It’s hard to think it has been almost a year since COVID-19 took over our lives. Most countries continue to be under the grasp of the coronavirus despite all efforts to contain its spread. Here’s a look at the history of the pandemic and the birth of COVID-19. This is how it unfolded.
The months of January to March
- A 55-year-old person from Hubei province in China was the first reported COVID-19 positive case. This was on On November 17, 2019. Chinese authorities reported the next identified case later on December 8, 2019, in Wuhan. But the doctors could not identify this unique pneumonia-like disease.
- China notifies the outbreak of this unknown virus to the WHO on January 3, 2020. On January 7, the Chinese CDC named the mysterious infection as novel coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV.
- By the third week of January, other countries started reporting cases of a similar kind. Other East Asian countries confirmed their first cases around this time. The United States confirmed its first case in Washington on January 21. China also started imposing travel restrictions and quarantine measures in the affected provinces.
- On January 3o India confirmed the first positive case. Countries all over the world started to close their borders. Also imposed travel restrictions on international passengers. WHO declares the corona outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern(PHEIC).
- The Government of India announced a nation-wide lockdown on 24 March. This later on extended up to 31 May in various phases.
- June onwards India started its unlock phase with several restrictions. Inter and intra-state travel restrictions were removed under the first phase
- But by the end of July India passed one million cases. This may be due to the lack of proper implementation of the unlock phase.
The vaccine testing phase
- The first country to be granted regulatory approval for the COVID-19 vaccine was Russia. Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute in collaboration with the Russian defence ministry developed the vaccine.
- Pfizer is out with a promising vaccine expected to be 90% effective as per United States.
- WHO is working in collaboration with scientists, business, and global health organisations through the ACT Accelerator to speed up the vaccine discovery.
- Phase 1 of human trials on two indigenous vaccine candidates has been completed in India. The Serum Institute of India(SII) is conducting these vaccine trials.
India managed to control the spread of the coronavirus until June. But since the unlock phase there has been a surge in the positive cases. Similar is the situation in many other parts of the world. While 2020 is nearing its end, we are all hoping that a vaccine is discovered and the pandemic to fade away.
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