Algeria reports its first case, a man who arrived from Italy. Romania reports first case. Norway, Greece, North Macedonia, Georgia and Pakistan all report first cases. A hotel in Tenerife with 1,000 guests is placed in quarantine after coronavirus is confirmed.

Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi (L) wipes the sweat off his face, during a press conference with the Islamic republic's government spokesman Ali Rabiei in the capital Tehran on February 24.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

Local officials in Iran says death toll stands at 50, raising concerns of a cover-up and whether the country will be able to cope with the crisis. Calls for US to ease restrictions to allow China and other Tehran-friendly countries to provide emergency aid. Iran's Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who heads the taskforce to combat the virus, admits that he has tested positive.

Shanghai companies begin production of face masks that can be reused up to 10 times  The new KN95 masks, which are not yet for sale, are said to have high air permeability and to be waterproof. Manufacturers Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Committee say the mask can maintain its filtering ability after being disinfected multiple times. The factories are now making 100,000 masks per day, and output is expected to reach 300,000 per day on Friday. They will be priced at 15 to 25 yuan (US$2.14 to $3.56).

Hong Kong announces that school suspensions will continue until at least April 20.

More than 400 Filipinos from the cruise ship MV Diamond Princess will head back to the Philippines.

Snippet of humanity

The death of Wuhan front-line nurse Liu Fan, 49, is a diary of how cruel and ravenous the virus is. Liu’s brother, Chang Kai, a film director, wrote a final letter describing what had happened to his family. All four were infected with the virus after being quarantined at home in close quarters. Unable to get a hospital bed amid Wuhan’s shortage, Chang’s father died at home on Feb. 3. His mother died Feb. 8. Addressing his son in London, Chang’s letter reads: “I went to hospitals begging and weeping, but I am too low and insignificant. … All my life I’ve been a faithful son, a responsible father, a loving husband, an honest person. Farewell! To those I love and those who love me.” Chang died on February 14; Liu hours later. 


February 24

As of 7 am today, 78,979 people are infected with Covid-19. Some 2,468 have died and 23,385 recovered. Hot spots include Iran:43, Japan: 838 and South Korea: 602.

China postpones top annual political meetings amid coronavirus epidemic. No new date is set for NPC and CPPCC gatherings. Many of the delegates are local officials and ‘need to focus on fighting disease’

Wall Street plunges on coronavirus pandemic fears after surge in cases outside China. Dow drops more than 1,000 points, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq also reporting large percentage declines.

Austria has blocked all trains from crossing into the country from Italy. 

Even though the Carnival in Venice has been cancelled, tourists still like to dress up for selfies, like this one in front of the Bridge of Sighs.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

In Italy, the Venice Carnival is cancelled as is the Armani fashion show. Italy has recorded three deaths so far.

China eases quarantine restrictions slightly in Wuhan. The city has been in lockdown since January 23. Non-residents may leave if they show no symptoms of the virus and have not had any contact with patients. People with special reason to leave the city may also leave. Departures will be staggered and people need to apply through local authorities before they go.Three hours later the decision is reversed when China's death toll figures for Sunday are released, showing a 55 per cent increase. Guangdong, which neighbours Hong Kong, has been the second worst-hit province after Hubei, with 1,345 confirmed cases of infection and six deaths lowers its alert level.

The Overwatch League announces it is postponing three weeks’ worth of scheduled matches in Seoul. The league previously postponed matches scheduled for three cities in China this month and rescheduled them for March in Seoul. Those matches, along with previously scheduled home dates for the Seoul Dynasty, have now been postponed. This is the first year for OWL’s unprecedented global schedule including host matches for its 20 city-based franchises in Asia, North America and Europe. The Dynasty are the only franchise based in esports-obsessed South Korea. The team had planned to host matches spanning March 7-22 at the landmark Dongdaemun Design Plaza. The next Overwatch League matches scheduled in Seoul are May 9-10. 


February 23

As of 9 am today, 78,620 people are confrimed positive for Covid-19. Of those, 76,926 are in mainland China, 433 in South Korea, 122 in Japan, 85 in Singapore, 79 in Italy, 69 in Hong Kong, 35 in Thailand, 35 in the US, 28 in Taiwan and 28 in Iran. Some 2,634 people have died and 28,937 have recovered.

A dramatic surge in untraceable cases suggests that the virus has spread too widely to be contained and stamped out, experts say. The newest red flag is the cluster of 28 cases in Iran, where five people have died. The WHO has not yet officially called it a pandemic.

Iran's death toll reaches eight, the highests outside mainland China, and its neighbours impose travel bans.

South Korea raises its virus alert level to "red" to strengthen the government's response.

China's President Xi Jinping said the epidemic was the “largest public health emergency” since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. 

 


February 22

As of 11am today, 77,659 people are  infected with the coronavirus, 2,360 have died and 20,856 have recovered. Of those, 76,288 in mainland China, 204 in South Korea, 105 in Japan, 85 in Singapore, 68 in Hong Kong and 18 in Iran.

A patient in China who had the virus, and was allowed to go home after two negative tests, immediately went into self isolation, and tested positive 10 days later.

By 5 pm, South Korea's reported cases stand at 433.

The area of Lombardy in Italy is locked down as two people die, infections skyrockets to more than 30. Italy starts work on a field hospital.

Four districts in Harbin, China are put on lockdown.  Xiang Nijuan, a researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, says in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, that people could be infectious two days before they show symptoms of the disease. 


February 21

As of 8.30 am, 76,200 people globally are currently infected with the coronavirus. Some 18,122 have recovered and 2,247 have died. 

The global breakdown of cases is as follows:

Mainland China: 75,000, Others (mostly from the Diamond Princess): 634, South Korea: 104, Japan: 94, Singapore: 84, Hong Kong: 68, Thailand: 35, Taiwan: 24, Malaysia: 22, Germany: 16, Vietnam: 16, Australia: 15, USA: 15, France: 12, Macau: 10. UAE: 9, UK: 9, Canada: 8, Iran: 5, Italy: 3, Philippines: 3, India: 3, Russia: 2, Spain: 2, Nepal: 1. Cambodia: 1, Belgium: 1, Finland: 1, Sweden: 1, Egypt: 1, Sri Lanka: 1, Israel 1.

Peng Yinhua, 29, a doctor on the frontlines in Wuhan, who delayed his wedding to fight the virus, dies. He worked at  Jiangxia district’s First People’s Hospital, where he took ill. He was admitted to hospital on January 25. A 17 day old girl in China recovers without medication after being born positive.

Scientists at Greffex, a Houston, Texas-based genetic engineering company, claim they've created a coronavirus vaccine and it is ready for animal testing and review by US regulators. 

Israel flags its first confrimed case, a patient from the Diamond Princess.

Lebanon flags its first confirmed case - a woman, 45, who travelled from Qom in Iran.

Italy flags its first death from Covid-19, a 78 year old man.

In China, pockets of infection are found in prisons. The Wuhan Women's Prison reports 230 cases. The warden has been fired. Seven guards and 200 inmates tested positive in Rencheng prison in eastern Shandong province. The head of Shandong's justice deaprtment is sacked along with two other provincial prison administration officials and five officials from the actual prison. Shelifeng prison in Zhejiang province reported  32 cases. One of its directors and another official are fired. Members of China’s Uighur minority living in exile have also warned of the risk of the coronavirus spreading in internment camps, where rights groups say more than one million people have been rounded up by authorities.

Workers inspect surgical masks in a factory in Hong Kong. Faced with shortages in the midst of a virus outbreak, Hong Kongers have started making their own face masks, from professional factories to seamstresses churning out coverings on sewing machines.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

In Hong Kong, where face masks are in very short supply, people are finding alternatives, from rigging their own out of handkerchiefs, to sewing resuables and even importing the machinery to start production. A set of 50 simple surgical masks can sell for up to HK$300 (US$40), while the top of the range N95 variety is going for as high as HK$1,800 a box. A film director surnamed Tong was this week putting the finishing touches to a face mask assembly line in an industrial building. “I was shocked by the price of face masks,” he told AFP“I did some research and realised that masks are not that difficult to make. Why do people have to bear such a high cost? Because there is no production line in Hong Kong”. With the help of an investor he managed to import a machine from India, and plans to ship more. Currently in the testing phase, the device will produce 60-80 surgical masks per minute from Saturday in a dust-free room. Tong said the masks will be sold online for HK$1-2 each, limited to one box per person. 

Some 59 Hong Kong police officers are quarantined after a banquet with an infected colleague. Some protesters celebrate on the city streets, by offering passers-by Corona beers. Social media is inundated with messages from people vowing to drink champagne after month of acrimonious protests wracked the city.

In Bacalod, in the Philippines, 230 couples are wed in a mass marriage ceremony, where everyone, including the couples, had to wear masks.

Two Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship test positive at home, after being cleared in Japan. The nightmare of a 14-day quarantine is ending for most passengers on the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship, but it is far from over for the more than 1,000 crew. While passengers on board were confined to their cabins around the clock apart from an hour of fresh air on deck, most crew did not undergo quarantine as they were needed to keep the ship running. They were preparing food and delivering meals to cabins, leading some critics to charge they were inadvertently spreading the virus throughout the ship, which has seen more than 600 cases of the potentially deadly COVID-19 disease. As they have been in close contact with possibly infected passengers, the crew is expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine starting when the last passenger leaves the ship. 

In South Korea, health officials use bike-mounted guns to spay disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

A church whose leader claims he is an angel of Jesus has become the biggest cluster of viral infections in South Korea, where a surge in new cases raises fears that the outbreak is getting out of control. A total of 110 cases of the new virus, including the country’s first death, have been found in the southeast city of Daegju and nearby areas since Wednesday. Of those, about 70% have been linked to a Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, where two recent services were attended by a previously confirmed patient. Little is known about the “patient zero“ except that the woman in her early 60s had no recent record of overseas travel and was diagnosed with pneumonia last weekend. She had initially resisted doctors’ recommendations to get tested for the virus. Shincheonji, which claims 200,000 followers in South Korea, said it closed all of its 74 churches around the nation and told members to instead watch its services on YouTube.  By 7 pm, South Korea's infections have rocketed to 208, making it the third most heavily infected nation after China and Japan.

