COVID-19: Latest news and updates


As of 8 April 1,279,722 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally, including 72,614 deaths.

Confirmed cases have been reported in 212 countries, areas or territories so far.

8 April 2020 –

  • Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged, ends lockdown
  • infections exceed 100,000 in Germany
  • Spains death toll rises for a second day
  • The European Union’s top scientist, Mauro Ferrari, has resigned, condemning the EU’s ‘disappointing’ response to the virus

7 April 2020 –

  • China reports no new deaths for the first time since the crisis began, with 32 new cases in the country – all from overseas
  • New cases in South Korea stay under 50 for second day in a row
  • Japan PM declares state of emergency

6 April 2020 –

  • Lockdown deemed to be effective as new infections and deaths fall in Spain and Italy
  • US surgeon general warns of an unprecedented number of deaths across the country in the coming week
  • Barbados and Haiti report their first deaths from coronavirus

5 April 2020 –

  • UK PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital after suffering “persistent symptoms”

4 April 2020 –

  • US advised to wear face masks as a precautionary measure to slow virus transmission

3 April 2020 –

  • Confirmed coronavirus cases pass one million
  • Nearly 53,000 people have died and more than 210,000 have recovered
  • US records 1,169 deaths – the world’s highest daily toll
  • WHO urges Middle East countries to do more to contain the virus spread
  • Singapore to close schools and most workplaces
  • Peru imposes restrictions based on gender, with men and women allowed out on different days of the week
  • Malawi reports first cases

2 April 2020 –

  • Record numbers of people applying for unemployment benefit in Europe and the US as the coronavirus leads to an economic crisis
  • Growing concern in several countries about supplies of protection equipment for medical workers

1 April 2020 –

  • Wimbledon cancelled due to coronavirus
  • There are now more than 800,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world and more than 42,000 deaths
  • The US death toll surpasses 4000
  • China’s President Xi Jinping urges his country to return to work carefully while maintaining social distancing
  • Burundi and Sierra Leone record their first positive results

31 March 2020 –

  • Spain records 849 deaths in 24 hours, the highest number of fatalities in a single day
  • The World Bank says “significant economic pain seems unavoidable” in the Asia Pacific region
  • Airline industry suffers as a result of the pandemic
  • Botswana announces its first three cases

30 March 2020 –

  • Six months before UK ‘returns to normal’ – deputy chief medical officer
  • Prince Charles out of self-isolation after contracting coronavirus

29 March 2020 –

  • UK deaths have risen to over 1,200
  • Syria reports first coronavirus death
  • Death toll in Italy’s worst affected region, Lombardy, has slowed
  • New York (USA) predicted to run out of critical medical supplies by the 5th April 2020
  • Australia increases social distancing measures saying no more than 2 people should gather outside of households
  • Kuwait announces 20 new cases in 24 hours, bringing total number to 225

28 March 2020 –

  • Global number of cases has now surpassed 600,000
  • US has highest number of cases in the world, as figures pass 100,000
  • Spain 24 hour death toll reaches 832
  • London has more than a third of latest coronavirus-linked deaths in the UK

27 March 2020 –

  • Britain’s PM tests positive for coronavirus
  • Death toll in Spain rises sharply as 769 people die in 24 hours
  • US cases exceed 85,000, overtaking China
  • Australia is to quarantine all returning citizens
  • Curfews extended in the Middle East

26 March 2020 –

  • US Senate passes a $2 trillion coronavirus disaster aid bill, as US death toll passes 1000
  • G20 leaders vow to inject $5 trillion into the global economy
  • No new cases reported in Hubei province, China, where the virus emerged

25 March 2020 –

  • India goes into lockdown, as PM Narendra Modi announces a “total ban” on leaving homes, with some shops remaining open

24 March 2020 –

  • The number of people dying from the coronavirus in Spain rises by 514 in 24 hours – a daily record
  • UK wakes up to stricter measures announced by PM Boris Johnson
  • China announces 78 new cases, 74 of them from abroad
  • Myanmar – the most populous country without a case until now – announces two cases
  • Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021

23 March 2020 –

  • Italy enters a tougher lockdown, with all “non-essential” businesses closed
  • Death toll in Spain passes 2000
  • This year’s Olympic Games thrown into doubt

