China's coronavirus timeline, as it reports first day with no new domestic coronavirus cases

Scientists celebrate a day with no new domestic cases in China (PA Images)
Scientists celebrate a day with no new domestic cases in China (PA Images)
18:48pm, Thu 19 Mar 2020
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Chinese authorities have reported a full 24 hours with no new domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the emergence of the virus in December.

They have also said that the full lockdown in the city of Wuhan where the virus began, could be lifted should they not have any new cases for 14 consecutive days.

The UK confirmed its first case a month after China, and with further measures being put in place across the country, UK residents can perhaps take some heart from the developments being made in China.

Below we give a timeline of the outbreak that began in China and the key milestones to date:


December 31 - Chinese authorities alert the World Health Organisation to several pneumonia cases at a seafood market in Wuhan in the Hubei province, saying the virus is unknown. The market is shut down.

Doctors in Wuhan dress in masks as a safety precaution (PA Images)


January 7 - Officials identify a novel virus, named 2019-nCoV, as belonging to the coronavirus family, which also includes the common cold and SARS.

January 9 - First death from the virus. A 61-year-old man dies after buying goods from the affected seafood market.

January 13 - First case outside China reported in Thailand. The woman had travelled from Wuhan.

January 16 - Japan reports first case. The man had also visited Wuhan.

January 17 - Second death in Wuhan. Three airports in USA start screening arrivals from the city.

Health authorities in the United States, France, Nepal, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea all confirm cases in the following days.

January 20 - Third death in China. More than 200 confirmed cases including in the capital Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Human-to-human transmission confirmed in China.

Asian countries introduce mandatory screening at airports for passengers from high-risk areas.

January 22 - Chinese death toll jumps to 17.

January 23 - Wuhan placed under effective quarantine with suspension of air and rail departures.

WHO claims outbreak does not yet constitute a public emergency or state of international concern.

First death outside Hubei province.

January 24 - Shanghai Disneyland closes. Beijing closes section of the Great Wall.

New cases reported in South Korea, USA, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan.

Disneyland and other landmarks were closed by Chinese Authorities (PA Images)

January 30 - WHO declares global emergency.  Virus has spread to all Chinese provinces and death toll reaches 170 as well as 7711 confirmed cases.

Philippines and India confirm their first cases.

January 31 -  number of cases in China reaches 9,809. Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK confirm their first cases.


February 1 - China death toll reaches 259. New cases confirmed in  Canada, Australia, Vietnam, Japan, the USA, Germany, Singapore and the UAE.

February 2 - First death outside China. The man, in the Philippines, is from Wuhan.

February 5 - WHO confirms 'no known effective treatment'.

February 7 - Dr Li Wenliang, who was among the first medics to announce the virus, dies.

Hong Kong introduces prison sentences for those who break quarantine rules.

February 8 - US citizen dies in Wuhan.

February 9 - Death toll in China passes that of 2002-03 SARS epidemic, with 811 deaths and 37,198 infections.

February 11 - WHO announces that coronavirus will be named "COVID-19".

February 13 - First death in Japan. North Korea introduces month-long quarantine on all foreign visitors and those suspected to have the virus.

February 14 - France reports first death in Europe. Egypt reports Africa's first case.

A speech (dated February 3) by Chinese President Xi Jinping is published by state media, which reveals the government knew about the threat of the virus long before raising the public alarm.

February 18 - China's daily infection figures drop below 2,000 for the first time since January.

February 20 - South Korea reports first death. Russia bans entry for Chinese citizens.

February 21 - Lombardy, Italy, reports first local transmission.

February 22 - First death in Italy.

February 26 -  Global death toll approaches 2,800 with 80,000 infection cases globally.

February 28 - Wales reports first case.

Italy is the worst hit country in Europe (PA Images)


March 2 - UK Government unveils 'Coronavirus Action Plan' outlining what the UK has done already and plans moving forward.

First case reported from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Jordan.

March 7 - Iranian MP Fatemeh Rahbar dies from the virus. Iran reports 4,747 reported cases and 124 deaths.

March 8 - Iran releases  70,000 prisoners because of the outbreak.

March 10 - Italy records its highest death toll in a day - 168 deaths.

March 11- WHO declares a global pandemic.

March 12 - the global death toll surpasses 4,600 with infections exceeding 126,100 cases.

China reports only 15 new cases, its lowest since reports began.

Tom Hanks reveals he has tested positive and is self-isolating in Australia with his wife.

March 13 - Number of confirmed cases in the UK rises by 208 to 798. Scotland reports first death from the virus.

March 15 -  Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock announces all over 70s to be told to self-isolate 'within the coming weeks'.

March 17 - NHS England announces postponement of all non-urgent operations in England from 15 April, freeing up 30,000 beds.

 UK death toll rises to 71, while number of confirmed cases reaches 1,950.

March 19 - China reports first day with no new domestic coronavirus cases.

Italy reaches tragic milestone of overtaking China for most coronavirus deaths, at 3,405.

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