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Covid 19: Epidemic To Pandemic

With the first notification by China of an unknown virus which causes pneumonia on Dec 31, 2019, the world had the first introduction to the unknown enemy. The first man died was a regular 61-year-old customer at Wuhan market. What was initially looked to be an epidemic affecting dozen in China, soon stepped out of the country.

 The earliest cases were reported in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. W.H.O. declared it to be a global health emergency on Jan 30. With 213 deaths and 9,800 infected worldwide, countries started banning travel to China by Jan 31. With death reaching 360, the first death outside China was reported in the Philippines of a 44- year-old man.

On Feb 11, the unnamed virus was finally given a name Covid-19. The name was given very carefully to avoid stigma by giving reference to any place, people or animals. Top officials in Hubei province of China were ousted as more than 14,840 cases were reported. The first death outside Asia was reported in Paris of an 80-year-old Chinese tourist. China identified that ‘the pernicious habit of eating wildlife’ as a probable source and drafted legislation to end it.

The virus spread rapidly in other countries through known and unknown sources. Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive church was credited to the spread in South Korea. On Feb 19, Iran reported two corona virus cases from unknown sources. The first major outbreak outside China was witnessed in Italy when cases rose from fewer than five to 150.

 More than any other country Iran reported 61 corona virus case and 12 deaths. On Feb 26, Brazil reported the first case bringing corona virus to Latin America and on Feb 28, Nigeria reported the first case. On March 11, Covid-19 was officially declared ‘pandemic’ by WHO.

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