This timeline chronicles the early stages of the viral outbreak in China and the Chinese regime’s coverup. Despite the evidence, Chinese authorities played down the severity of the outbreak for weeks, while suppressing vital information about COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
By the time authorities implemented the first containment measures on Jan. 23, it was too late. The disease had already spread around the country and overseas.
Less than two months later, the outbreak was declared a global pandemic. It has now spread to more than 200 countries and territories
- The first person is infected—a 55-year-old from Hubei Province—according to the South China Morning Post, citing government documents.
- Dec 1 – The earliest documented patient, a man in his 70s who was bedridden from a stroke, falls ill. He has no connection with the Wuhan seafood market. This case is one week earlier than the official account, which says the first patient appeared on Dec. 8.
- Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University, previously told Science magazine that based on the findings in The Lancet study, the first human infections must have taken place in November in Wuhan—due to there being an incubation period before the onset of symptoms. “The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace,” Lucey told Science.
- First evidence appears of human-to-human transmission among close contacts, according to a Jan. 29 study.
- A Chinese lab sequences most of the virus genome from samples from a 65-year-old patient, and reports the findings to Wuhan health officials and state-affiliated Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
- Dr. Ai Fen, a director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, shares a report of a contagious, SARS-like virus in her department group chat on WeChat, a Chinese social media platform. She is later reprimanded by her hospital for “spreading rumors.”
- Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan shares the report with his former medical school classmates on WeChat, warning them to take precautionary measures.
- Later that day, Wuhan Central Hospital transmits a notice from the Wuhan Health Commission that warns health workers not to spread information about the “unknown pneumonia,” or face potential penalties.
- Wuhan Health Commission issues an urgent notice, asking hospitals to report any “pneumonia patients with unknown causes”.
- Wuhan Health Commission confirms 27 cases of an unknown pneumonia disease, but said it was “preventable and controllable.” It also says that there have been no infections of health workers, and no apparent evidence that the disease can spread between people.
- Chinese authorities notify the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak.
Start of 2020
- Officials close Huanan Seafood Market, which they believe may be a source of the outbreak.
- A Hubei Provincial Health Commission official tells a genomics company to stop testing virus samples and to destroy all existing samples.
- Local police summon eight Wuhan medical workers who had shared information about the virus online, and reprimand them for “rumor-mongering.”
- Government-run Wuhan virology lab obtains the full virus genome. This information is not made public until seven days later.
- The PLA Naval University of Engineering in Wuhan, a military university, bans entry to visitors whose body temperature is over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a leaked internal notice.
- Feb 11: WHO announces that the disease caused by the novel coronavirus will be called “COVID-19.”
- Feb 12th: Coronavirus cases start to spikein South Korea.
- Feb 19th: Iran’s coronavirus outbreak begins
- March 8th: Italy places all 60 million of its residents on lockdown
- March 11th: WHO declares the outbreak a pandemic. President Trump bans all travel from 26 European countries.
- March 13th: Trump declares a national emergency in the US.
- March 23rd: New York City confirms 21,000 cases, making it the epicenter of the outbreak in the US
- March 26th: Total confirmed cases in the US reach 82,404 — the highest in the world — surpassing China’s 81,782 and Italy’s 80,589
- March 31st: More than 1/3 of humanity is under some form of lockdown.
- April 2nd: The world passes 1 million COVID-19 infections
- April 7th: Roughly 95% of all Americans are under lockdown, as 42 states issue stay-at-home orders. Small businesses are shutdown, throwing millions out of work. Stay-at-home orders force businesses to shift to a “work from home” model, and do many schools across the U.S. People grapple with work from home challenges, students wrestle with “distanced learning”.
- May 11th: Several countries, such as Spain, Iran, Italy, Denmark, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, and Thailand, begin to ease their lockdown restrictions. They appear to have passed the critical stage of infection among their population.
- May 21st: The number of global COVID-19 cases surpasses 5 million
- June 28th: The number of global COVID-19 cases surpass 10 million, and global deaths surpass 500,000
World Economic Forum: timeline image