On the 31st of December – New Year’s Eve – while Nigerians and the rest of the world were preparing to cross over to a new year, the first case of what is now known as a global health emergency, was reported in Wuhan, China – Coronavirus. Since then, the coronavirus outbreak has spread to over 28 countries, recorded over 70,000 cases and thousands of deaths.
Currently, five European countries have reported cases of coronavirus which link an outbreak in Italy while US officials warn Americans of a likely outbreak in the US.
Don’t panic yet – while there are no known cases in Nigeria, we must take precaution. Let’s start from the top.
What is Coronavirus?
ICYMI: Coronaviruses refer to viruses that affect the respiratory tract of mammals, including humans. Remember SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)? That was a coronavirus. If you heard about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Disease), that was also a coronavirus.
They are common and spread through being in proximity to an infected person and inhaling droplets generated when they cough or sneeze, or touching a surface where these droplets land and then touching one’s face or nose.
Here’s all we know about the relevant dates:
The coronavirus outbreak started at the end of 2019 in a poor city in China. When it started, all that was known was that there was an unusual case of pneumonia spreading through the city of Wuhan.
Interestingly, several of the people infected, worked in a market called Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where dead and live animals including fish and birds were sold. The market was shut down on January 1.
The identity of the virus was not known until January 7 when it was identified as belonging to the coronavirus family.
China announced its first death.
The first case outside of China was reported in Thailand in a woman who had arrived from Wuhan.
Japan’s health ministry reported a confirmed case in a man who had also visited Wuhan.
A second death was reported in Wuhan and cases were confirmed in the United States, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan confirmed cases over the following days.
The WHO said thatthat the coronavirus outbreak did not yet constitute a public emergency of international concern.
The death toll in China was at 26.
New cases were confirmed in the US, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom confirmed their first cases of the virus.
The death toll in China rose to 259, with 11,791 confirmed infections in the country.
Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the US, the UAE and Vietnam recorded new cases.
The first death outside China, of a Chinese man from Wuhan, was reported in the Philippines.
China confirmed 908 deaths and a total of 40,171 infections.
The World Health Organisation announced that the new coronavirus would be called “COVID-19”.
Egypt became the first country in Africa to report a case.
France reported Europe’s first death from the virus.
The death toll in China went past 1,500. 66,492 infections were confirmed.
Taiwan recorded its first death.
Around this period, a book by author Dean Koontz, published in 1981 that allegedly predicted the virus, surfaced on the internet.
Japan confirmed 99 new cases of the virus on board a quarantined cruise ship.
Iran confirmed it’s first case reported two deaths from the coronavirus.
South Korea reported its first death from the coronavirus.
As of today, the global death toll neared 2,800 with about 80,000 confirmed infection cases reported globally.
Here’s everything you might need to know about keeping yourself safe from Coronavirus.