North Korea cancels the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 20

As of 8.30 am today, 75,641 are currently infected with Covid-29, a massive drop in overnight infections for the epicentre Hubei which only recorded 349 new cases. Some 16,121 people have recovered and 2,122 have died. Health authorities in China have reversed their decision to count clinically diagnosed patients as confrimed cases. Only 394 new cases were recorded over 24 hours.

Two passengers from the ill-fated Diamond Princess cruise ship die in Japan.

South Korea reports first deatth, with 82 confirmed cases. The mayor of Daegu urges the city's 2.5 million people to refrain from going outside.

Interest in disease-themed movies, games and TV series explodes, with worried viewers turning to documentaries and disaster flicks for answers and ways to cope. In the last few weeks Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 thriller Contagion. Has stormed up the iTunes movie download charts. In Hong Kong, which features heavily in the film about a runaway virus, it is at number 8. Ndemic Creations, makers of the game Plague Inc, have seen a spike in downloads. Even though the game is eight years old, any time there is an outbreak that sparks global news coverage, people turn to the popular mobile game, that allows players to create and control pathogens.  Netflix's release of their docuseries Pandemic could not have been better timed.

In Ukraine, efforts to quarantine more than 70 people evacuated from China descended into chaos when locals hurl stones at the buses transporting them and clash with police. The country's health minister, Zoryana Skaletska says she will spend the 14 days quarantine with the 34 nationals and 37 foreigners. She shas she has been shaken by the aggression. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov arrived at the scene and Prime Minister Oleksiy Goncharuk said late Thursday he was also heading to the town.

Chinese scientists publish a report stating that the virus did not start in the seafood market, as suspected, but had only been amplified by getting into the market. Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research sequenced the genomic data of 93 SARS-CoV-2 samples provided by 12 countries in a bid to track down the source of the infection and understand how it spreads. What they found was that while the virus had spread rapidly within the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, there had also been two major population expansions on December 8 and January 6. It could have been spreading person-to-person as early as November. Although China’s National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 2 emergency warning about the new coronavirus on January 6, the information was not widely shared.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

February 19

As of 8 am this morning, 75,184 people are infected with Covid-29, 14,352 have recovered and the death toll is 2007. 74,135 of those infections are in mainland China, 542 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored in Yokohama, and 62 in Hong Kong. In Hubei, 132 people died in the last 24 hour reporting period, with 1,693 new confirmed cases. While the spread of the virus outside Hubei seems to be slowing, it continues unabated in the central Chinese province. 

China cuts its benchmark lending rate to support its economy. Gold hits seven-year high. Palladium holds near a record after building on a powerful rally.

China releases a huge virus study that hints the the outbreak might be peaking. Once again WHO congratulates China on its policies that largely muzzled the spread of the disease overseas. Protective suit-clad inspectors go door to door in Wuhan with the goal of finding "every infected person in the city". “This must be taken seriously,“ says Wang Zhonglin, the city’s newly minted Communist Party secretary. “If a single new case is found [after Wednesday], the district leaders will be held responsible.”

China's National Health Commission reverses its decision to count clinically diagnosed patients as confirmed cases - something which was responsible for a massive spike in case numbers. Going forward, infections will again be confirmed solely on traditional nucleic acid tests. The move raises doubt about the veracity of official numbers. The number of new cases confirmed in China outside of Hubei stands at 45. Hubei reported 279 cases. Provinces, regions and municipalities that reported no new confirmed cases on Wednesday included Liaoning, Fujian, Shanxi, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Ningxi, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai.  In the eastern province of Zhejiang, with the exception of the city of Wenzhou, buses on hundreds of routes are allowed to resume operations. In the tourist hot spot of Sanya in the southern island province of Hainan, tourist sites - except for indoor venues such as theatres and museums - are allowed to re-open for business.

Activist hold a placard of missing citizen journalist Fang Bin, as they protest outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong on February 19, 2020, against Beijing’s detention of prominent anti-corruption activist Xu Zhiyong.
Photo: Agence France-Presse

Hong Kong reports its second death this morning, a 70-year-old who had underlying health issues. Local radio broadcaster RTHK's satirical show Headliner causes consternation as an opposition lawmaker Leung Ka-wing, takes their "report" that police are hoarding anti-virus supplies for themselves seriously. Pro-police protesters gathered outside the station's headquarters to demand it be shut down for promoting hatred. China revokes 3 Wall Street Journal reporters' credentials after it doesn't like the headline "Real Sick Man of Asia" of an article that was opinion about the outbreak. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says the healine “smears the efforts of the Chinese government and people on fighting (the virus) epidemic." and "The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community.” In the late 19th and early 20th centries, China was dubbed "the sick man of Asia" for its internal strife. The term is considered to mock the Chinese government and people for being weak.

Two days before elections bring million millions of people into public buildings, Iran announces the first confirmed cases, and within hours reports two deaths. 

Malaysian police say Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low, the fugitive financier wanted over a massive graft scandal was last seen in Wuhan. Low, accused of playing a major role in plundering billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fun 1Malaysia Deveopment Berhad, has long been on the run. Money looted from the fund was used to buy everything from a super-yacht to art, in a faraud that allegedly involved former leader Najib Razak, and contributed to his government's downfall in 2018.

South Korea reports 20 new confirmed cases, seeing its tally jump by two-thirds in one day. A cluster of 16 cases is centred in the southern city of Daegu. Fifteen of the cases are apparently linked to one woman, 61, 14 through her church and another through the hospital. The country now has 51 cases.

Russia announces a ban on all Chinese nationals entering the country.

Qatar accuses Saudi Arabia of blocking officials from the Guluf virus summit.

One of the first passengers to disembark from the Diamond Princess in Yokohama, Japan, is mobbed by reporters.
Photo: EPA

Japanese doctor Kentaro Iwato tells CNN he has boarded the Diamond Princess and is horrified there is no professional infection controll officer on board and the ship is not divided into red and green zones. The remaining passengers on the ship are due to leave today. Japan faces mounting criticism for its handling of a coronavirus-afflicted cruise ship, with questions over a patchy quarantine, incremental testing and the decision to let people walk away after 14 days. The 3,711 people on the Diamond Princess went into quarantine off Japan on February 5, after it emerged that a former passenger had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Passengers were confined to cabins except for brief outings on deck, when they were required to wear masks and gloves and keep their distance from each other. But doubts soon emerged about whether the measures were working. Dozens of people on board were quickly diagnosed with the virus, and by Tuesday, 542 cases were reported. While passengers were confined to their cabins, those with balconies could sometimes be seen talking to neighbours without masks. And crew were not quarantined, sharing working spaces, living quarters and bathrooms, and simply donning masks and gloves when interacting with passengers. 

Nearlly 800 passengers from the Westerdam which was allowed to dock in Cambodia, have tested negative.

Experts say that while Covid-19 is easy to catch, deadlier than the flu, not as deadly as SARS or MERS. Men have a higher risk of dying. Higher risk of catching it, medical staff, people's whose immune systems are compromised.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 18

As of 8am, 73,348 people are infected with Covid-19, 1,868 people have died and 12,583 have recovered. China reports 1,886 new virus cases and 98 more deaths in its update. 

Liu Zhiming, director of Wuchang Hospital, dies.

The Who says the latest data from China may point to declining virus spread.

A Hong Kong policeman, 48, tests positive after a banquet with colleagues. A domestic helper in Hong Kong has tested positive for the virus, taking the city's infections to 61. She works for a 67-year-old woman who was confirmed infected on February 13. Health authorities previously revealed that the employer had been to a meal at Star Seafood Restaurant in North Point, which had also been attended by 28 other people.

Taiwan begs the World Health Organisation not to be kidnapped by China's agenda. While the mainland has recorded more than 73,000 cases, Taiwan has only recorded 22, and feels it should not be subject to the same travel bans that affect the mainland. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, while Taiwan claims it is independent. Taiwan has been blocked from WHO membership.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen defended his decision to allow US cruise ship Westerdam to dock despite at least one passenger later being diagnosed with the virus, while authorities scrambled to track down hundreds that came in contact with her. The Westerdam had been turned away from several Asian ports before being allowed to dock in Cambodia and its passengers and crew to disembark. But, at the weekend, an 83-year-old American woman was stopped at a Malaysian airport and diagnosed as having Covid-19. By that time scores of fellow passengers had moved through different countries, including Singapore and Thailand. 

TEPCO, the operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the outbreak threatens the production of protective suits. Tepco says the change would not place workers in more danger as radiation penetrates clothing in any case.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 17

As off 11 am this morning, 71,329 people are currently infected with Covid-19, 1,775 have died and 10,972 have recovered. 

Figures are dispersed as follows: Mainland China: 1,770 deaths, 70,548 currently infected, Hong Kong: 57 cases, 1 death, Taiwan: 20 cases 1 death,  Macau: 10 cases, Japan: 415 cases (including 355 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama), 1 death, Singapore: 75 cases, Thailand: 34, South Korea: 30, Malaysia: 22, Vietnam: 16, Germany: 16, US: 15, Australia: 14, France: 12 cases, 1 death, Britain: 9 cases, UAE: 8, Canada: 8, Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death, India: 3 cases, Italy : 3, Russia: 2, Spain: 2, Belgium: 1, Nepal: 1, Sri Lanka: 1, Sweden: 1, Cambodia: 1, Finland: 1, Egypt: 1.

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study of earlier cases of the disease, finding that more than 80% of people infected had mild illness and the number of new infections seems to be falling since early this month. 

Armed robbers who stole hundreds of toilet rolls were being hunted by Hong Kong police, in a city wracked by shortages caused by the virus panic-buying. Toilet rolls have become hot property in the densely packed business hub, despite government assurances that supplies remain unaffected. Two people are arrested.

Doctor Liu Zhiming, the head of Wuchang hospital in Wuhan is reported dead by media, but the hospital claims to be still working on his resussitation.

