April 2020. The world had gone eerily silent. The streets were empty; popular tourist destinations and religious sites were laid bare. It was almost as though someone had switched everything off. The news stations whipped themselves into a frenzy. Words like ‘epidemic’, ‘death toll’ and ‘social distancing’ danced across headlines everywhere. Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, had the planet in its grip. The world retreated, hiding indoors and watched with bated breath.
How did we get here?
The cases began in 2019, when three patients in Wuhan, China with pneumonia were detected to be infected with a novel coronavirus. By February 2020 there were 50,000 patients with the coronavirus. The virus quickly spread across China, sparking an epidemic, resulting in over 81,740 cases and more than 3300 deaths. This prompted a lockdown in many regions of the country.
However, the measures were too little too late. The virus was already beginning to spread. By January 2020, there were other confirmed cases from three other countries: Thailand, Japan and South Korea. All the cases were determined to have been exported from China.