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A Brief History of the First Three Weeks of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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  • A Brief History of the First Three Weeks of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The COVID-19 outbreak appears to have originated in the Wuhan area of Hubei Province in China in November or December of 2019. Although information about the outbreak was initially suppressed by Chinese officials (link), by December 30, 2019, various Chinese media reports publicly emerged about a “viral pneumonia” occurring in the area (link). The first major public tracking effort of this pandemic started at In a thread started by penguinsix on December 31, 2019, members of, a volunteer organization tracking infection diseases around the world, began compiling media reports about the spread of this novel disease outbreak (link).

    On December 31, 2019, the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong noted that they were monitoring an outbreak of 27 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China (link). On January 1, 2020, Chinese authority shut down the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where it was believed that the virus made the jump to humans from an animal species in the market (link). By January 3, the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection was monitoring 44 cases of this novel disease (link, link). Within a few days, China officially reported 44 case-patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology to the World Health Organization (link) as required by International Health Regulations, Article 6.

    On January 6, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States issued a Level 1, travel warning to the Wuhan area of China (link). On January 7, Chinese scientists determined that a new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was causing this outbreak of viral pneumonia (link, link). Three days later, on January 10, the genome of this novel coronavirus was made publicly available (link, link). By January 8, the number of cases in Wuhan area climbed to 59 (link). On January 9, China reported its first official death from the coronavirus, a 61-year-old male who frequented the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (link).

    A few days later, the first laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 was detected outside of China in Thailand (link). On January 13, the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand reported that an infected 61-year-old Chinese woman was detected by surveillance at the Bangkok airport. The woman was a resident of Wuhan, China, and was apparently ill for several days before her arrival at the Thailand airport on January 8.

    Three days later, on January 16, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, announced the detection of the first COVID-19 case in Japan (link). The individual was a Japanese resident in his 30s from the Kanagawa prefecture who tested positive after returning from a visit to the Wuhan area in China (link). Japan became the second county outside of China to report a COVID-19 case.

    The following day, January 17, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare reported a second confirmed COVID-19 cases to the World Health Organization (link). A man, living in Japan, had traveled to Wuhan, China, in early January where he developed symptoms, but tested negative for influenza when he returned to Japan. After returning, he continued to have symptoms and was hospitalized. Public official conducted two separate tests on January 14 and determined he had been infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    Three days later, on 20 January 2020, public health officials in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) reported the first case of novel coronavirus in the that county. The case was a 35-year-old female, Chinese national residing in Wuhan, China, who started exhibiting symptoms on the January 18 in China (link). The symptomatic individual was detected when she arrived at the Incheon International Airport on January 19, and was confirmed on January 20.

    By January 20, four deaths had been attributed to COVID-19 infections in China, all from Hubei Province. The reported cases in China reached a total 291; Hubei Province 270, Guangdong 14. Beijing 5, and Shanghai 2 (link). The four reported cases from outside of China were Thailand 2, Japan 1, and Republic of Korea 1, all occurring as imported cases.

    On January 21, The World Health Organization began publishing its daily situation report on this new disease (link). Also, on January 21, a team from Johns Hopkins University set up one of the first internet websites for live tracking the global outbreak of COVID-19 (link). According to World Health Organization by the end of the day on January 21, there were 314 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 309 from China, 2 from Thailand and 1 each from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (link).

    The following day, on January 22, the United States of America became the fourth country in the world to report a confirmed COVID-19 case according to the World Health Organization.1 The individual was a 35-year-old male who had spent several months travelling in the Wuhan area before returning to the United States. On January 15 he returned to his home in Snohomish County, Washington, and the next day started exhibiting symptoms. Test by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on January 20 determined that this individual was infected with COVID-19 (link, link). He became the first COVID-19 case in the United States.

    A few days later on January 25, the World Health Organization reported a worldwide total of 1320 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Besides China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States, first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported from five additional countries, Viet Nam, Singapore, Australia, Nepal, and France (link).

    And by the end of that week, the coronavirus outbreak was the lead story of international news around the world.

    It is no longer just a Chinese problem or an Asian problem. It is not the “Wuhan Flu” or the “Chinese virus”, despite media reports or statements by government officials. It is a worldwide crisis. On February 11, the World Health Organization named the disease COVID-19 (link) and a month later on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic (link). . . . And that was only the beginning.


    1. By January 22, Macao and Taiwan had reported cases, but the World Health Organization considers these areas as administrative regions associated with the People's Republic of China.
    Last edited by Laidback Al; March 24, 2020, 09:38 PM. Reason: Paragraph 1 edited to note that was the first organization to note and track the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • #2
    le m?me texte, en indiquant qui a aid? qui ?

    Geng Shuang a ?galement donn? quelques exemples:

      Le premier exemple est la Cor?e du Sud. La Cor?e du Sud a ?t? l'un des premiers pays ? faire don de mat?riel anti-?pid?mique ? la Chine. "Je me souviens du slogan" Les difficult?s de la Chine sont nos difficult?s "est affich? sur le mur ext?rieur de l'ambassade de Cor?e du Sud en Chine." Apr?s que l'?pid?mie cor?enne soit devenue plus grave, le gouvernement chinois a fourni ? la Cor?e du Sud des fournitures m?dicales telles que des masques et des v?tements de protection. Plus de 20 gouvernements locaux ont donn? des masques, des v?tements de protection, des lunettes de protection et d'autres endroits ? S?oul, Daegu et Gyeongsangbuk-do via les canaux internationaux des villes sœurs. Test des r?actifs, thermom?tres et autres mat?riaux.
    issu de :
    Le porte-parole du minist?re chinois des Affaires ?trang?res, Geng Shuang, a d?clar? lors d'une conf?rence de presse r?guli?re le 20 que le gouvernement chinois a annonc? qu'il avait fourni une assistance ? 82 pays, l'OMS et l'UA, et de nombreux lots d'aide ont ?t? livr?s aux b?n?ficiaires. Il a indiqu? que la Chine avait ?tendu son assistance aux pays touch?s par l'?pid?mie et avait d?ploy? des efforts dans quatre domaines principaux.


    • #3
      Bertrand789, perhaps if the United States had considered accepting some of the help that China was providing around the world at the time, the dimension of the crisis in the United States might have been diminished.


      • #4
        Nous sommes face ? une crise soci?tale. Les Etats Unis vont vivre la leur. Je suis en France, pour disposer d'un m?dicament, d'un test, ou de produits de protection, il faut contacter un politique local ou ce Monsieur:

        En tout cas, comme la Chine, qui n'a ?t? affect? que sur une infime partie de son territoire, qui a ?t? trait?e de fa?on irrespectueuse, par bien trop , s'autorise ? mettre en avant ses possibles, il va y avoir quoi de mieux ?