Missing citizen journalist Chen Qiushi weeps as he describes conditions in a video taken in Wuhan. The video was taken February 4, 2020, and released by Chen to the Associated Press.
Photo: Courtesy of Chen Qiushi via AP

Japan cancells the Emperor's birthday, which usually sees thousands of people head to central Tokyo to celebrate. China considers postponing its annual congress due to happen next month.

Ninety-nine more people on board the Diamond Princess test positive, bringing the ship's total to 454. More than a dozen infected Americans from the ship were due to land in the US today as part of a planeload of 300 evacuated. The 14 positive passengers were put into an isolated part of the plane.

Beijing has asked everyone entering the city to self-quarantine for 14 days. A further 1,200 doctors and nurses from the PLA arrive in Wuhan.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 16

As of 10 am today, 69,105 people are currently infected by Covid-19, 1,669 people have died and 9,517 have recovered. China reports 124 new deaths and 2009 new cases.

As 2,200 US passengers head home from the Diamond Princess, a woman falls ill. Hong Kong will charter flights to evacuate passengers from the ship. Almost 1,000 people remain on board the Holland America cruise ship Westerdam now docked in Cambodia. The remaining passengers and crew are waiting to be tested, after more than 1,200 people disembarked yesterday and on Friday.

More than half a dozen political officials in Hubei are dismissed for failing to control the outbreak, according to a notice published by the Communist Party's discipline and inspection committee in the province.

Taiwan reports its first death, a 60-year-old male taxi driver who died the day before. The man's son is also infected.

US passenger from the Westerdam tests positive in Malaysia.

Gansu Provincial Women's and Children's Hospital hits the headlines by "forcing" 15 female medics to shave their heads to show their committment to fighting the virus, before they were sent to Wuhan. Many of the nurses appeared reluctant to have their hair shaved, others were crying. Netizens criticised the move, not believing it was necessary or reasonable.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 15

As of 10.30 am, 67,100 people are infected with Covid-19, 1,256 have died and 8,156 have recovered. China reports 2,641 new cases and 143 deaths. The medical scale of its response to the virus now exceeds that of its response to the Sichuan earthquake.

Egypt records its first case, which is also the first case on the African continent.

Anti-corruption activist Xu Zhiyong is arrested in the southern city of Guangzhou after being on the run for weeks in China. The “Chinese government’s battle against the coronavirus has in no way diverted it from its ongoing general campaign to crush all dissenting voices,” said Patrick Poon, China researcher at Amnesty International, in an emailed statement. Xu went into hiding after authorities broke up a December gathering of intellectuals discussing political reform in the eastern coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province, prior to the coronavirus crisis. More than a dozen lawyers and activists were detained or disappeared after the Xiamen gathering, according to rights groups - and Xu’s detention appears linked to his presence at the meeting, explained Poon.

The African Union (AU) is working hard to ensure actions are taken to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading across the continent, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The statement comes after Egypt confirmed the first case of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on February 14, the first case on mainland Africa. “We anticipated that the Covid-19 outbreak would inevitably impact Africa,” Africa CDC Director John Nkangasong said in a statement late on Saturday. The Africa CDC had been working actively with AU countries in the past four weeks to invest in preparedness and response, Nkangasong said. Last week, Africa CDC trained health personnel from various countries in Senegal and supplied test kits to 16 African laboratories, including Egypt, according to the statement. 
A devotee attends a ceremony to prevent Covid-19 at the Taoist Longde temple in Taoyuan, in Taiwan.
Photo: Associated Press

The Communist Party's newspaper, China Daily, reports that President Xi Jinping remarked on February 4 that issued demands for work to prevent and control the novel coronavirus as early as January 7. The report from China Daily came after several officials in Hubei had been fired for their lack of response.

Sixty-seven new infection are found onboard the Diamond Princess, bringing the number of infections from cruise ship to 285.

France reports its first death of an elderly Chinese tourist for the first death on the European continent.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 14

As of 7.30 am today, 60,386 people , are battling Covid-19, 1,370 have died and 6,292 have recovered.

Despite assurances from supermarkets in Hong Kong, shelves are devoid of toilet paper or anything that might be used instead.
Photo: Ligaya Mata

As of 9.30pm today, 64,429 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 1,383 have died and 7,080 have recovered.

Confusion over whether or not US health workers will be able to enter China to fight the virus is hampering world efforts. The US says China won't let the workers in. China says the workers are welcome. The mission to bring in US experts is run by the WHO.

China reveals that six healthcare workers have died froom the virus and more than 1,700 been infected.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 13

As of 8 am this morning, 45,222 people are infected with Covid-19, 5,150 have recovered and 1,118 have died.

As of 8.30am this morning the infection numbers had leaped to 60,096. Deaths hovered at 1,363 and ,.906 have recovered. Hubei’s health commission said in its daily statement that it had changed the diagnostic criteria used to confirm cases, effective Thursday, meaning that doctors have broader discretion to determine which patients are infected.

Hong Kong will suspend schools for two more weeks, to at least March 16.

China's official news agency Xinhua reports that Hubei Party Secretary Jiang Chaoliang has been replaced by Shanghai mayor Ying Yong, 61, a close ally of President Xi Xinping.  The Communist Party leader of the city of Wuhan, Ma Guoqiang, 56, also lost his job, Xinhua said. He will be replaced by Wang Zhonglin, 57, the party secretary of the city of Jinan, in the eastern province of Shandong. Another Beijing heavyweight, Chen Yixin, was flown into Hubei last week. He is chief of the party’s top law enforcement body – the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission – and is now in charge of handling the outbreak. 

Unverified accounts surface of North Korea executiing a trade official who broke quarantine to visit a public bath. North Korea has yet to register even a suspected case of Covid-19, but has closed its border and quarantined anyone who had been to China recently or been around Chinese people in North Korea.

In South Africa a private hospital group Medclinic has denied that one of their patients died of the virus. A tweet by @MarkSmit222 claimed a friend who worked for China telecoms company ZTE had died in Cape Town. South Africa has not had a single person test positive yet.

Britain records its first case in London.

The Shanghai Grand Prix is cancelled.

Also cancelled is this month's international telecoms conference in Barcelona after major players withdrew.

Doctors working round the clock in Wuhan are unable to eat, drink or relieve themselves. They rely on diapers and clean up after their shift has ended. The unrelenting hours under a surgical mask have left bloody marks on their noses and the hazmat suits cause many to itch, but scratching is out of the question.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 12

As of 11.30 am today, 1,115 people have died of Covid-19, 4,798 have recovered and 45,182 people are infected. Hong Kong tops the list of infections of those regions outside mainland with 49 cases and one death. China's death toll was recorded at 97, the second decline in the daily death toll since the outbreak began.

Thirty-nine more people on board the Diamond Princess have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the number of infected from the ship to 174. The people infected on the ship are not officially added to Japan's total of infection.

Indonesia is indignant over a study by Harvard University public health researchers which questions why the world's fourth most populous nation has not yet recorded any cases of Covid-19.  Health minister Terawan Agus Putranto called the Harvard report “insulting” late Tuesday and said the country had proper testing equipment. “They can be baffled but it’s a fact” there are no cases, he told reporters in Jakarta.

Wuhan’s overburdened health workers are unable to confirm many of those who died were suffering from Covid-19, so they will not show up in official figures. The families of those who die at home are also denied the comfort of being able to make proper funeral arrangements. Wei Peng, a community hospital doctor in the city, said that medical staff were not allowed to list coronavirus as a cause of death when cases had not been confirmed and said that later instructions had even banned them from listing pneumonia. Instead they can only write the immediate cause of a patient’s death, such as diabetes or organ failure. Read more here.

US health officials warn the government that the pharmaceutical industry is unable to produce drugs to fight the virus because it is dependent on ingredients supplied by China. In some cases, China is the sole supplier of active ingredients of US drugs.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 11

As of 3.30 pm today, the death toll from the coronavirus surpassed the 1,000 mark. Some 1,018 people have died, 43,111 are currently infected and 4,099 have recovered.

Hong Kong reports 49 confirmed cases including 9 members of the same family. 

Thirty two households living in Hong Mei House on Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi were evacuated after two confimed cases of the virus were found in flats on different floors but in the same block, sparking fears of the virus spreading though plumbing. The plumbing system is being inspected to ensure the flats are safe. 

Keiji Fukuda, an influenza epidemiology expert at University of Hong Kong with a long history at the WHO, has asked for the public to wait until after the outbreak to critise responses by officials. 

Two senior officals in Hubei, the centre of the epidemic have been removed. Zhang Jin, the Communist Party secretary of the Hubei Health Commission, and Liu Yingzi, director of the Health Commission, have both been dismissed according to state TV station CCTV.

Missing citizen journalist Chen Qiushi speaks in front of a convention centre-turned makeshift hospital in Wuhan. The video was taken February 4, 2020, and released by Chen to the Associated Press.
Photo: Courtesy of Chen Qiushi via AP

On Tuesday, Japan’s health ministry announced that there were now 135 cases of the virus on the Diamond Princess, bringing the total number of people infected in Japan to 163 – the highest figure outside mainland China.

WHO says the new virus will be named "Covid-19". The name stands for COrona VIrus Disease. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns that a virus is "more powerful in creating.

US postal services suspends time guarantees on shipments destined for China as transport capacity becomes uncertain.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 


February 10 

As of 8.am today, 904 people have died of the novel coronavirus, 40,198 have been infected and 2,653 have recovered. The global infection report is as follows: Mainland China:37,232, Singapore: 40, Thailand: 32, Hong Kong: 29, Japan:26, South Korea: 25, Taiwan: 18, Malaysia: 16, Australia:15, Germany: 14, Vietnam: 13, USA:12, France: 11, Macau:10, Canada: 7 United Arab Emirates: 7, Italy 3, Philippines: 3, India: 3, Britain: 3, Russia: 2, Spain: 2, Nepal: 1, Cambodia:1, Belgium: 1, Spain: 1, Finland: 1. Sweden:1, Sri Lanka: 1.

Japan reports 66 more passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off Yokahama had tested positive, bringing the country's total more than 150.

The number of people cured of the disease is more than three times higher than the death rate.

Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing has donated HK$ 100 million, (US13 million) to help Wuhan. The government says it will arrest two people who had left their mandatory 2-week quarantine. Since the measure started, nine people were found to have left their designated premises.

Citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi is still silent.

Millions of people in China return to work while the WHO says there are tentative signs the virus is stabilising in China. But, at the same time it warns that the disease may be spreading unnoticed among people who have not been to China. President Xi Jinping vists the Chaoyang district in Beijing "to learn about the situation of epidemic provision and control at the grassroots level,” according to state-run media Xinhua. Pork prices are headed to a record high, according to Bloomberg, on concerns about supply. Inflation in China is at an eight-year high. While the crises roils markets, causing oil to slip in price and gold to rise, companies in China reconfigure their machines to make masks. Auto company SAIC-GM-Wuling, a General Motors Co. venture and BYD Co are churning out protective gear, with petroleum giant Sinopec and iPhone assembler Foxconn joining in. Some are also dabbling in disinfectant and goggles. 

Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan warns that the incubation for the virus could be 24 days. Zhong, who is famed for his work managing the 2003 SARS outbreak and was appointed a top advisor for this crisis, writes that the incubation could be as short as zero days or long as 24 - 10 days longer than previously believed.The article, which is still awaiting peer review, indicates that the mean incubation period is three days, Hong Kong’s Now News reports. 

Sony Corp becomes the fifth company to pull out of this month's international telecoms conference in Barcelona. Also ditching is Amazon.com, South Korea's LG Electronics, Sweden's Ericsson and US chipmaker Nvidia.

South Korean auto giant Hyundai and sister form Kia motors say they will gradually restart production. Volkswagen AG postpones resumption of production at its China joint ventures.

Britain declares the virus an "imminent threat" and says it will forcibly detain infected people if neceesary. 

Vietnam culls tens of thousands of birds to contain H5N6 outbreak.


February 9 

As of 10am today, 813 people have died of the novel coronavirus, 37,421 have been infected and 2,653 have recovered. The global infection report is as follows: Mainland China: 37,111, Singapore: 33, Thailand: 32, Hong Kong: 26, Japan:25, South Korea: 24, Taiwan: 17, Malaysia: 16, Australia: 15, Germany: 13, Vietnam: 13, USA:12, France: 11, Macau:10, Canada: 7, United Arab Emirates: 7, Italy 3, Philippines: 3, India: 3, Britain: 3, Russia: 2, Nepal: 1, Cambodia: 1, Belgium: 1, Spain: 1, Finland: 1. Sweden: 1, Sri Lanka: 1

Citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi is still silent. Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital, is taken away by plain-clothes police, according to a report by RTHK.

In Hong Kong, nine of 10 new cases had been to a family gathering for hotpot and barbecue on January 19 at the Lento Party Room in Kwun Tong. Hot Pot stocks slide. Health authorities warn of ‘major difficulties’ in tracing possible virus carriers because some might only show mild flu-like symptoms at early stage.

Video clips of people resisting arrest in mainland China surface on the internet. Citizens are chased, dragged and arrested by people in hazmat suits. China experiences its deadliest day to date, recording 97 fatalities. 

Police in Hubei province struggle to stop citizens playing Mahjong, even though they have been asked not to gather. Authorities raid mahjong parlours, confiscating one tile from each set, to be returned once the area is safe. Mahjong is a popular game played with small tiles. China records its highest 24 hour death rate at 91 people dying in Hubei and figures climb to the 1,000 mark. The virus from Wuhan has now killed more people than SARS. Although residents in Hubei have been asked to only leave their homes every second day, residents complain that because shops are not fully stocked, they have to go out more frequently than they would like. While authorities expect a bump in cases when people return to work, residents in Wuhan say not everyone has been properly diagnosed. There is still a huge shortage of hospital beds, despite the new hospitals coming on line and public buildings being converted.


February 8

As of 11am HKT, 724 people have died of coronavirus, 2,026 have recovered and 34,824 have been confirmed infected.

Citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi is still silent.

Royal Caribbean bans travellers with Chinese passports after 4 Anthem of the Seas cruise-ship passengers are sent to New Jersey hospital to be tested for the disease.

A British man who, has been in Singapore, stops over in France on his way home to Hove, near Brighton in East Sussex. Along the way he infects at least seven people.

Passengers who have tested negative for the coronavirus are allowed to leave The Dream World cruise ship.

Boy, 7, infected with H9 avian flu in Hong Kong after Shenzhen trip, the virus subtype is still to be determined.

Kenya says it will bring Wuhan students home, urges Ethiopia to halt China flights. President Uhuru Kenyatta says students who want to be repatriated must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Kenya. Urging Ethiopia to halt China flights ‘is about protecting our citizens from the risk of infection’, Kenyatta says.

February 7

As of noon today, 638 people have died, 1,546 recovered and 31,452 confirmed infected with the coronavirus. This signifies a substantial drop in the number of newly infected people. The World Health Organisation says it is too soon to say the virus has peaked.

Li Wenliang, 34, told his medical school alumni group that seven patients from a local seafood market had been diagnosed with a mysterious Sars-like illness.
Photo: TNS

Dr Li Wenliang, 34, one of the Wuhan 8 whistleblowers who raised the alarm about the new disease succumbed to it in the early hours of the morning. The announcement, by the hospital where he was being treated, ended chaotic hours of speculation. When Chinese media first reported his death, the hospital said he was still alive, though in critical condition. Li had become the visible face of the virus after being arrested for posting about it on social media. He announced on February 1 that he had been taken ill. His death has triggered an outpouring of grief and discontent with the central government. The topics "we want free speech" and "Wuhan government owes Li Wenliang an apology" trended briefly on Weibo late on Thursday but were nowhere to be found today. Li left behind his wife, also infected with the coronavirus and pregnant with their second child, and his parents who are also infected. China's discipline inspection commission says a team will go to Wuhan t“conduct a comprehensive investigation into issues involving Dr. Li Wenliang reported by the masses”.

Citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi is still silent.

A second newborn has tested positive, raising fears the virus can be tramsitted from mother to child. A nine-month-old in Londonderry, Ireland, is rushed to hospital with possible infection after a trip to China. 

Chinese researchers say a virus found in pangolins is a 99 per cent genetic match to the one that has killed hundreds of people in China. Pangolins are severely endangered. However, their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are used in Chinese Traditional Medicine for a range of issues, including arthritis and lactation. There has never been any scientifially proven medical benefits to consuming pangolin scales.

The Asian Development Bank says it will distribute US$2 million to strengthen measures to detect the virus in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myamar and Vietnam.

Japan reports 41 more cases on board the Diamond Princess for a total of 61 on the ship. At 86 cases, Japan has the highest number outside of China. Passengers trapped onboard are confined to their cabins. Those with inside cabins would have no natural light and no chance to breathe fresh air. Some took to Twitter to complain about the lack of exercise, dwindling medicine and the quality of the food, but praised the crew for their kindness. Japanese officials loaded fresh supplies aboard, to make life more bearable.

Art Basel Hong Kong cancels its art fair.

The most productive car factory in the world falls quiet as South Korea’s Hyundai suspended operations at its giant Ulsan complex, hamstrung by a lack of parts with the coronavirus outbreak crippling China’s industrial output. The five-plant network can make 1.4 million vehicles annually, in a coastal location facilitating importing components and exporting cars globally. But the outbreak in China has seen Beijing order factories closed in several areas as it seeks to contain the epidemic. As a result, Hyundai - which, with its affiliate Kia, ranks as the world’s fifth-largest auto manufacturer - has run out of the wiring harnesses that connect vehicles’ complex electronics. It has to suspend production at its factories across South Korea, putting 25,000 workers on forced leave and partial wages.

Thousands of people rush to cross Hong Kong border with mainland China ahead of shutdown. Anyone breaching the restrictions will face a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to HK$25,000 (US$3,200) or both, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung says at a news conference. But Cheung deflects queries about details of the new quarantine camps, and officials face a barrage of questions about the ability of the authorities to ensure people quarantined complied with the restrictions.

Hong Kong's quarantine measures leave Conghua off-limits for Hong Kong trainers and jockeys. The 13 dual-site trainers will not be able to see their mainland-based horses in the flesh for the forseeable future.


February 6

As of 7 pm Hong Kong time, 28,344 people have been confirmed infected with the corona virus, 565 have died and 1,305 have recovered.

Chinese doctor Song Yingjie, 27, dropped dead after working non-stop since January 25. He was a team leader at a small clinic in Hunan, and in charge of giving drivers temperature checks. Even though the second hospital is due to open in Wuhan, and the first one delivered more than a thousand beds, with more than 3,000 confirmed cases every day, authorities are struggling to find hospital beds. Public buildings are being converted into hospitals as fast as possible. Authorities in the area say there was still a shortage of masks and other equipment.

Citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi stops broadcasting about life in a locked city.

China's Vice Premier Sun Chunland calls the for a "people's war" against the virus. She demands authorities work round the clock to go house to house in search of people that need to be quarantined. She names the four as: cofirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have been in close contact with either confirmed or suspected cases, people who have a fever.

Hong Kong researchers say they have created the fastest test for the virus in the world.

Hong Kong's medical union has warned that its members could quit en masse if the Hospital Authority refuses to hold talks with them. The union wants Hong Kong's borders sealed against the mainland to control the outbreak. Instead, two border checkpoints remain open, and the government says that starting on Saturday, all people arriving from the mainland will be quarantined for two weeks.

British scientists say they have made a breakthrough in a vaccine for the virus and will start animal trials next week. If all goes well the team hope to be on human trials by summer. 

Japan says the Olympic games, due to start on Friday, July 24, will not be affected.

Virgin Australia becomes the first international airline to completely withdraw all of its services from Hong Kong.


February 5

As of 12.30 pm, HKT, 492 people have died from the coronavirus, 24,538 have been infected and 911 recovered.

More than 1,800 people are quarantined on board a cruise ship, The World Dream was turned away from Taiwan yesterday and returned to Hong Kong, where at least 30 crew members are reported to be showing signs of having the coronavirus. The vast majority of passengers on the ship are Hongkongers. Health authorities say all passengers will be quarantined until they are checked for the Wuhan virus.

