From the first official Chinese notification at the end of 2019 to the more than 511,000 deaths now recorded, here are the main stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities warn the World Health Organization (WHO) of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan (11 million inhabitants), capital of Hubei province (central China).
On January 7, the first Chinese analyzes identified a new coronavirus. On the 11th, Beijing announced the first death. The first contaminations are announced during January outside of China.
On January 23, three cases were confirmed in France, the first in Europe. After the city of Wuhan, practically the entire province of Hubei is cut off from the world on the 25th, more than 56 million inhabitants confined.
On the 28th, the first two cases of transmission of the virus outside of China were confirmed (Japan and Germany). Several countries are beginning to repatriate their nationals from China. WHO classifies the epidemic as “an international public health emergency”.
On February 7, a 34-year-old Wuhan doctor, Li Wenliang, who was sanctioned for giving the alert to the appearance of the virus, succumbed to the epidemic. Outside Hubei, several Chinese metropolises require their residents to stay at home.
On February 15, an 80-year-old Chinese tourist hospitalized in France since the end of January died, the first death outside of Asia. Cancellations of international meetings and sports competitions are increasing, as is the suspension of air routes to China. The acceleration of contamination is notable in Italy, South Korea and Iran.
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, WHO described COVID-19 as a “pandemic”. Global stock markets are experiencing historic plunges. Governments and central banks announce massive measures to support the economy.
On March 13, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency. France is confined from the 17th. Germany calls on its population to “stay at home”, the United Kingdom to avoid any “social contact”.
Many countries close their borders. The European Union decided on March 17 to close its external borders.
On March 19, Italy becomes the country with the most deaths, while announcements of national or local confinements are increasing.
On the 24th, the Tokyo Olympic Games are postponed. On the 25th, the UN warns that the expansion of the pandemic “threatens all of humanity”. The US Senate approves a $ 2,000 billion plan to support the economy.
On April 2, the symbolic bar of a million officially registered cases in the world is crossed. Half of humanity – more than 3.9 billion people – is now confined.
Europe is the continent most affected, but the epidemic explodes in the United States while on the 8th, the closure of the city of Wuhan is lifted.
The threshold of 100,000 official deaths was passed on April 10. Pope Francis calls for “hope” in an empty St. Peter’s basilica for Easter Sunday.
On the 17th, Donald Trump announced that it is time to “restart America” even if the epidemic does not weaken there.
On the 26th, the 200,000 dead mark is crossed. A slow decline begins in the most bruised European countries where deconfinements are gradually taking place.
The 29, hit hard, the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing cuts 16,000 jobs. Air carriers, car manufacturers: many other groups follow.
May 8, US statistics confirm the worst predictions: the pandemic destroyed 20 million jobs in the United States and increased unemployment to levels comparable to the 1930s.
On May 11, France and Spain begin to emerge from containment, followed by Italy and Greece.
On June 7, the pandemic exceeds 400,000 dead, progressing alarmingly in Latin America. Second most bereaved country, behind the United States, Brazil has more than 50,000 dead on June 22, while a resurgence forces Beijing to close several of its districts.
On June 30, Airbus announced the elimination of approximately 15,000 positions.
At the end of June, the bar of 10 million cases and half a million deaths crossed the world.