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Wuhan virus: A timeline of how the deadly virus spread

SINGAPORE — More than 2,000 people across the globe have been infected by a coronavirus — now called 2019-nCoV — which began in China last year.

Medical staff wearing clothing to protect against a previously unknown virus walk outside a hospital in Wuhan on January 26, 2020, a city at the epicentre of a viral outbreak that has killed at least 56 people and infected nearly 2,000.

Medical staff wearing clothing to protect against a previously unknown virus walk outside a hospital in Wuhan on January 26, 2020, a city at the epicentre of a viral outbreak that has killed at least 56 people and infected nearly 2,000.

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SINGAPORE — More than 2,000 people across the globe have been infected by a coronavirus — now called 2019-nCoV — which began in China last year.

The outbreak of the virus was first reported in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province and it is believed to be linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which sells live animals.

As of Sunday (Jan 26), there were four confirmed cases of the coronavirus here in Singapore. The latest case is a 36-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who arrived in the Republic with his family on Wednesday.

Here is a timeline of how the deadly virus has spread.

Dec 31, 2019: China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to several cases of pneumonia in the port city of Wuhan in Hubei province.

Jan 1, 2020: The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where several of those who were ill worked at, was shut down.

Jan 3, 2020: Temperature screening was implemented at Singapore’s Changi Airport for inbound travellers arriving on flights from Wuhan.

Jan 7, 2020: The WHO gave the virus a name: 2019-nCoV. It is from the coronavirus family, which includes the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) and the common cold.

Jan 11, 2020: China announced the first death from the new virus — a 61-year-old man who had visited the Wuhan market, now believed to be the epicentre of the virus.

Jan 13, 2020: The WHO reported a first case overseas in Thailand, of a woman who had arrived from Wuhan.

Jan 15, 2020: China’s health commission said that no human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed, but did not rule out the possibility.

Jan 16, 2020: Japan reported its first case, of a man who had previously visited the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Jan 20, 2020: China reported a third death from the coronavirus outbreak, while more than 100 new infections were announced, sparking fears of a surge in cases during the Chinese New Year break when millions of Chinese return to their hometowns.

Jan 20, 2020: Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that all inbound travellers arriving at Changi Airport on flights from China will have to undergo temperature screening. Individuals with pneumonia and travel history to Wuhan within 14 days before the onset of symptoms will be isolated in a hospital as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission, and investigated.

Jan 20, 2020: It is confirmed — human-to-human transmission can occur, a Chinese expert on infectious diseases Zhong Nanshan tells state broadcaster CCTV.

Jan 21, 2020: The US reported its first case of the virus, a US resident living near Seattle who had previously travelled to Wuhan.

Jan 22, 2020: The death toll as of Jan 21 rose to nine. A total of 440 confirmed cases across 13 provinces in China and more than 2,000 close contacts had also been detected.

Jan 22, 2020: MOH set up a multi-ministry taskforce to tackle the scourge, jointly led by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. The transport, manpower and education ministries are also in it.

Jan 22, 2020: North Korea announced that it would ban tourists — a majority of whom are from China — from entering the country.

Jan 23, 2020: The MOH issued a health advisory, telling Singaporeans to avoid travelling to Wuhan in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jan 23, 2020: Officials in Wuhan said that the city would shut down all urban transport networks and suspend all outgoing flights as of 10am Thursday (10am Singapore time), effectively putting the city’s 11 million residents under quarantine. The quarantine was extended to two more cities in Hubei province, Xiantao and Chibi. Beijing also cancelled events for Chinese New Year starting Jan 25, while officials reported the first death outside of Hubei.

Jan 23, 2020: Singapore confirmed its first imported case of the coronavirus. The patient, a 66-year-old male Chinese national, had arrived in the country on Jan 20.

Jan 24, 2020: Two more cases of the Wuhan virus were confirmed in Singapore by the MOH. One is the son of the first confirmed case in Singapore, the other a female Wuhan resident..

Jan 25, 2020: Travel restrictions were imposed on a further five cities in Hubei province in China, taking the overall number of people affected to 56 million.

Jan 25, 2020: Malaysia's health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad confirmed three people have contracted coronavirus in the country. They are the close relatives of the 66-year old Chinese national in Singapore who was confirmed to have contracted the virus. They entered Malaysia via Johor Baru.

Jan 25, 2020: Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a politburo meeting that China was facing a "grave situation", as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

Jan 25, 2020: Canada declared the first "presumptive" confirmed case of the virus in a resident who had returned from Wuhan. The patient, a male in his 50s, arrived in Toronto on Jan 22 and was hospitalised the next day after developing symptoms of respiratory illness.

Jan 25, 2020: Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China, while Australia confirmed its first four cases, Malaysia said it also had four and France reported Europe’s first cases on Jan 24.

Jan 26, 2020: Singapore confirmed its fourth case of the coronavirus. The latest case is a 36-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on Wednesday. The man, who had not displayed any symptoms of the Wuhan virus during his flight to Singapore, had stayed at Village Hotel Sentosa after his arrival.

Jan 26, 2020: More than 2,000 people globally have been infected with the new coronavirus, the vast majority of them in China, where 56 people have died from the disease.

Jan 26, 2020: Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park closed on Sunday “out of consideration for the health and safety of our guests and cast members”. Shanghai Disneyland, which expected 100,000 visitors daily through the Chinese New Year holidays, has already closed. Many cinemas across China are also closed with major film premieres postponed, slashing revenues. WITH AGENCIES

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