10 people onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan have tested positive. The Diamond Princess is currently in Japan. The ship was quarantined after a passenger from Hong Kong, who was onboard last month became ill. The passengers have been confined to their cabins as they are tested and the ship is cleaned.

The World Dream ship, which had been denied entry in Taiwan's Kaohsiung amid concerns of coronavirus infection on board, is docked at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong,
Photo: Reuters

Health authorities  in Hong Kong warn the city might be on the verge of widespread outbreak of the coronavirus as three new locally transmitted cases are confirmed. Public hospitals are under pressure with some 5,000 medical workers on strike for the second day. The medical workers want the government to completely close the mainland borders. The union has threatened to increase their action if the city's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did not attend a proposed meeting with them today. All entry points to Hong Kong have been closed, except for the Hong Kong-Zhuahi_Macau bridge, Shenzhen Bay Port and the international airport. Public hospital bosses appeal to the strikers to no avail and turn to the private sector for support. The government announces an extension of the work-from-home arrangements for civil servants until February 16. Thousands of Hongkongers camped out overnight in the cold after a company said it would release 6,000 boxes of surgical masks. By 1.30am this morning, 3,000 people had gathered and Luck Well International Holdings in Kowloon Bay urged people to stop joining the queue. By 9.30am, 10,000 people had joined the queue.

Panicked shoppers descend on supermarkets to buy toilet paper, rice and pasta, despite pleas from the government for residents to stop panic buying. Supermarket chain Wellcome said the rumours were not true and there was no shortage of stock.

Wuhan residents who fled the city before it was locked down are struggling to get home. The 5 million people who had already travelled out of the city before the lockdown have become outcasts. They are being quarantined in hotels and hospitals, pushed from pillar to post, and worse, getting threatening phone calls because their peronal data has been spread online. With transport in and out of Hubei vastly reduced or non-existant, when travellers eventually reach Wuhan they find themself stranded because trains, buses, taxis and even Uber have been shut down.

Chinese state media reports a newborn had been diagnosed positive a mere 30 hours after birth. Its mother was confirmed positive. Scientists say it is too early to know if the coronavirus is passed through the placenta.

Italy says it will check all passengers at airports.

United Airlines and America announce a temporary suspension of flights to Hong Kong.

The World Bank says it will lower global growth forecasts because of the outbreak.

Russian president Vladimir Putin warns pharmacies profiteering from the virus will be shut down.


February 4

As of 10 am HKT, 427 people have died from the coronavirus, 20,636 are infected and 667 recovered. In Hong Kong, 16 people have the virus.

Hong Kong records first death. The 39 year old man died in Princess Margaret in Kwai Chung this morning from sudden heart failure, making Hong Kong the second place in the world outside of mainland China to record a death. He was a Hong Kong resident who had travelled to Wuhan last month. He returned home on January 23, via the high speed rail link.

Medical workers in Hong Kong walked off the job this morning even though the government has closed most of the border crossings with mainland China. Hospitals cut services. Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor controversially suggests government officials forego wearing surgical masks, except in strict circumstance, so that the masks can instead be send to medics. 

Macau closes casinos for only the second time in history.

Workers arrange beds in a convention center that has been converted into a temporary hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Photo: Associated Press

More Chinese cities are put on lockdown, affecting about 12 million more people. Taizhou, one of the cities, is just 175 km away from Shanghai. Parts of Hangzhou, including the district that is home to Alibaba's headquarters, have been locked down. In some parts of Ningbo, only one person per household will be allowed to go outside every two days to buy necessities. In Hangzhou, residents in the lock-down areas have to wear masks and submit to compulsory ID and temperature checks. Wenzhou has restricted movement of its citizens and closed down roads. 

Chinese blogger Fang Bin is arrested after secretly filming eight body bags outside a hospital in Wuhan. The unverified footage was shared on Twitter by Chinese journalist Jennifer Zeng on Twitter. - Daily Mail  Police in Tianjin have also put a woman under "administrative punishment" after she "deliberately concealed" her contact with someone from an area stricken with the virus. The high court in Heilongjiang says people who intentionally spread the virus could face the death penalty.

Japan quarantines a cruise ship carrying 3,711 people and tests those on board after a former passenger is diagnosed in Hong Kong. Eight people on the vessel, which arrived at Yokohama Bay on Monday, have symptoms such as fever, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said.

South Korea threatens "mask hoarders" with jail. Traders who hoard masks and other equipment used to fight the virus can face up to two years in jail.

Belgium confirms its first case, which was imported when nationals were repatriated from China.

Britain tells its nationals to leave China if they can.

The tiny Pacific nation of Micronesia bans its citizens from visiting mainland China in the latest move by regional leaders to protect island populations highly vulnerable to infectious outbreaks. Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President David Panuelo declared a state of emergency last Friday, banning anyone who had been in mainland China from January 6 from entering his country.


February 3

As of 7pm HKT, 362 have died from the coronavirus outbreak. There have been 17,485 confirmed cases with 496 recovered.

In Hong Kong, non-essential medical workers strike to get the government to seal the borders with China. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor announces four more border crossings, including Lo Wu. The airport, Shenzhen Bay and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will remain open.

Schools in Hong Kong are closed for the first day of the extension of the New Year holiday. Many Vietnamese schools were also closed.

Gibraltar’s Europa Point pull out of a friendly football game against Wuhan Zall, despite team not being in virus-hit city since January 2.

China says it urgently needs protective gear, medical masks, safety goggles and protective suits. At full capacity, China's factories are only able to produce around 20 million masks a day. The foreign ministry said countries including South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Hungary have donated medical supplies. As China's industry gears up after the Chinese New Year holidays factories are only running at between 60 per cent to 70 per cent capacity. Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, has made masks compulsory. It has a population of around 50 million. Other provinces that have made mask wearing compulsory are Guandong, Sichuan, Hiangxi, Liaoning and the city of Nanjing. Every day, 300 million people need at least one mask.

Beijing struck back at Washington, saying the US was doing nothing to help contain the outbreak but had managed to stoke fear about the virus. China agrees to allow American health experts into the country to help,US officials say as they push back against Beijing’s assertion that Washington has overreacted with its aggressive response to the crisis. “China has accepted the United States’ offer to incorporate a group of experts into a World Health Organisation mission to China to learn more about and combat the virus,” White House spokesman Judd Deere says.

Medical experts say official numbers might not reflect true scale of the outbreak as many patients may be undiagnosed

Testing kits are in short supply, meaning only the ‘fortunate’ who test positive are admitted to hospital for treatment

The Shanghai Composite Index closes 7.7 per cent down. The Hang Seng Index gains 0.2 per cent

Pakistan resumes flights to China.

There are several suspected but no confirmed cases of the virus in Africa and central and South America.


February 2

As of 9 am HKT, there were 304 deaths, 332 recoveries and 14,551 confirmed cases of coronavirus. This brings the number of confirmed cases in China to 14,380, all of the deaths have been in Hubei province.

The Philippines is the first country outside China to report a fatality from the coronavirus.The victim is a 44 year old Chinese male.

Hong Kong sets up an electronic tag system for people who need to be in quarantine. The wristbands are rolled out as 70 of the 97 units of existing quarantine facilities in three holiday camps were occupied by people who had close contact with confirmed cases.

China reports an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu in Hunan province, which lies on the southern border of Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Bird flu is much deadlier than either Sars or the coronavirus, but as of yet no human cases have been reported in this outbreak From 2003 to 2019, WHO reported a total of 861 confirmed human cases of H5N1 worldwide, of whom 455 have died. In China, 53 human cases of bird flu infections have been reported in the past 16 years, with 31 having died. No human cases are reported in this outbreak yet, and the disease does not readily spread from human to human.

Workers race against the clock at the Vulcan Mountain (Huoshenshan) field hospital in Wuhan
Photo: Associated Press

China's eastern port of Wenzhou becomes the first mainland city outside central Hubei province to impose quarantine measures. Scientists from Renminbi Hospital of Wuhan University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Science report that the virus might be spreading through faeces too. People who have diarrhoea might make the disease spread faster if they do not wash their hands properly or they don't have good toilet facilities. The military staff from the PLA universities will be assigned to Huashenshan Hospital which officially opens tomorrow. The hosptial at Vulcan Mountain has 1,000 beds.

US President Donald Trump says the US has "shut down" the virus threat, and that China had not taken up US offers of assistance. China is not amused.

France says 20 people of the 250 flown back from China because of the virus have shown symptoms of being infected.

Thailand reports apparent success in treating the virus with a combination of drugs. The doctors combined the anti-flu drug oseltamivir with lopinavir and ritonavir, anti-virals used to treat HIV, 

Stars step in

Fans of Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and Selena Gomez have been donating money to get vital, life-saving equiipment to the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Their transparent way of working allows fans to track where and how the money is being used. The fan clubs have managed to get 133,000 yuan (US$19,000) of supplies to Hubei. In contrast, the official Red Cross Society has been slammed by the public for its handling of donations and inefficiency in the distribution of much-needed supplies, especially protective clothing for doctors and nurses. The hashtag “Red Cross” has become the most searched topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, with many asking: “Why are doctors still without protective gear after so many donations? Is [provincial capital] Wuhan a black hole?”

In Hong Kong, churches take to live streaming their services. Parents demand the government covers the fees for missed classes. Thousands of hospital staff back strike action against the government's failure to close the border with mainland China.


February 1

The death toll from the coronavirus by 11:55pm Hong Kong time, is 259, with 12,027 confirmed cases and 287 recovered.

The US denies entry to any foreigners who have visited China in the past two weeks. United, Delta and American Airlines cancel all flights to China. The US declares the global outbreak to be a public emergency, and prepares 1,000 beds where people can be quarantined.

Britain pulls embassy staff and their families out of China.

Russia and Sweden report their first cases.

People in Hubei try to escape. A man is briefly detained for breaching travel restrictions after he was found rowing a wooden tub across the Yangtze River. The man, from Huangmei county, which is under the administration of Huanggang city in Hubei, told police on Wednesday that he had decided to take the unusual mode of transport because he had to get to work in Jiujiang, a city of five million people on the other side of the Yangtze River. Police are looking for a man from Xiaogan, a mega city in Hubei that is in lockdown, after he allegedly boarded an illegal oil tanker at a port in Shanghai.

