Coronavirus: Tracking the Global Outbreak

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, shut down global travel, trashed global economies and becAme one of the world’s biggest killers. Here’s how the pandemic spread worldwide IN 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic began in China (Wuhan province) in late 2019, where 89,806 people were reportedly infected, resulting in at least 4,636 deaths. However, those numbers barely budged over the course of 2020, casting doubt over the true extent of the problem in China.

The virus spread rapidly to 213 countries and territories, sparking wider precautionary measures as the death toll eclipsed that of SARS two decades ago.

The World Health Organisation suggests that roughly 10 per cent of the world’s population – that’s one in 10 people – may have had the disease.

Worldwide, deaths from the virus stood at 2.45 million (February 19, 2021), with more than 110.8 million people around the world infected.

Although the deadly virus started in China, it soon ravaged Italy, Iran and Spain.

But the United States surpassed each of them with the highest reported coronavirus death toll of more than 505,307 by February 2021 – including the US President Donald Trump.

A staggering 28.5 million confirmed cases were reported across the US by early 2021.

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Brazil (243,610 deaths), Mexico (177,061), India (156,123), the UK (119,387 deaths) and France (64,765) also recorded grim milestones.

New Zealand is one of a small number of jurisdictions – including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Australia and Fiji – pursuing COVID-19 containment or elimination.

New Zealand (26 deaths) actually has the lowest COVID-19 death rate in the OECD, with the last case of community transmission reported on May 1. That has allowed the country to return to near-normal operation.

In Australia (909 deaths), where the virus also appeared to be contained, there’s been a resurgence since June, mainly in the southern state of Victoria, and its capital Melbourne, linked to returning travellers in hotel quarantine.


The Vaccine 

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Australia in February 2021, with the first jabs taking place on Australian soil from February 20.

The first batch involved 142,000 Pfizer doses – enough for 71,000 people.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration also gave its tick of approval to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which will be used to immunise the bulk of Australians from March, with 50 million doses to be manufactured by CSL in Melbourne.

Get the latest COVID 19 data from



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