22 March 2020 –

  • Germany bans groups of more than two people
  • Australia announces nation-wide shutdown of pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • Africa cases pass the 1000 mark
  • India observes a 14-hour curfew to test the country’s ability to slow the spread of the virus

21 March 2020 –

  • Six new countries report cases of COVID-19
  • Schools close across UK

20 March 2020 –

  • The number of confirmed cases worldwide has exceeded 200,000. It took over three months to reach the first 100 00 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000
  • China says it had no domestically transmitted cases for a second day – but there have been some questions over the figures
  • Philippines has banned entry for foreigners starting midnight on 22 March
  • India has restricted public transport after PM Narendra Modi asked citizens to stay home
  • Italy now has the highest death toll, surpassing China
  • the US State Department has advised Americans against all international travel

19 March 2020 –

  • China reports no new domestic cases
  • UK announces school closures from 20 March
  • Australia and New Zealand close their boarders to non-residents
  • Russia confirms first death

18 March 2020 –

  • First virus death in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed
  • WHO announces that it will launch a multiarm, multicountry clinical trial (the SOLIDARITY trial) for potential coronavirus therapies. Four existing compounds will be tested across at least 10 countries

17 March 2020 –

  • The UK announces social distancing measures
  • US volunteers test first vaccine
  • EU bans travel for non-EU citizens for 30 days

16 March 2020 – 

  • The number of global cases overtakes the number of cases inside China
  • Germany brings in additional border measures – closing its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland
  • 56 countries have announced country-wide schools closures, with a further 17 countries announcing localized closures
  • Greece announces it is shutting all shops except supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations and putting all arrivals from abroad into quarantine for 14 days
  • Serbia declares a state of emergency

15 March 2020 –

  • Nine new countries/territories/areas report COVID-19 cases
  • China reports just four new cases caused by local transmission, plus 12 cases imported from overseas
  • The USA cuts interest rates to almost zero

14 March 2020 –

12 new countries/territories/areas report cases of COVID-19

13 March 2020 –

  • Five new countries report cases of COVID-19
  • The Director-General states that Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic
  • The WHO, UN Foundation and partners launched a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
  • Denmark and Poland announce border closures
  • South Africa closes borders to people from China, the USA, UK and elsewhere

12 March 2020 –

  • The UK switches tactics and enters the ‘delay’ phase, as opposed to ‘containment’
  • The Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Spain, France, the Philippines, Portugal and Bolivia were among the countries to announce school closures
  • French Polynesia, Turkey, Honduras and Côte d’Ivoire announce their first cases

11 March 2020 –

  • WHO states that the outbreak can be characterized as a pandemic
  • Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jamaica and Burkina Faso announce COVID-19 cases
  • Italy announces an escalation of their lockdown measures – closing the majority of shops and restaurants, hairdressers and bars that can’t guarantee one meters distance between customers
  • Denmark will close all schools and universities from Monday 16
  • The USA announces a 30-day travel ban for individuals from Europe travelling to the USA, not including the UK or US citizens
  • Guatemala also banned European citizens entering the country and India suspends most visas for foreigners until April 15
  • The UK announces £12 billion specifically targeted at coronavirus measures, including at least £5 billion for the NHS in England and £7 billion for business and workers across the UK

10 March 2020 –

  • Cases reported in Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia, Cyprus, Guernsey and Panama
  • Greece and Moldova close universities and schools until early April

9 March 2020 –

  • Bangladesh, Albania and Paraguay report their first cases
  • Italy extends containment measures across the whole country
  • Shares around the world had their worst daysince the financial crisis amid concerns about the economic cost of the outbreak

8 March 2020 –

Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Maldives, Malta, Martinique and the Republic of Moldova report cases, meaning that COVID-19 has been reported in over 100 countries

7 March 2020 –

  • Columbia, Holy See, Peru and Togo report cases
  • The global number of reported COVID-19 cases surpasses 100,000

6 March 2020 –

  • Bhutan, Cameroon, Serbia and South Africa report COVID-19 cases
  • The UK government has promised an extra £46 million in the fight against coronavirus

5 March 2020 –

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Hungary, Slovenia, and occupied Palestinian territory all report first COVID-19 cases
  • The White House acknowledged the USA does not have enough coronavirus test kits
  • The Paris marathon is postponed to a later date