The mayor of Huanggang, Qiu Lixin, says that in the days before the lockdown in Wuhan, between 600,000 and 700,000 people moved away from Wuhan and went back to Huanggang, and that authorities in her city were expected in the coming days to announce a massive jump in the number of confirmed cases there.

Police in China's southeastern Anhui province smash mahjong tables to prevent players from gathering.

Guatemala and El Salvador say they will turn back visitors who have been in China in the last two weeks.


Snippet of humanity

Doctors and nurses on the mainland say they lack basic supplies and face physical threats from panicking patients.

One doctor at a Wuhan hospital said he had not been home for two weeks and even during a recent midnight shift he had 150 patients lined up at the outpatient clinic.

“All patients are anxious. Some became desperate after waiting for hours in the cold,” he said.

“I heard one in the queue say he had waited for so long that he wanted to stab us. I am worried. Killing a few of us will not reduce the queue, right?”

His concerns about violence are understandable. On Wednesday, two doctors at Wuhan Fourth Hospital were beaten up by a family member of a patient with pneumonia caused by the virus. One of the doctor’s protective clothing was ripped in the infected zone, Beijing Youth Daily reported. - South China Morning Post


January 31

At the time of publishing the death toll from the coronavirus stands at 213, with 9816 cases reported, and at least 187 cases have recovered. Hong Kong confirms its first human-to-human case.

Britain announces its first two confirmed cases, in Newcastle. In China, cities that flank Wuhan, Huanggang and Xiaogan, rack up infections faster than Wuhan itself. Thailand confirms human-to-human transmission.

Imperial guards wear protective face masks during a reenactment of the Royal Guards Changing Ceremony in front of Deoksu Palace in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
Photo: Associated Press

Hong Kong extends school holidays until March 2, 2020. 

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor announced the city is not closing the border completely with mainland.  A medical union had threatened earlier that about 6,500 of its members would strike if the border stayed open. Internet rumours swirl that Hong Kong has arranged with Beijiing to take excess mainland patients. Lam calls the rumour absurd.

As Hongkongers clamour for surgical masks, 25,000 masks are stolen from warehouse at Wah Fai Industrial Building on Sze Shan Street, Yau Tong. The 25 boxes, containing 1,000 masks each, reached the city from Thailand on Wednesday. They were due to be sold online by a Hong Kong businesswoman. Police could find no signs of a break in.

City University researcher Dr Yuan Hsiang-yu makes dire warning that cases could rise 2,000 per cent as residents return from mainland after Chinese New Year holiday. As of Friday evening there were 12 confirmed cases in the city as hundreds of thousands are expected to return to Hong Kong after Chinese New Year. Immigration Department statistics revealed some 19,555 mainland visitors arrived in the city on Thursday, compared to 27,780 the day before.

Italy declares a state of emergency. With 13 confirmed cases, Singapore closes its border to all travellers who have been in mainland Chinese over the past 14 days. Hundreds of thousands of mainland visitors enter the city state each month.

China says it will send two Xiamen Airlines flights to fetch Wuhan citizens from Bangkok, Thailand and Malaysia. Nations continue to send planes to China to collect nationals. Kenya Airways suspends its flights to China. Pakistan halts all flights to and from China ... until Sunday. Islamabad says there are no immediate plans to evacuate some of its 30,000 nationals living in China. Air Madagascar suspends its weekly flight.  KLM will suspend flights by the end of the weekend. SAS  stops flights to Beijing and Shanghai, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will cancel some flights. Turkish Airlines suspends flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian. RwandAir suspends flights.

South Korea’s Health Ministry states that kimchi, the Korean staple dish made from fermented cabbage, chili peppers and garlic would provide no protection against the virus. It also says eating kimchi imported from China would not necessarily put people at a greater risk of infection. During the SARS epidemic of 2003, some South Korean researchers claimed that kimchi possibly explained the country’s relatively low number of cases, saying that a type of bacteria created during the fermentation process would have been helpful in fighting off infections. Corona beer virus searches trend on Google.

China's top court rebukes the police for their heavy handedness in arresting eight people in Wuhan on January 1 after they posted online that Wuhan was in the grip of a new Sars outbreak. The group were reprimanded for “publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification”, a police statement at the time said. Supreme Court judge Tang Xinghua says that the indiscriminate crackdown on online rumours could have “become negative textbook material for weakening public trust in the government” or a “vicious event” eroding support for the Communist party. Wuhan police resond in a post on the social media platform Weibo that they had only given “education and criticism” to the eight and had not meted out harsher punishment such as “warnings, fines, or detention.” Netizens were not amused.

Medical experts in China warn that patients who had recovered from the virus were still at risk of being infected again, and said people should avoid any mass gathering, even dancing in public parks and squares – a popular activity for exercise in China.


January 30

At the time of publishing, the death toll from the coronavirus stands at 170, with 7,912 cases reported, and at least 133 people have recovered. The number of cases has surpassed that of the pneumonia-like illness, Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), on the mainland 17 years ago.

The WHO declares the outbreak a global emergency. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says while the number of infections outside China remain low, thanks to Beijing's massive healthcare measures, the alert was called because countries with weak health system will be unable to cope if cases start happening there. This is only the sixth time the WHO has introduced this measure.

The US issues a level 4 "do not travel" advisory for China. Germany suggests travellers avoid Hubei Province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Construction doesn't stop, as workers build the Huoshenshan temporary field hospital in Wuhan, even at night.
Photo: Associated Press

Tibet's case is confirmed, meaning that every province in China now has infections. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen urges calm as its first case is confirmed. The Philipines, India and Italy confirm their first cases. The US confirms its first case of human to human transmission. Ethiopia says a suspected case is negative.

Hong Kong banks announce they will close up to 30 per cent of their branches, with some not even maintaining ATMs in the shuttered branches.

Japanese officials say 13 of the 210 nationals evacuated from Wuhan had health issues. Two test positive for the virus.

World Athletics postpones its World Athletics Indoor Championships, set to be in Nanjing in March 13-15. They are now set to be held next year. China has suspended all domestic football matches. The Chinese Super League season had been due to kick off on February 22.

German carrier Lufthansa cancels all flights to and from China. Italy follows after it finds two confirmed cases. Air France suspends flights generally until February 9, but will operate flights manned by volunteer crew to Shanghai and Beijing to "permit customers and employees to return safely". 


Snippet of humanity

 WUHAN - A grey-haired man wearing a face mask lies dead on the pavement at ground zero of China’s virus epidemic, a plastic shopping bag in one hand. On what would typically be a crowded street in Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million under quarantine, there are only a few passersby and they dare not go near him. AFP journalists saw the body on Thursday morning, not long before an emergency vehicle arrived carrying police and medical staff in full-body protective suits.

The man lay straight on his back in front of a closed furniture store. Medical staff in blue overalls gently shrouded his body with a blue blanket. The ambulance left, and police stacked supermarket cardboard boxes to hide the scene.

Journalists could not determine how the man, who appeared to be aged in his 60s, had died. Police and local health officials, contacted afterwards gave no details.
 
But the reaction of the police and medical staff in hazmat suits, as well as some of the bystanders, highlighted the fear pervading the city.
 
A woman standing near the man, wearing pink pyjamas and a Mao cap, said she believed he had died from the virus.
 
“It’s terrible,” she said. “These days many people have died.” - Agence France-Presse

A convoy carrying South Korean citizens repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan leave Gimpo airport in Seoul on January 31, 2020
Photo: Associated Press

In South Korea, protesters throw plastic waterbottles and paper cups at the nation's vice health minister to oppose a quarantine site in their neighbourhood.

North Korea and South Korea agree to suspend work at their liaison office in North korea. Some 58 South Korean officials who work in Kaesong will be repatriated. The Koreas have agreed to establish new phone and fax lines between Seoul and Pyongyang. South Korea flags its first case of human-to-human transmission. Russia announces it will close its far east borders with China's north-eastern provinces. Czechia stops issuing visas to Chinese citizens.

A cruise ship is locked down with 7,000 people on board in Rome's port city, Civitavecchia as two cases are suspected. Some 10 hours later, after the woman from Macau tests negative, passengers are released.

Counting the cost

Wuhan, the central Chinese city that is ground zero of the outbreak, is a major hub for foreign carmakers.

Ikea joins a growing list of companies, which includes Google, FaceBook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple shutting up shop in China.

China-owned Volvo car makers, that employ about 8,000 people, extends the break for employees until February 9. General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor have travel restrictions in place for their staff. Some such as Nissan have been evacuating staff from Wuhan. PSA, Renault and Honda all say they are monitoring the situation closely. Electric pioneer Tesla, which has just started rolling out cars from a giant new factory in Shanghai, says the virus could delay a planned acceleration of production there, and potentially affect earnings this quarter.

Construction on the second field hospital Leishenshan is well underway.
Photo: Associated Press

Several cruise operators including MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean have suspended services to China.

Club Med will close for several weeks six of its holiday villages in China and keep open only its Sanya resort on Hainan island.
Cinemas around China have been forced to close, during what is meant to be a prime time for blockbuster releases during the holidays. Canada-based Imax Corp. could be miss out on US$60-200 million in lost box-office revenues, according to analysts.
 
Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn is keeping its Chinese factories closed until mid-February and will allow local employees to delay their return after the new year break. The move could affect global supply chains for tech companies that rely on Foxconn to manufacture everything from Apple’s iPhones to flat-screen TVs and laptops. For its part, Apple is working on “mitigation plans” to make up for any production loss from its suppliers in China, such as Foxconn.
 
Mainland China is the second-biggest market of US coffee chain Starbucks, with more than 4,000 outlets, and half of them have been closed by the outbreak. Fast-food giant McDonald’s has closed all of its “several hundred” restaurants in Hubei, the province of Wuhan, but some 3,000 others in China remain open.
Other brands such as Pizza Hut and KFC are also suffering closures in Hubei province imposed by their Chinese parent company. 
A customer in Central, Hong Kong, stocks up on 3M masks on January 23, ahead of the city-wide shortage.
Photo: Bloomberg

Winning

3M, a leading maker of protective face masks, is cranking up production and the world’s biggest glovemaker, Top Glove, expects sales to increase about 25 percent as people pay more attention to hygiene, according to Bloomberg News.

