2020: The Year of Contagion

in Our Interconnected World

In December 2019, few people realized that a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, would morph into a contagion, which would kill at least 1.7 million people – and counting – around the world a year later.

Beijing shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 12, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The next day, Thailand reported the first case of a COVID-19 infection outside of China – in a Chinese woman who had traveled from Wuhan to Bangkok.

Since then, countries covered by BenarNews – Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh – have logged more than 1.7 million cases and nearly 37,000 deaths from the coronavirus, as of Dec. 22.

As 2020 gives way to 2021, there’s hope that an end to this global contagion is in sight after the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine was given in the United Kingdom on Dec. 8.

People in BenarNews’ target countries are hoping that vaccines for which their governments have signed procurement deals will stem the pandemic in the new year. Most of these countries expect to administer the first doses of the vaccine within the first half of 2021.

This graphic shows how the novel coronavirus spread in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, after it was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

This graphic shows the progression in the number of coronavirus deaths in five Asian countries since Chinese state media reported the first COVID-19-related death in Wuhan on Jan. 11.

graphic on vaccines

Web page produced by: Minh-Ha Le
Graphic illustrations: Vince Meadows
Editing: Kate Beddall, H. Léo Kim, Shailaja Neelakantan, Imran Vittachi
Data Source: World Health Organization
Produced by BenarNews

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