4 March 2020 –

  • Argentina, Chile, Poland and Ukraine report their first cases
  • The WHO warns that PPE shortages are leaving healthcare workers ill-equipped to care for patients
  • Italy closes all schools and universities until mid-March
  • Iran limits travel between major cities and closes schools until April
  • The first death from COVID-19 is reported in the UK, a woman with underlying health conditions
  • Iraq also announced its first two deaths, one of them in the capital of Baghdad

3 March 2020 –

  • Andorra, Jordan, Latvia, Morocco, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Tunisia report their first COVID-19 cases
  • India limits the export of certain medicines due to the coronavirus

2 March 2020 –

  • First cases reported in Armenia, Czechia, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Iceland and Indonesia
  • WHO experts arrive in Tehran to support the COVID-19 response

1 March 2020 –

  • Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Ireland, Monaco and Qatar report their first cases of COVID-19
  • The UK’s COVID-19 cases rise rapidly from 15 to 36

29 February 2020 –

Two new countries, Mexico and San Marino, reported cases of COVID-19

28 February 2020 –

  • The first case reported in sub-Saharan Africa, as an imported case was reported in Nigeria
  • Cases were also reported for the first time in Belarus, Lithuania, the Netherlands and New Zealand
  • The WHO upgrade the global risk from ‘high’ to ‘very high’

27 February 2020 –

Nine new countries  Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan, Romania and North Macedonia  reported cases

26 February 2020 –

  • Algeria, Austria, Croatia and Switzerland report cases
  • For the first time since 8 December 2019, there have been more new cases reported outside of China than from China

25 February 2020 –

  • Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Greece and Oman reported cases of COVID-19
  • Brazil confirms first coronavirus infection in Latin America, a source told Reuters

24 February 2020 –

  • Kuwait reported detecting its first cases
  • A joint WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control mission arrived in Italy

22 February 2020 –

  • Lebanon and the UAE report their first COVID-19 cases
  • Authorities investigate the role of environmental contamination in transmission of COVID-19
  • WHO say the window of opportunity to contain the virus is “narrowing”

20 February 2020 –

  • The first cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the Middle East, as two  deaths and three additional COVID-19 cases are reported from Iran
  • China change reporting back to include only laboratory-confirmed cases

17 February 2020 –

  • From today, WHO will be reporting all confirmed cases, including both laboratory-confirmed as previously reported, and those reported as clinically diagnosed
  • Data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC; Beijing, China) have suggested that, of the 44,672 COVID-19 cases studied, 80.9% were mild, 13.8% severe and 4.7% were critical. The new CCDC study suggests that the highest fatality rate is in individuals aged 80 or older, at 14.8%, this is compared with individuals up to age 39, where the fatality rate is estimated at 0.2%. 

16 February 2020 –

The third death outside of China is reported in France. This was Chinese tourist visiting France

15 February 2020 – 

Egypt reports its first confirmed case of COVID-19

14 February 2020 –

  • China changes its reporting to include clinically diagnosed cases in addition to laboratory-confirmed cases, leading to over 60,000 cases being reported in the country overall after an increase of 14,840 overnight
  • The second death was reported outside of China, in Japan. The individual had no travel history to China
  • In China, health care workers account for 1716 confirmed cases of COVID-19

12 February 2020 –

11 February 2020 –

The WHO names the disease caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19

10 February 2020 –

  • The UK government declares coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat” to public health, as it announced new powers to fight its spread
  • A GP practice in the UK is closed after a member of staff tested positive for 2019-nCoV

7 February 2020 –

The WHO warns of shortages of personal protective equipment

6 February 2020 –

  • Third UK case reported, with acquisition of the coronavirus in Singapore
  • The WHO announces a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus on 11 February

4 February 2020 –

  • First case reported in Belgium
  • The WHO are calling for US $675 million for new coronavirus preparedness and response global plan. The objectives of the plan are to  limit human-to-human transmission of the virus, particularly in countries most vulnerable if they were to face an outbreak; identify, isolate and care for patients early; communicate critical risk and event information; minimize social and economic impact; reduce virus spread from animal sources; and address crucial unknowns.
  • A 30-hour old infant was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV, the mother was positive before birth, although at this time it is unclear whether the disease was transmitted in the womb or after birth

