How coronavirus took over the world in just three months

The coronavirus pandemic has swiftly changed the lives of thousands across the globe. In a matter of months, entire countries have shut down in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 originated in the city of Wuhan in China's Hubei province in late 2019.

Since then it has spread to more than 160 countries and at the time of publishing there are 415,876 confirmed cases globally and more than 18000 deaths.

Below is a timeline of the virus from it's outbreak in Wuhan to today.

December 2019

31 December 2019 - Health authorities in China officially notify the World Health Organisation about a mysterious cluster of people who have contracted pneumonia. Most of the 41 patients are somehow connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, located in China's Hubei province.

January 2020

1 January 2020 - The Huanan Market is closed by Chinese health authorities. 

5 January 2020 - Chinese health authorities rule out the possibility that the mystery illness is a resurgence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 

7 January 2020 -  The illness is discovered to be a new form of coronavirus. It is dubbed  2019-nCOV. Coronaviruses are a type of virus typically found in animals. In humans they can cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold and flu. 

Coronaviruses are named after their appearance as under a microscope they have pointed structures all over them protruding like crowns. SARS is also a form of coronavirus.

11 January 2020 - China reports its first death from the virus. A 61-year-old man who had been to the Huanan market did not improve from treatment and died of heart failure on January 9.

13 January 2020 - The first case is reported outside of China. A woman who had travelled to Thailand from Wuhan was diagnosed with the virus. 

17 January 2020 - A second death from the virus is reported in Wuhan. US health authorities announce they will begin screening people for signs of the virus at airport security.

20 January 2020 - China reports it's third death with more than 200 infections. Cases have now spread outside the Hubei province to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. A Chinese expert on infectious disease confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus.

23 January 2020 - Wuhan is put into lockdown. Planes and trains are suspended and people are urged to remain in their homes. Beijing cancels planned events for the Lunar New Year.

24 January 2020 - Death toll in China rises again to 26. More than 830 people are infected. In Hubei province 13 cities are locked down affecting more than 40 million people. New Zealand's Ministry of Health sets up a team to monitor the situation, but says it is low risk. Global cases reach nearly 2800 and 80 people are confirmed to have died. 

25 January 2020 - The first case is confirmed in Australia. 

26 January 2020 - Hong Kong cancels Lunar New Year celebrations, closes theme parks and declares a virus emergency.

New cases are confirmed in the US, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Three more cases are confirmed in Australia. 

30 January 2020 - The World Health Organisation (WHO) declares a global health emergency. The New Zealand Government charters a flight to rescue Kiwis trapped in Wuhan. They are all sent to a quarantine facility in Whangaparaoa for 14 days upon their arrival in New Zealand. 

February 2020

 2 February 2020 -  The first death outside China is reported. A man from Wuhan has died in the Philippines. China's death toll hits 304. 

3 February 2020 - New Zealand places entry restrictions on entering the country. Anyone who has travelled through mainland China in the past two weeks must self-isolate for the next 14 days. 

8 February 2020 - Two New Zealanders aboard the cruise ship The Diamond Princess, anchored off the coast of Japan are confirmed to have contracted the virus. A total of 64 passengers on the ship are infected and ordered to stay in their cabins.

11 February 2020 - WHO names the disease COVID-19 - short for coronavirus disease 2019.Confirmed cases globally reach 43103 and deaths outstrip that of the SARS epidemic.

19 February 2020 - The first infection is reported in Iran. Hours later the country reports its first two deaths.

The quarantine of people from Wuhan in Whangaparaoa ends.

22 February 2020 - 634 cases of coronavirus are confirmed on the Diamond Princess. South Korea reports 229 positive cases in 24 hours, Italy has its first two deaths. China's infection rates have fallen dramatically with 397 cases reported - down from  the thousands in earlier days.

25 February 2020 - Iran's health minister confirms he has tested positive for the virus. The country now has 95 cases and 15 deaths. Cases in South Korea explode to 883.

28 February 2020 - New Zealand reports its first case of coronavirus. A man in his 60s who travelled from Iran has tested positive. Restrictions are placed on flights from Iran.

29 February 2020 - South Korea reports 813 new cases in a single day. Iran sees cases rise by 388 to 593 in 24 hours. New Zealand health officials are now meeting flights from Hong Kong,  Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand at the border.

March 2020

4 March 2020 - New Zealand's second case of COVID-19 is confirmed, An Auckland woman who travelled from northern Italy has tested positive. She and her family enter quarantine in their home. The following day the third positive case is confirmed - a man whose family recently travelled to Iran has caught the virus. This is the first case of person-to-person transmission in Auckland.

6 March 2020 - The fourth case of COVID-19 is confirmed in New Zealand. He is the partner of the woman who contracted the virus after travelling from Northern Italy. He is already in quarantine. 

7 March 2020 - New Zealand's fifth case is confirmed.  The global number of cases reaches more than 100,000. Iran reports more than 4000 infected people. 

10 March 2020 - More than 160 Italians die from the virus in a single day. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte places the entire country under strict lockdown as the virus tears across it.

11 March 2020 - WHO declares a global pandemic. 

13 March 2020 - Europe is now the epicentre of the pandemic with more cases being reported daily than China had at the height of it's outbreak. 

14 March 2020 - New Zealand reports it's sixth case of the virus. The Government announces anyone travelling into the country from anywhere except the Pacific Islands must isolate for 14 days. Memorial services for the anniversary of the 2019 Christchurch Terror Attack are cancelled amid fears of the virus.

15 March 2020 - Two more people in New Zealand test positive bringing the total confirmed cases to eight with an additional two suspected cases.

16 March 2020 - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces tourists who enter the country and do not self isolate are not welcome and will be deported. Cases rise in the US and New York's Mayor orders all bars, cafes, theatres and restaurants to close. 

17 March 2020 - Italy reports 345 new deaths in 24 hours and a total amount of 31506. Three new cases are confirmed in New Zealand. The Government announces a $12.1 billion economic support package to cushion the financial blow of the virus. 

18 March 2020 -  Eight new cases announced in New Zealand.

19 March 2020 - A further eight cases are announced bringing the New Zealand total to 28. The Government announces it will close the borders entirely to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. This includes people from the Pacific Islands.

Anyone who entered the country from the Pacific Islands in the last 14 days is required to isolate for the remaining days. 

20 March 2020 - Auckland Council closes all public facilities such as libraries , art galleries and pools to curb the infection. Global cases surge past 200,000. 

21 March 2020 - 13 new cases in New Zealand. Community transmission cannot be ruled out in two of the cases. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a new four level alert system and says New Zealand sits at Alert Level 2. 

22 March 2020 - 14 new cases confirmed in New Zealand bringing  the total to 66. 

23 March 2020 - The number of confirmed cases in New Zealand surges past 100. Two cases are being treated as community transmission. Jacinda Ardern announces the country is moving to Alert Level 3 effective immediately. 

In 48 hours, the country will sit at Alert Level 4 - almost complete lockdown.

24 March 2020 - 43 new cases announced in New Zealand bringing the total to 155. 12 people are confirmed to have recovered from the virus. The country prepares to enter lockdown. 

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