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Eighteen days after a mysterious flu was detected in a wet market in a Chinese city, a confirmed case of the virus crossed international borders.

Forty-four patients had fallen ill, 11 seriously from an unnamed virus.

Heavy equipment works at a construction site for a field hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province.
Heavy equipment works at a construction site for a field hospital in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province. (Chinatopix via AP)

On January 13 of this year, the virus, known as the new coronavirus, was detected 2,272 kilometers away in Thailand.

Travelers returning from the city, which is believed to be the epicenter of the virus, would trigger virus spikes around the world and confirmed cases will be recorded in Japan, South Korea, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The local case prompted the Department of Foreign Relations and Trade to raise the travel advice so that the Chinese province “does not travel” and a list of possible symptoms of the virus was made public.

In February, there were 22 confirmed cases of the virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2 and which caused the COVID-19 disease, in Australia.

Fifteen were linked to returning travelers and cruise ship passengers.

Back in China, the virus had spread rapidly with more than 80,000 cases and the death toll had skyrocketed to nearly 3,000. But it wouldn’t stop there.

Iran soon reported the highest number of deaths outside of China, with many of its cases leaking to Australia and New Zealand.

Australia and the United States closed their borders to Chinese arrivals.

Country closures were also taking place in parts of Europe, with Italy, Spain and the UK being the hardest hit.

That same day, the billionaire National Basketball Association suspended its 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz center Ruby Gobert tested positive for the virus.

The English Premier League would also pause its season, for a month, while closer to home, the NRL and AFL 2020 seasons were put on hold.

Hollywood A-lister couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who were in Australia at the time, went public on March 12 after testing positive for the virus at a Gold Coast hospital.

A day later, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton joined Australia’s 156 confirmed cases. A day later, the country’s numbers soared to 250 cases.

Local numbers would rise again with the return of passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship that docked in Sydney after “unforgivable mistakes” by NSW Health.

Work-from-home orders were issued in every state with thousands of students, including Year 12 students, who soon left their classrooms for online learning.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracted COVID-19. (AP)

On March 13, Prime Minister Scott Morrison formed a national cabinet, made up of state and territory prime ministers, in response to the pandemic.

Soon after, strict social distancing restrictions were issued at gatherings, including weddings and funerals, across the country.

Gyms, pubs, cafes, nightclubs, cinemas, casinos and indoor sports venues were also closed, and an estimated 220,000 will soon be out of work due to the virus.

On March 20, Morrison closed Australia’s borders to all non-citizens and non-residents.

Three days later, the number of cases in Australia surpassed 1000. More restrictions were issued.

On the other side of Tasmania, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a four-week lockdown.

President Donald Trump looks through a face shield as he tours Ford Motor Co.'s Rawsonville components plant in Michigan.
President Donald Trump looks through a face shield as he tours Ford Motor Co.’s Rawsonville components plant in Michigan. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News via AP)
Japan and Germany would soon declare recessions, with the Australian government announcing a $ 130 billion wage subsidiary package to help boost the economy with JobKepper.

In a historic move, the borders between New South Wales and Victoria would be closed in July, for the first time in a century. They would remain closed for more than four months.

The announcement offered more pain to state residents, many of whom were already in the middle of a six-week stage three shutdown.

The sincere reunion of a couple after months of separation. (Nine)

Later that month, grim figures emerged with the number of coronavirus deaths globally reaching one million.

At one point, the White House was considered a hotspot after an official meeting at the Rose Garden lacked social distancing.

On December 17, French President Emmanuel Macron would also test positive for the virus.

President Donald Trump (center) with Judge Amy Coney Barrett on September 26, 2020, as they arrive at a press conference to announce Barrett as their Supreme Court nominee, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington .
President Donald Trump (center) with Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26, as they arrive at a press conference to announce Barrett as their Supreme Court nominee, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

In just a few hours, five locally acquired cases rose to 17. As of December 29, cases linked to the group numbered 129, and 122 needed medical treatment.

As part of the restrictions, the northern beaches were divided in two, and five were allowed to meet outdoors north of the Narrabeen Bridge.

Those in the south can see up to 10 people outside, including children.

The restrictions are expected to ease on January 2, 2021.


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