In Hong Kong, three goverment departments refute rumors that they will hand out face masks amidst a mask shortage. The government says around two million masks will be released soon, with a further eight million arriving. They promise to facilitate local manufacturing of facemasks while admitting there is a world wide shortage. It advises Hong Kong's 7.4 million residents to not leave home unless they have to.  

Singapore distributes facemasks to citizens from the national supply after shops sell out. Each household gets four. The govenment asks people not to hoard masks. 


January 29

The death toll from the coronavirus stands at 132, with 6,062 cases reported, 110 people have recovered.

Hong Kong has a vaccine! Infectious diseases expert Professor Yuen Kwok-yung from the University of Hong Kong says his team has produced a vaccine, but that it needs to be tested first. “It will take a long time to test on animals,” he says, adding that it will be in trials for longer than a year. HKU researchers based it on a nasal spray influenza vaccine previously invented by Yuen’s team. Researchers modified the flu vaccine with part of the surface antigen of the coronavirus, meaning it could prevent influenza viruses as well as the new coronavirus, which causes pneumonia.

In Hong Kong, some 90 nurses take sick leave ahead of a potential strike planned by health care workers' union, as the government has refused to close all border crossings from the mainland. Customs officials inspect almost 200 shops selling surgical masks as the city is gripped by panic. Rumours online suggest used masks are being sold. Whenever a shop has masks, long queues of people form, desperate to buy them. Some shops are accused of gouging - unreasonably raising prices to profit off an emergency.

Scientists in Australia successfully replicate the virus for the first time outside China. The Doherty Institute in Melbourne says it has grown the novel coronavirus in cell culture from a patient sample. “Having the real virus means we now have the ability to actually validate and verify all test methods, and compare their sensitivities and specificities,” virus identification laboratory head Julian Druce says. “It will be a game-changer for diagnosis.”

People queue for face masks in Nanning, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Photo: Associated Press

China has handed over the coronavirus genome to Russia for help to develop a vaccine.

UAE confirms first cases, saying doctors are treating a family that had just come from Wuhan. This is the first infection to hit the Middle East. Finland confirms its first case. Confirmed cases in Germany rise to four, all of them are employees at a Bavarian firm recently visited by a Chinese colleague. Tibet, the last province in China to note infection, flags its first case. Hong Kong reports a further two cases. Vietnam flags a likely human-to-human transmission. Kenya and Ethiopia flag their first suspected cases. African nations begin gearing up to deal with the outbreak. Equatorial Guinea says it has quarantined four travellers from China who had arrived in Malabo on Ethiopian Airlines. Mauritania has set up a crisis unit at airports in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou which use thermal cameras to scan arrivals.

British Airways becomes the first major airline to announce a total suspension of flights to China. South East Asia's biggest carrier Lion Air Group of Indonesia says it will halt services from Saturday. Iberia, Spain's national carrier halts flights between Madrid and Shanghai as of Friday. Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's carrier, cut flights due to low demand. Papua New Guinea bans travellers from all Asian ports. In a note to airlines and boat operators it says any passangers that come from Asian ports will be refused entry. It also closes its only land border, with Indonesia. Guangdong province in China confirms that three foreigners, two Australians and a Pakistani student, are infected.

Analysts and experts are furious after finding they have been blocked from the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Twitter account after they called for international organisations to deal directly with Taiwan. At the moment, the ICAO and WHO only deal with Beijing. Self-ruled Taiwan has been calling for these bodies to deal with it directly. The ICAO, which is currently headed by Fang Liu, a former Civil Aviation of China official, told AFP that it welcomes any discussion on the outbreak, but that some activists had used the opportunity to make things political. One of those silenced is Michael Mazza, a foreign and defence analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. He responded that Taiwan's exclusion was a fact, and in his opinion it was a problem. He said he had wanted to talk to the ICAO about it, but so far had been refused.

Shoppers queue for free face masks in Tseun Wan, Hong Kong.
Photo: EPA

The Chinese women's national football team is quarantined in Brisbane, Australia. Authorities say 32 people connected with the team had travelled through Wuhan the week before. The World Cup alpine skiing due to be held in Yanging next month has been called off. The International Ski Federation said although the risk was low, they had to protect their athletes. The World Cup was to be the first official Beijing 2022 Test Event. The first winter X-Games to be held in China has been postponed. The X Games Chongli 2020 was due to have been held from February  21-23, in the same areas as the alpine events for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which are officially being hosted by Beijing. X-sports, or extreme sports, include BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing and Moto X. The annual event is produced and broadcast by ESPN.

Toyota says it will keep its plants in China shut until February 9. The decision affects three plants: the GAC Toyota Motor Co Ltd facility, as well as Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, 41 people have died of Lassa fever since the beginning of the month. Endemic to Nigeria, Lassa fever belongs to the same family as the Ebola and Marburg viruses, but is much less deadly. The virus is spread by contact with rat faeces or urine. The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control said the death toll was an improvement on January 2019, when 42 deaths were reported.


January 28

The death toll has jumped to 107 and at least 4,474 cases of infection have been reported. All deaths so far have been in mainland China. At least 63 people have recovered. 

Work in progress at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, as can be seen on 28 January.
Photo: Xinhua

Mongolia, still apparently virus-free, closes its border crossings for vehicles and pedestrians with China; schools and universities will remain closed until March 2. Hong Kong and Malaysia announce they will bar entry to people from Wuhan. Kazakhstan suspends its 72-hour transit visa for Chinese. Americans are told to reconsider travel to China. The Philippines will temporarily stop issuing tourist visas on arrival to Chinese nationals. Thailand says it will screen arrivals from China as infections there rise to 14. The WHO says there is no need to evacuate foreign nationals from Wuhan.

Singaporean pop stars JJ Lin and Stefanie Sun release a Chinese-language song, Stay With You, to encourage medical staff working in cities under lockdown on the mainland.

Hong Kong slashes cross-border travel, but stops short of closing the borders completely. The through-train services between Hung Hom and Guangzhou will be suspended. Public facilities, including museums and sports centres are closed, while civil servants have been asked to work from home, as have many staff in private companies. Free face masks are handed out in Tseun Wan.

A man rides a deserted subway in Beijing, January 28, 2020.
Photo: Agence France Presse

China delays schools' return. A statement from the education ministry said schools would open on a case-by-case basis. Beijing's Sars hospital, Xiaotangshan, is being refurbished, with medical staff and construction workers on site as of today. The government says 6,000 medics have been sent to Wuhan, but a shortage of supplies is slowing their development. The mayor of Wuhan says about 5 million people left the city before the lockdown. Premier Li Keqiang visits Wuhan and orders hospitals to admit patients and not turn anyone away.

Sellers on Amazon warn shoppers about fake masks as demand soars, even as medical experts continue to say the masks are ineffective.

Experts say the outbreak will last for months.

Germany confirms first human-to-human transmission. The man had worked in Germany with a Chinese colleague who had begun to feel sick on the flight home.

Japan confirms a case of the virus in a man who had not been to China.

The US says it's developing a vaccine, but it will take three months to start initial trials.


January 27

Eighty people have died from the virus so far and 2,510 are confirmed infected. Hong Kong now has eight cases, and Macau five. Canada, Cambodia, Germany, Ivory Coast, Nepal and Sri Lanka have all recorded their first possible cases.

China issues a blanket ban on the sale of wildlife with immediate effect. China’s National Development and Reform Commission allocates 300 million yuan (around US$43.25 million) for medical equipment purchase and the construction of  Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals which will be used for coronavirus patients in Wuhan, reports the official China Daily. Financial media Caixin reports that Director of the Wuhan Ethnic Affairs Commission, Wang Xianliang, died on January 26 afternoon. All rescue measures were proven ineffectual.


Snippet of humanity

Citizens in Wuhan are mostly staying at home, but unite with others from their balconies to sing the national anthem, or chant "Wuhan, fight!". The anthem’s refrain, Qilai, qilai, qilai! or “Rise up, rise up, rise up!” echoed between the towers of skyscrapers in the city of 11 million, where streets have grown eerily quiet as families try to avoid contact with others who might be infected. 


Work is speeding ahead on the new hospital in Wuhan as this photo taken on January 27 shows.
Photo: Agence France Presse

India flags a suspected case in Rajasthan. In Kerala, scores of people who came in from Wuhan have been quarantined.

Stockmarkets plunged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 453, falling for the fifth straight day. The broader S&P 500 index fell 1.6%. Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism suffered sharp losses. 

Countries continue to evacuate nationals from Wuhan. These include Germany, Morocco, France, Japan, Spain, US, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and Russia.

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishes a cartoon of the Chinese flag, but instead of stars there are drawings of a coronavirus. China’s embassy in Denmark responded the same day and issued a statement calling the cartoon “an insult to China” that “hurts the feelings of the Chinese people”. The embassy said the cartoon crossed the “ethical boundary of free speech”, and demanded that the paper and the cartoonist Niels Bo Bojesen “reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologise to the Chinese people”. The paper declines to do so the following day.


January 26

In mainland China, the death toll is 56, with reported cases at 1975. Hong Kong has five cases, Macau five, Taiwan three, and the rest of Asia has 24. North America has three after Canada declared its first case, Australia has four and Europe has three. This brings the global known infections to 2022. Ivory Coast flags a suspected case, which if tested positive will be the first in Africa. Test results are due on February 1.

Studies suggest that the virus has an infection index of 3.8, which is regarded as very high. For each person infected, 3.8 others are likely to catch the disease. Scientists believe, though, that there are at least 30 drugs that could help to fight the disease. Hospitals in Wuhan begin using anti-HIV drugs on patients.

Hong Kong bars entry for anyone arriving from Hubei. Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park theme parks close.

Angry residents in Hong Hong torched a residential block of flats in Fanling that authorities had planned to use as a quarantine centre. The block was uninhabited, a public house project that was yet to be populated.

