How COVID-19 Cases Were First Reported Around The World

The Earliest Covid-19 Cases

Coronavirus has become, without contest, the most popular news item in the world over the past 6 months that it has been with us. From live updates and situation reports – to dashboards, case trackers, and scientific reports about cure and vaccine efforts, we can’t seem to want to know enough about the pandemic.

But how exactly did we get here, what were the first couple of cases like? Could we have guessed how serious this could have become? We try to answer some of these questions in this post by taking a look at some of the earliest cases on a geographical basis.


It is no longer news that the Covid-19 is thought to have originated from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, in the Hubei province from China. While a particular “patient zero” that is the singular first person to contract the virus has not been identified yet, it is believed that as far back as November 2019, there were almost 41 infected patients.

Their symptoms were described as pneumonia-like and reminiscent of the SARS virus outbreak which occurred in 2002. The cases were officially reported the WHO on the 31st of December, 2019.

Before the official report, some medical practitioners, particularly Dr. Li Wenliang tried to communicate with colleagues in the west and other parts of the world about the strange sickness. He was forced to recant his statements but unfortunately died from Coronavirus on the 7th of February.

Despite closing the seafood market, the disease began to spread even beyond Wuhan and by the 11th of January, the first death from Coronavirus was recorded in China. It wasn’t until the 23rd of January before the city of Wuhan was placed on lockdown and subsequently the Hubei province. Eventually, the whole country had to be placed on lockdown.


This was the first country outside China to record a case of the Coronavirus which was from a tourist who had spent some time in China before travelling to Thailand.


Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries worldwide alongside China, Italy, The UK and the US. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided but a lot of Iranians didn’t believe the disease was real. Videos surfaced on the internet showing some Iranians licking surfaces within mosques to show they weren’t afraid. In the early days of the virus, top government functionaries including the Health Minister and the deputy Prime Minister among others got infected.


Speculations are that Italy was badly hit as a result of its mostly middle-aged to old population. It got so severe that the military had to help in carrying bodies out for burial as the morgues were filled to the brim. Fortunately, it appears the European country is past the worst of it.

The US and the UK

Despite banning flights from China and some other countries, the US recorded its first Coronavirus death towards the end of February, and has become the epicentre of the virus, recording more deaths than other countries apart from China. The UK has also been hit with the Prime Minister getting infected but recovering afterwards.

We can only hope that things get better going forward for every country around the world. We can each play our roles by taking all necessary precautions.

Published by Gb Obasogie

Committed to a better you

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