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One year since India reported 1st COVID-19 case: A timeline of the outbreak

With over 1 crore COVID-19 cases, India remains the second worst-affected country after the United States.

January 30, 2021 / 12:39 PM IST
Image: AP

Image: AP

It has been a year since India reported its first COVID-19 case in Kerala. On January 30, 2020, a medical student, who returned to Thrissur from the Chinese province of Wuhan - the epicentre of the virus, tested positive for coronavirus.

Soon after, the second and third cases in the country were reported on February 2 and 3, both of whom had also returned from Wuhan.

From the first COVID-19 case in Kerala to over 1 crore cases a year later. Here's a timeline of how the virus progressed in India:

January 30, 2020: India's reports first COVID-19 case in Kerala.

March 2, 2020: Delhi-NCR reports the first case outside Kerala in India. Total cases rise to 5.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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March 3, 2020: India suspends visas of foreign nationals who travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on and after March 1.

March 12, 2020: India reports first death due to coronavirus. A 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka dies.

March 14, 2020: With the increasing number of confirmed cases,  coronavirus was declared a ‘notified disaster’.

March 20, 2020: India suspends all scheduled international flights.

March 25, 2020: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces nationwide lockdown. The first phase of lockdown came into effect on March 25. Scheduled domestic flights were also suspended.

May 17, 2020: To combat the spread of novel coronavirus, lockdown in India extended till May 31, making it one of the longest lockdowns imposed by a country.

May 19, 2020: India's COVID-19 tally crosses one-lakh mark.

June 8, 2020: After more than 2 months of nationwide lockdown, India begins phased reopening with Unlock 1.0.

June 30, 2020: The DCGI approves Covaxin for human trials, making it India’s first domestic vaccine candidate.

July 6, 2020: India becomes the third worst-affected country due to rising COVID-19 cases

July 24, 2020: Phase-1 clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ begin.

August 26, 2020: Serum Institute of India (SII) starts clinical trials of ‘Covishield’ – the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

September 17, 2020: India reports the highest single-day rise of 97,894 coronavirus cases.

October 3, 2020: India COVID-19 death toll crosses 1 lakh.

December 2, 2020: The UK became the first country to formally approve a COVID-19 vaccine for public use as it granted emergency use authorisation to Pfizer-BioNTech's candidate. Many countries followed the suit.

December 19, 2020: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 crossed the 1-crore mark in India on December 19, according to data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

December 28, 2020: First dry run held across four states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab – to test the preparedness of vaccinators and assess mechanisms.

January 2, 2021: First nationwide dry run held across all states and Union territories.

January 3, 2021: DCGI grants restricted emergency use authorisation for SII’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

January 16, 2021: India’s first phase of COVID-19 vaccination begins.

January 30, 2021: With 13,083 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally rises to 1,07,33,131. As many as 1,04,09,160 patients have recuperated so far. There are 1,69,824 active coronavirus cases in the country currently.

India remains the second worst-affected country after the United States.

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first published: Jan 30, 2021 12:39 pm
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