3 February 2020 –

  • Hundreds of hospital workers in Hong Kong went on strike, demanding the border with mainland China be completely closed
  • India has cancelled all visas for Chinese citizens

2 February 2020 –

  • The first death reported outside of China, in the Philippines
  • The US and Australia said they would deny entry to all foreign visitors who had recently been in China

1 February 2020 –

  • WHO state that main driver of transmission is symptomatic cases
  • A healthcare worker is diagnosed in France – the first time outside of China
  • The first instance of third-generation human-to-human transmission outside China has been identified in Germany

31 January 2020 –

  • France suspends all flights to China
  • Two cases identified in the UK and two cases confirmed in Italy
  • Singapore closes its border to all visitors from China

30 January 2020 –

  • A confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has reached every region in mainland China
  • WHO declares the virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern
  • Companies including Google, Ikea and Starbucks have closed their shops or stopped operations in China
  • First cases identified in Finland, India and the Philippines

29 January 2020 –

  • British Airways suspend all flights to China
  • Countries including the USA, UK and Japan look to remove any citizens in Wuhan
  • Secondary transmission of the virus reported in Germany, Vietnam and Japan

28 January 2020 –

  • Japan sending chartered flight to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan
  • Many countries have warned against any non-essential travel to China

27 January 2020 –

Hong Kong (8 confirmed cases) declares a city-wide emergency with schools closing until 17 February

26 January 2020 –

2014 confirmed 2019-nCoV cases reported globally, including 29 cases outside of China and 56 deaths

25 January 2020 –

1320 confirmed cases reported for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) globally, including 23 outside of China and 41 deaths

24 January 2020 –

23 January 2020 –

  • The Emergency Committee meet again, deciding that the situation is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at this time
  • Case numbers rise to 581 cases, including 17 deaths
  • Wuhan City placed into ‘lockdown’ with public transport halted (02:00 GMT)
  • Beijing cancels all major Chinese New Year celebrations

22 January 2020 –

The emergency committee met the WHO on whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, however, no decision was reached as it was determined that more information was needed

21 January 2020 –

  • The City of Wuhan reports 6 deaths and over 250 cases resulting from the virus
  • Chinese authorities also confirm human-to-human transmission of the virus
  • The first case is reported in the USA

20 January 2020 –

  • Additional cases confirmed, bringing the total to over 200, including three deaths
  • Another case reported in Thailand and the WHO informed of a case in South Korea

16 January 2020 –

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare informed the WHO of a confirmed case of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a person who travelled to Wuhan, China

13 January 2020 –

Ministry of Public Health Thailand reported the first imported case of lab-confirmed novel coronavirus

11 January 2020 –

After testing of all suspected cases 41 individuals with novel coronavirus infection were preliminarily diagnosed in Wuhan City, including one death

10 January 2020 –

WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centres, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus.

7 January 2020 –

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified

31 December 2019 –

Cluster of mystery pneumonia in China initially reported to the WHO China Country Office


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  1. It’s not pneumonia.. it’s something else, dry cough, fever and or episodic shivering increase in intensity over time.. most patients complain dysplasia like.. and chest tightness due respiratory muscles spa post prolonged subclinical dehydration..
    I dealt with many pets properly with complete cure..
    Dr. Abdullah Farhat..

    • Thanks for your comment Dr Farhat. As the WHO have described it as pneumonia and we are working off the outbreak news from this source this seemed an apt description, but it is interesting to hear more about the symtpoms.

    • Dr. Farhat, thank u for enlightening us with new clinical signs. I have a question. U said u have dealt with many pets.
      1.Does this virus affect animals with the same signs and symptoms?
      2. Is it zoonotic: animal-to-human transfer, is it possible? have such cases been recorded of zoonosis anywhere?

  2. There is not study to find the cause of death.Patients die in the icu(?)while being treated mostly by anesthesiologists who are generally trained to treat patients during surgical operations.It is imperative to know more about the changes occurring in the lungs but also in the liver,kidney and hearth.
    The clinical informations we have so far e.g. x-ray of the chest including CT-scan and laboratory findings do not
    make understandable what happens.Why do not have any death in the ship in Japan where more than 300 patients have been infected?

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