From the first snatches of information from China to alerts from the WHO, followed by global economic lockdowns and shutdowns, ten key stages in the spread of COVID-19, qualified as a pandemic for six months.
More than 900,000 deaths and 27.6 million cases of infection have been officially recorded.
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) became aware of a communication from the Wuhan authorities reporting cases of viral pneumonia in the city. The international organization will not obtain confirmation from the Chinese authorities until three days later.
On January 7, 2020, a new coronavirus was identified. Four days later, Beijing announces the first death.
Wuhan cut off from the world
On January 23, the city of Wuhan was cut off from the world. In the following days, this will also be the case for almost the entire province of Hubei. Countries are starting to repatriate their nationals from China.
The first official death outside Asia will occur on February 15: a Chinese tourist hospitalized in France.
On March 6, the epidemic passed the 100,000 mark worldwide. On the 8th, Rome imposed confinement in the north of the country, extended a few days later to all of Italy.
On March 11, the WHO qualifies Covid-19 as a “pandemic”. Global stock markets are recording historic lows. Governments and central banks are announcing the first massive measures to support the economy.
Europe is closing
On March 16, Germany called on its people to “stay at home” and the United Kingdom to avoid all “social contact”. France is confined from March 17 while the European Union announces the closure of its external borders.
“Threat to humanity”
On March 24, the announcement was made to postpone the Tokyo Olympics from July 2020 to the following year. The next day, the UN warns that the spread of the pandemic “threatens all of humanity”.
Half the world confined
Containment measures are taken all over the world. On April 2, more than 3.9 billion people (half of humanity) are forced or called upon to confine themselves, according to an AFP count. The same day, the milestone of one million identified cases of Covid-19 is crossed.
Economy on its knees
On April 29, the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing cut 16,000 jobs. Air carriers, car manufacturers and others: many large groups are suffering and are announcing strong workforce reductions.
The hydroxychloroquine controversy
Promoted by French professor Didier Raoult, supported by US President Donald Trump, hydroxychloroquine is classified as ineffective by a resounding international study, published on May 22.
But this publication, which contains errors, is then withdrawn. On June 5, a British test similarly concluded that the product was ineffective.
Push in Latin America
On June 7, the pandemic exceeded 400,000 deaths and progressed strongly in Latin America. Brazil becomes the second most bereaved country behind the United States.
Masks and anti-masks
The upsurge in cases is gradually leading several European countries to impose the wearing of masks. At the end of August and the beginning of September, anti-mask demonstrations are organized in Berlin, London, Paris and Rome.