According to multiple reports, November 17 marked the first diagnosed case of the novel coronavirus. No one had any idea how much the world was going to change that day.
The South China Morning Post in a story published in March cited government data of the first coronavirus infection dating back to November 17, 2019. The report stated that a 55-year-old person from Hubei province may have been the first individual infected with the novel virus.
The World Health Organization officially announced the emergence of a new pathogen on December 31. As of 3 January 2020, a total of 44 patients with pneumonia of unknown cause have been reported to WHO by the national authorities in China. Of the 44 cases reported, 11 are severely ill, while the remaining 33 patients are in stable condition. According to media reports, the concerned market in Wuhan was closed on 1 January 2020 for environmental sanitation and disinfection.
One year later
Since the deadly novel virus first gained international attention, over 58.1 million infections have occurred around the world, with over 1.38 million deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. has reported more coronavirus infections and deaths than any other country in the world, topping 12 million cases and over 255,861 lives lost, per data from the university.
After a year, nevertheless, there is also hope. Just recently, drug companies Pfizer and Moderna have both come forth announcing vaccine candidates that are over 90% effective (94.5% for Moderna and 95% Pfizer), according to efficacy analyses.
In fact, Bahrain made an order last August to purchase more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, revealed National Medica Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus member Manaf Al Qahtani.
Until a safe and effective vaccine is approved, health officials still urge wearing masks, practicing social distancing and hand hygiene as well as avoiding crowds where possible.