Last Updated on February 12, 2020

Timeline of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

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As of today, the coronavirus killed over 1,000 people and has infected over 45,000. Here is a timeline of the deadly virus.

December 31, 2019

Cases of Pneumonia detected in mainland Chinese city of Wuhan is reported to the World Health Organisation. The pneumonia cases occur between December 12 and December 29. In this period, the virus is still unknown

January 1, 2020

Chinese health authorities close the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market after it is discovered that wild animals sold there could be the source of the virus.

January 5, 2020

China announces that the unknown pneumonia cases in Wuhan are not SARS or MERS. In a statement, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission says a retrospective probe into the outbreak has been initiated.

January 7, 2020

Chinese authorities confirm that they have identified the virus as a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV by the WHO.

January 11, 2020

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announces the first death caused by the coronavirus. A 61-year-old man exposed to the virus at the seafood market. He died on January 9 after respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia.

January 13, 2020

Thai authorities report a case of infection caused by the coronavirus. The infected individual is a Chinese national who had arrived from Wuhan.

January 16, 2020

Japanese authorities confirm that a Japanese man who travelled to Wuhan is infected with the virus.

January 17, 2020

Chinese health officials confirm that a second person has died in China. The US responds to the outbreak by implementing screenings for symptoms at airports in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

January 20, 2020

China reports 139 new cases of the sickness, including a third death.

January 20, 2020

The National Institutes of Health announces that it is working on a vaccine against the coronavirus. 

January 21, 2020

Officials in Washington state confirm the first case of coronavirus on US soil.

January 22, 2020

Wuhan announces that it will “temporarily” close its airport and railway stations for departing passengers following news that the death toll from the Wuhan Coronavirus has risen to 17. Chinese authorities confirm at least 547 cases in the mainland.

January 23, 2020

At an emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization, the WHO says that the Wuhan coronavirus does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

January 23, 2020

The Beijing Culture and Tourism Bureau cancels all large-scale Lunar New Year celebrations in an effort to contain the growing spread of Wuhan coronavirus.

January 26, 2020

The China Association of Travel Services reports that all tours, including international ones, will be suspended.

January 28, 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom in Beijing. At the meeting, Xi and the WHO agree to send a team of international experts, including US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention staff, to China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak.

January 29, 2020

The White House announces the formation of a new task force that will help monitor and contain the spread of the virus, and ensure Americans have accurate and up-to-date health and travel information, it said.

Related: Coronavirus – All You Need to Know

January 30, 2020

The US reports its first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus.

January 31, 2020

The Donald Trump administration announces it will deny entry to foreign nationals who have travelled in China in the last 14 days.

February 2, 2020

A man in the Philippines dies from the Wuhan coronavirus. It is the first time a death has been reported outside mainland China since the outbreak began.

February 3, 2020

China’s Foreign Ministry accuses the US government of inappropriately reacting to the outbreak and spreading fear by enforcing travel restrictions.

February 4, 2020

The Japanese Health Ministry announces that ten people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored in Yokohama Bay are confirmed to have the coronavirus. The ship, carrying more than 3,700 people, is placed under quarantine scheduled to end on February 19.

February 7, 2020

Li Wenliang, a Wuhan doctor targeted by police for trying to sound the alarm on a “SARS-like” virus in December, dies of the coronavirus.

February 8, 2020

The US Embassy in Beijing confirms that a 60-year-old US national died in Wuhan on February 6, marking the first confirmed death of a foreigner.

February 10, 2020

President Xi inspects efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing, the first time he has appeared on the front lines of the fight against the outbreak. On the same day, a team of international experts from WHO arrives in China to assist with containing the coronavirus outbreak.

February 11, 2020

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced a name for the disease. The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain. The latest strain has been named COVID-19. The new name is taken from the word’s “corona”, “virus” and “disease”, with 2019 representing the year that it emerged. Mr Tedros explained that the world needed a name that could be pronounced unlike the 2019-nCoV.

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