Snippet of humanity

As the medical workers in Henan were about to board the bus to Wuhan a man suddenly yelled, "Wang Yuehua, I love you!”

He sobbed, gasping, as his wife joined an emergency response team headed to the epicentre of the deadly new coronavirus. A nurse patted the man on the shoulder as he lowered his head, heaving. Another woman came by and murmured to him as he cried, “I know, I know, I can’t control it.”

The nurse next to him began to weep as well, wiping her face as the bus pulled away, loaded with colleagues and loved ones venturing on a perilous journey into an epidemic. At least 15 medical workers have been infected and one has died after treating coronavirus patients in Wuhan. The 52-member group from Henan are joining more than 6,000 medical workers who’ve been dispatched from every province except Tibet and Hubei (where Wuhan is located) to relieve doctors and nurses in on the front lines. - Tribune News Services


January 25

Death toll rises to 41. Among the dead is Liang Wudong, a surgeon at Xinhua Hospital in Hubei province, died at 7am at the age of 62. He is the first doctor to die. The number of global infections reaches 1,300. The virus has spread to 11 countries. France confirms its first 3 cases. Nepal confirms its first case. Australia confirms 1 case and Malaysia confirms 3.

The WHO corrects its global risk level for the virus, from "moderate" to high. “WHO’s risk assessment is that the outbreak is a very high risk in China, and a high risk regionally and globally.” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is visiting China this week to discuss ways of containing the outbreak said.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Yuet-ngo announces school holiday will be extended to February 17. She declares the highest level of emergency.

In Wuhan, video footage of people desperately seeking help was widespread on social media. Some nurses and doctors were reported to be suffering emotional breakdowns in hospital consulting rooms while outpatients crowd corridors with some pictured lying on the floor. Censors try to scrub the video from the internet in China.

More than 20 hospitals in Wuhan have posted statements pleading for aid from various sectors as there has been a shortage of masks, latex gloves, protective goggles and surgical gowns. China deploys 1,230 doctors and nurses to help fight coronavirus as private firms, Tencent, JDCom, Lenovo, pledge money, supplies.

The PLA has requested the green light to use public transport systems to move supplies and staff where needed. The Communist Party has formed a special committee to handle the outbreak. Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on the nation to unite to fight the disease. The government send 1,200 medics from other centres to the frontline in Wuhan. Authorities in Shanghai have also sent 81 ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) life-support machines to Jinyintan Hospital, in Wuhan. 

The ECMO technique – which involves removing blood from a person’s body, removing the carbon dioxide and oxygenating red blood cells before pumping them back into the patient – has already been used on one critically ill patient at Wuhan University’s Zhongnan Hospital, according to Shanghai-based news outlet Thepaper.cn. Though the report did not say how effective the treatment had been.

France begins to bus nationals out of Wuhan to escape the virus.

In Hong Kong, citizens struggle to buy masks. Because they had been banned during the protests, they can not be imported from mainland China. Most shops run out of stock.
 
The Lancet takes down its paywall for any coronavirus-related articles

January 24

Death toll reaches 26, with 878 confirmed cases in China. The Washington Post reports that Patient 26 was a 36-year-old man that had no underlying disease. He died on 23 January following a sudden heart attack. Most victims so far have been elderly and with underlying conditions. China confirms its first two deaths outside of Hubei Province, the epicentre of the outbreak. The first is in Hebei, a northern province bordering Beijing. The second is in the northeastern province of Heilongjinang, which borders Russia. All but two provinces in China record infections.

Macau announces its school holidays will be extended to February 10. Casinos are still open.

China starts to build a new hospital dedicated to treating patients infected with the virus. The 25,000 square-metre facility in Wuhan, will hold 1,000 beds and is due to be finished by February 3.

Heavy equipment gets busy clearing the site for the planned field hospital in Wuhan where authorities say it will be completed in 10 days.
Photo: Associated Press

Shanghai Disneyland closes. Cirque du Soleil, the Canada-based acrobatic circus franchise, halts all shows in China. The Chinese movie Lost in Russia, due to premiere tomorrow, will be streamed online instead as authorities close cinemas. Huanxi Group announces an agreement with Beijing Bytedance Network. Bytedance, which owns TikTok, said given the situation, fans would be able to watch the movie for free on its app. China annouces it will close a section of the Great Wall and Bird's Nest Stadium. The Ming Tombs and Yinshan Pagoda will be closed tomorrow.

Huangshi city near Hubei province announces that transport routes and ferry terminal will close, bringing the number of cities under partial or full public transport lockdown to 11.

Other cities shutting down include Ezhou, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen, Dangyan, Xianning, and Xianto. Including Wuhan and Huanggan, an estimated 25 million people are caught up in the unprecedented quarantine. In Wuhan, the number of taxis allowed to operate is limited. Popular ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing temporarily suspends services. Citizens complain that the lack of transport makes getting to hospital or the doctor very difficult. To discourage New Year travellers, the Chinese government says anyone cancelling rail, air, ferry or long-distance coach tickets will get a refund. 

Wiley, a research and education publisher, opens access to Coronavirus research to aid relief efforts.


January 23

A travel ban has been imposed on Wuhan residents, and the streets are empty.

Deaths jump to 17 with more than 500 cases. Wuhan is sealed off, with authorities shutting down public transport and its airport and toll roads An estimated 5 million people have already left the city. Hours later, neighbouring Huanggan is sealed off, too. Studies published on January 21 reveal that an examination of the virus genome points to the likely role of bats and snakes in the outbreak. Food prices in Wuhan begin to rise, masks and disinfectant are difficult to find. Taxis triple their fees. Citizens beg for help online. Zhong Nanshan, 83, the doctor who became a household name 17 years ago for “daring to speak” in the fight against Sars, is appointed to lead the National Health Commission’s investigation into the new virus.

Macau confirms second case and cancels all official Chinese New Year celebrations. China mainland cancels all major Chinese New Year celebrations. Scotland flags two suspected cases. Vietnam confirms two cases. Chinese health authorities are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, placing those believed infected in plastic tubes and wheeled boxes, with air passed through filters. Wang Guangfa, the Peking University respiratory specialist who caught the disease while studying it, believes he caught it through his eyeballs as he did not have goggles.

Hong Kong confirms two men are infected. Officials in Hong Kong announce that two holiday camps will be turned into quarantine zones. The wife of one of the men and two medical staff are sent into quarantine. The MTR stops selling high-speed rail train tickets to Wuhan. Mainland rail companies continue normal service, even though the departure halls of Wuhan railway station are closed. A woman who visited a doctor's clinic had a temperature reading of 37.3 Celsius. She, her husband and son were sent to hospital. Their transfer to an ambulance caused mild panic in Central.

2020 Olympics qualifying matches are moved from Wuhan. The city was meant to host China, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia for the Group B Asian women's football qualifiers from February 3-9, and the Asia/Oceania boxing tournament from February 3-14.

Scientists say coronavirus may have already infected thousands


January 22:

The death toll in China reaches nine, with confirmed cases at 440. Chinese health authorities urge people to avoid large crowds and public gatherings, warning the disease could mutate. 

Macau confirms its first case. The Philippines flags a suspected case. Australia says a man suspected of contracting the disease tested negative. 

Chinese physician Wang Guangfa, who was investigating the outbreak, reports that he himself is infected. Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, says officials are working on the assumption that the outbreak resulted from human exposure to wild animals that were being "traded illegally" at a food market in Wuhan, and that the virus is mutating.

The WHO holds off on calling the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”, but decides to meet again the following day because the situation is evolving rapidly. 

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen urges WHO to include Taiwan after the organisation blocked it as being part of China. Hong Kong flags two cases.

Snakes are scientists' top suspect for the outbreak. A group of scientists writes “the most probable wildlife reservoir” for the new virus, according to an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Medical Virology. The two specific types of snake cited in the study are the Chinese cobra and the Chinese krait.


January 21:

The death toll is raised to six. China says the number of infections have jumped to nearly 300. Fifteen medical workers are confirmed infected in Wuhan. Zhejiang province declares five cases. China's government warns officials not to cover up spread of virus. Face masks are selling out fast. The Chinese aviation authority warns companies not to charge fees for anyone cancelling flights from the area. Singapore, Taiwan and the United States report their first cases. North Korea bans foreign travellers.

How to avoid the Wuhan virus in Hong Kong 


January 20 

Human-to-human transmission is confirmed. Third death in China announced. The virus is found in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Hong Kong's neighbouring city. South Korea detects its first case in a Chinese passenger arriving from Wuhan. Singapore begins temperature screening all travellers arriving from China at Changi Airport. Hong Kong strengthens its detection and response measures.

Whuan municipal government said it was distributing 200,000 free tickets to residents for festive new year activities.


Jaunary 18

The Wuhan government hosts a banquet attended by more than 40,000 families in a bid to set a Guinness world record. 


Jaunary 17

The US begins screening passengers at San Francisco, New York's JFK and Los Angeles airports.


January 16 

Japan records its first case in someone who has recently been in Wuhan.

Wuhan virus: what you need to know 


January 13

Thailand records its first case.


January 12

The Shanghai laboratory where researchers published the world’s first genome sequence of the deadly coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is shut down for "rectification". The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre team under Professor Zhang Yongzhen yesterday published the genome sequence for the virus on open platforms. The laboratory is a Level 3 biosafety facility, the second-highest level, and passed an annual inspection by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment on January 5.


January 11

Professor Zhang Yongzhen’s team at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre publish the genome sequence on open platforms.


January 1, 2020

A wildlife and seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, suspected of being ground zero, is closed.

Police in Wuhan arrest eight people and punish them after they claimed online that Wuhan was in the grip of a fresh Sars outbreak. The group were reprimanded for "publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification," a police statement says.


December 31, 2019 

The World Health Organisation is alerted by Chinese authorities.


December 8, 2019

A patient in the city of Wuhan, China, seeks medical help for pneumonia-like symptoms.

 

Cuba, Reunion, St Vincent Grenadines, French Polynesia  St Vincent Grenadines, ,  and  register their first infections.   US Virgin Islands     Puerto Rico,   

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