The global coronavirus pandemic has cast a long pall over 2020. Here are some of the key developments since it was first detected in China's Wuhan city.
December 31, 2019 – January 1, 2020
China reports a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei province.
A novel coronavirus is eventually identified. The World Health Organisation (WHO) puts itself on an emergency footing to deal with the outbreak.
China announces its first death from an illness which will become known as Covid-19.
China shares the genetic sequence of Covid-19.
WHO confirms a case of Covid-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China.
WHO experts visit Wuhan as the US confirms the first coronavirus case. Chinese scientist confirms Covid-19 human transmission
World witnesses the first of many Covid-19 lockdowns as China places Wuhan, Huanggang cities under quarantine, locking down some 18 million people.
France finds the first case of Covid-19, marking the entry of the virus in Europe
WHO declares a global health emergency and an "extraordinary event" that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response.
The US declares coronavirus a public health emergency.
Spain reports the first confirmed coronavirus case, finding it in a German tourist in the Canary Islands, who has been in touch with people who had travelled to China.
Dozens of countries restrict air travel to China.
US President Donald Trump claims the virus was "very much under control in this country", baffling experts.
WHO describes the new coronavirus as "a pandemic", saying Italy and Iran are now in the frontline of disease and other countries would "soon" join them.
The University of Minnesota begins testing Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine for the prevention and treatment of malaria.
Coronavirus claims the first victim in Turkey.
The US authorises the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to combat Covid-19, anti-malaria drugs touted by President Trump despite inconclusive clinical proof of their efficacy.
More than one million cases of coronavirus are recorded globally.
Global coronavirus death toll reaches 100,000 milestone, with nearly 70 percent of all fatalities now in Europe.
US officials say Remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recover from Covid-19.
The US issues an emergency use authorisation for the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 in adults and children.
US and AstraZeneca announce collaboration to develop vaccine.
The US records 100,000 deaths, more than any other country in the pandemic
Confirmed cases in the US top 100,000, the highest number in the world.
WHO stops testing of hydroxychloroquine after new data and studies show no benefit.
China approves its CanSino's Covid-19 vaccine candidate for military use.
Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations.
Infections in the US top 3 million coronavirus infections as virus surges in more than half of all states.
The US withdraws from WHO.
First data for the Moderna vaccine show it triggers an immune response against Covid-19.
COVAX facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair, and equitable access to vaccines worldwide, secures engagement from more than 150 countries.
Two vaccines being developed by researchers at the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, with support from AstraZeneca, and another vaccine candidate from China's CanSino Biologics, show promising results.
Moderna begins phase 3 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine.
Brazil surpasses 100,000 coronavirus deaths and three million cases of infection.
Russia approves what it calls the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.
US rejects WHO-led global effort to help develop and equitably distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, COVAX.
Pfizer and BioNTech decide to enlarge the Phase 3 trial of their Covid-19 vaccine by 50 percent.
Johnson & Johnson resumes phase 3 trial of its Janssen Covid-19 vaccine after a temporary pause.
Scientists discover more contagious coronavirus strain.
Coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million across the world.
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for coronavirus and are quarantined.
India’s death toll rises past 100,000, becomes the third country in the world to reach the bleak milestone after the US and Brazil.
US CDC acknowledges the novel coronavirus "can linger in the air for minutes to hours" after an infected person is no longer present, acknowledging its potential for airborne transmission.
Brazil's Covid-19 deaths top 150,000, world's highest after the US.
Johnson & Johnson halts trial of vaccine after volunteers' "unexplained illness".
Global infection cross 40 million as the second coronavirus wave gathers pace.
US regulators approve the first drug to treat coronavirus, remdesivir.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson restart vaccine trials.
The US breaks the record with more than 100,000 infections in one day.
Pfizer and BioNTech, co-founded by Turkish scientist Ugur Sahin, announce their vaccine is 95 percent effective against Covid-19.
The United Kingdom becomes the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Global Covid-19 cases hit 50 million.
Moderna says its preliminary phase three trial data shows its coronavirus vaccine is more than 94 percent effective against Covid-19.
Mexico is the fourth country to reach 100,000 deaths, after the US, India, and Brazil.
AstraZeneca says its vaccine is 70 percent effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90 percent effective if a lower dose is administered ahead of a full dose.
Italy becomes the sixth nation in the world to surpass 50,000 deaths and the second in Europe after the UK.
Turkey says it’s planning to unveil its own local Covid-19 vaccine by April 2021.
France's coronavirus death toll rises past 50,000.
Deaths in Iran surge beyond 50,000.
Margaret Keenan, 90, of the United Kingdom becomes the world's first person to receive a fully vetted and authorised Covid-19 shot manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech.
The second injection, in a fitting bit of drama, goes to an 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare from Warwickshire, the county where the bard was born.
UAE says China's Sinopharm vaccine is 86 percent efficient.
Global coronavirus cases top 70 million.
First US Covid-19 vaccinations outside of clinical trials begin.
Russia announces its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 91.4 percent effective.
Global coronavirus death toll crosses the 1.6 million mark.
UK reports new variant of coronavirus, VOC-202012/01, to WHO.
The variant first started circulating in September and is up to 70 percent more infectious, causing cases to surge in the country.
US death toll from the coronavirus tops 300,000, more than five times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War.
South Africa identifies a new variant of coronavirus driving a second wave of infections.
501.V2 variant has a separate lineage from the UK, thought to spread faster with a higher load of virus found in swabs.
Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces another variant of the virus, this one from Nigeria.
The variant has a separate lineage from the UK and South Africa.