COVID-19 Timeline from inside China

Based on my detailed daily Facebook updates and notes from within China during the entire COVID-19 outbreak, until the end of March, I have assembled an easier to read chronological timeline of major events that I had previously reported.  This timeline, in conjunction with my daily statistics, may provide researchers, historians (and nutty conspiracy naysayers) a better outline of reality (or not, depending on what some wish to believe).

NOTE: The first column after the date with tick marks indicate those events I personally experienced, the 2nd column, those I saw reported in major media, typically, in multiple sources.  The flags on the right offer my friends in those countries a quick reference to scan for events specific to their own countries.  The 🇺🇳 UN flag is used for global events.

The timeline in chronological order:

Dec 19 The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in central China’s Hubei Province detected cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.
Around Dec 21 Through diplomatic backchannels, China gives unofficial heads up to the diplomatic community about a mysterious pneumonia virus in Wuhan. 🇺🇳
Dec 24 Close friends, a Consul General and his wife of a major country gave us a heads-up at a Christmas eve party of this troubling mysterious pneumonia virus.
Based on experience from SARS (and common sense) I go into self-imposed isolation as a result of the seriousness of the warning.
Dec 30 The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.
Wuhan CDC issued emergency warnings to local hospitals about a number of mysterious pneumonia cases discovered in the city in the previous week
The National Health Commission (NHC) make arrangements to send a working group to Wuhan to conduct on-site investigations.
Dec 31 The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a briefing on its website about the pneumonia in the city, telling the public not to go to enclosed public places or gather. It suggested wearing face masks when going out.
Chinese state television CCTV channel 13 in their daily news broadcasts reported about the unknown virus, adding that a team of experts from the National Health Commission would arrive in Wuhan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) detects reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause on the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission website.
Jan 1 Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua) reported the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan was closed
Jan 2 The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) received the first batch of samples of 4 patients from Hubei Province and began pathogen identification.
The NHC came up with a set of guidelines on early discovery, early diagnosis and early quarantine for the prevention and control of the viral pneumonia of unknown cause.
Jan 3 China begins officially and regularly informing the WHO, major countries and other regions about the pneumonia outbreak. 🇺🇳
China began to officially inform the USA and other major countries of the pneumonia outbreak and response measures on a regular basis. 🇺🇸
Jan 4 Head of the China CDC talked over phone with director of the U.S. CDC about the pneumonia outbreak. 🇺🇸
Jan 5 The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission updated briefing on the situation of viral pneumonia of unknown cause, reporting laboratory test results ruled out respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, as the cause.
The WHO held its first briefing on pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan.
Jan 6 The New York Times publishes its first report about the outbreak. 🇺🇸
The CDC in Atlanta issued a level 1 travel watch. 🇺🇸
Jan 7 The China CDC succeeded in isolating the first novel coronavirus strain.
Jan 8 An expert evaluation team from the NHC initially identified a new coronavirus as the cause of the epidemic.
Heads of China and U.S. CDC talk over phone to discuss technological exchanges and cooperation. 🇺🇸
Jan 9 The WHO released on its website a statement regarding a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, saying that preliminary identification of a novel coronavirus in a short period of time is a notable achievement.
Jan 10 Research institutions including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) developed testing kits. Wuhan City organized tests of all relevant cases admitted at hospitals in the city.
The China CDC shared with the WHO the specific primers and probes for detecting the novel coronavirus.
Jan 12 The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission changed the name of “viral pneumonia of unknown cause” to “pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus” for the first time in a briefing.
The China CDC, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences submitted to the WHO the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was published by the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) and shared globally.
Jan 13 The NHC instructs Wuhan authorities to strengthen body temperature monitoring of people at ports and stations, as well as reduce crowd gathering.
I start tracking daily statistics indicating 6 people are confirmed infected by 2019-nCoV and many more presumed suspected, but not yet confirmed, in Wuhan.
Delegations from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan visited Wuhan
The WHO issued a statement on the discovery of the novel coronavirus cases in Thailand, pointing out that China’s sharing of the genome sequence enabled more countries to quickly diagnose patients. 🇹🇭
Jan 14 The NHC held a national teleconference, ordering the whole country to prepare for epidemic prevention and response.
Jan 15 The NHC unveiled the first version of guidelines on diagnosis and treatment for pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, along with the guidelines on prevention and control measures.
The first death, a 69-year-old man in China is reported
Jan16 Foreign journalists asked about the epidemic for the first time at a press conference held by the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing.
Japan reports its first infection case. 🇯🇵
Jan 19 The NHC distributed nucleic acid testing reagents to health departments across the country.
The first confirmed cases were reported in China, outside Wuhan, 1 in the province of Guangdong and 2 in Beijing.
The China CDC communicated with the U.S. CDC on epidemic prevention and control recommendations 🇺🇸
Jan 20 Xinhua reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping, instructing that Party committees and governments at all levels must put people’s safety and health as the top priority, make thorough plans, take effective measures to curb the spread of the virus, timely release information and deepen international cooperation.