31 December – Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China, informs its regional World Health Organization (WHO) office of a pneumonia outbreak, the cause of which is unknown. Whuan reports 27 cases and urges their public to stay indoors and wear face masks. Most of the cases are either vendors or patrons of the Huanan Seafood Market.
30 January- The WHO declares Covid-19 a global emergency, with 9000 cases confirmed across 18 countries.
26 February- Globally, Covid-19 has infected close to 80,000 people with a death toll of near 3,000.
12 March- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms that South Africa’s number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 19.
14 March- South Africa welcomes home 114 citizens repatriated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. All citizens tested negative for the virus and were placed in quarantine for 21 days. A quarantine facility is set up at a lodge in Polokwane, Limpopo.
15 March- President Cyril Ramaphosa declares a National State of Disaster, invoking extraordinary emergency measures to curb the spread of the outbreak in South Africa. This includes a travel ban from high-risk countries, the closing of 35 land ports of entry and two of the country’s eight seaports, a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people and the consideration of a fiscal relief policy.
23 March- President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that South Africa will go into a 21 day lockdown beginning on 27 March as the country’s number of confirmed cases is reported at 402. The unprecedented step imposed strict regulations and restrictions on the country for the first time in its 25 year democracy. No one in the country is allowed to leave their homes unless under strictly controlled measures to acquire essential products and services. The National Defence Force, alongside the police, is deployed to assist with implementing lockdown measures.
25 March- Spain’s death toll surpasses China, with 700 new reported deaths. In the USA, the Presidency and Senate leaders of both parties sign off on a $2 trillion measure to aid their straining healthcare system.
27 March- As South Africa’s first death due to Covid-19 is reported in Cape Town, the country begins its 21 day lockdown. The first death is a 48 year old woman who died at Medi-Clinic in Durbanville after complications from the virus due to a blood clot in her lung. She had no history of travel. The United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for Covid-19.
18 April- South Africa’s Covid-19 cases surge past 3000, with two more reported deaths related to the virus.
30 April- South Africa records its highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in a 24 hour cycle to date, with 353 new cases reported. The total number of cases in the country stands at 5350.
1 May- South Africa enters Stage 4 of its national lockdown. Strict measures are enforced; outdoor exercise is only permitted between 06:00 and 09:00, food and service deliveries operate between 05:00 and 19:00 and a nationwide curfew is put in place, forcing people to stay in their homes from 20:00 to 05:00.
1 June - South Africa enters Stage 3