The COVID-19 pandemic (colloquially also coronavirus pandemic, corona pandemic, coronavirus crisis or corona crisis) is an outbreak of the novel respiratory disease COVID-19 (or “Covid-19”, English for corona virus disease 2019). This disease had first become noticeable at the end of December 2019 in the megacity Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei, developed into an epidemic in the People’s Republic of China in January 2020 and finally spread worldwide. The outbreak was triggered by the previously unknown corona virus SARS-CoV-2.
In order to counteract the spread in countries without efficient health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international health emergency on January 30, 2020. [From February 28, 2020, the WHO estimated the risk at a global level as “very high” (English WHO risk assessment, global level: very high), previously as “high”. On March 11, 2020, the WHO officially declared the previous epidemic a pandemic, the first since the H1N1 pandemic in 2009/10.
On January 13, 2020, the first laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 was reported from Thailand – and thus outside the People’s Republic of China. On January 23, 2020, the first case of infection outside of Asia was reported in the United States of America. There was a connection to travel to or from Wuhan, and the first death outside of China occurred in the Philippines on February 2, 2020. It was a Chinese from Wuhan. On February 15, 2020, France reported the first death outside of Asia, a person who entered China. On February 23, 2020, the first two Europeans to die from COVID-19 were reported from Italy. The WHO report of February 26, 2020 reported for the first time more new infections outside of China than within, with the WHO report of March 16, 2020 the number of cumulative infections outside of China (86,434) then exceeded that within China (81,077). In mid-March 2020, besides China, there were most cases of infection in Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France and Germany, and only a few new infections were reported from China.
How COVID-19 has been Changing Society?
In a large number of countries, the pandemic is characterized by massive cuts in the public life of society and in the private life of its citizens. Ban on meetings, the closure of leisure facilities and shops or even complete curfews with few exceptions are unprecedented.
How Many Countries Are Affected by the COVID-19 Infection?
On February 9, 2020, the number of registered deaths, at over 800, exceeded the total number of deaths in the 2002/2003 SARS pandemic. On March 7, 2020, the WHO reported 101,927 for the first time over 100,000 people infected, with 3,486 dead. As of March 17, 2020, 159 countries or territories are affected: 18 countries in Asia, 19 in the Near and Middle East, 27 in Africa, 54 in Europe, 37 in America and 4 in Australia and Oceania.
+++ Latest Numbers: 200.000 Confirmed Infections +++
Confirmed infections: 198,756; Currently infected: 108,840; Dead: 7,955; Recovered patients: 81,961
As of: March 18th, 2020, 11:30 am (Source: www.tagesschau.de)
What You Can Do to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy:
- Wash your hands regularly and carefully!
- Cough and sneeze so that others are protected!
- Avoid close contact with the sick!
- Vaccinate against flu!
- If there is reasonable suspicion of Sars-CoV-2 report to the health department!
- Find more information there!