Dramatic Figures

Dramatic Figures

The Covid-19 pandemic is reversing decades of progress on poverty, education and health. These are times of uncertainty, with different vaccines being developed in record time. May 2021 help us overcome the dramatic figures of 2020.

No one saw it coming: the coronavirus pandemic is the worst health, economic and social crisis of our recent history. The UN doesn’t mince words when it says that the world is addressing “the most challenging crisis” since World War II. Covid-19 has led to a massive loss of human life worldwide, put tens of millions of people at risk of extreme poverty and increased the number of undernourished people by up to 132 million. In this unprecedented disruption, millions of enterprises are endangered, putting half of the world’s global workforce of 3.3 billion at risk. As the world keeps learning to live with the pandemic, the development of vaccines remains the solution for bringing it under control.

31 DECEMBER 2019

Chinese officials in Wuhan confirmed dozens of cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause.

11 JANUARY 2020

First known death in China from an illness caused by the coronavirus; two weeks later Wuhan is put on lockdown.

Wuhan market, China. a street seller on a busy street

Emergency medical service, view inside the ambulance and the sanitary compartment.

24 FEBRUARY 2020

Italy became the worst-hit country in Europe as cases mounted. Two weeks later, a lockdown is issued to quarantine 16 million people in the Northern Lombardy region followed by a total lockdown across the country.

11 MARCH 2020

The World Health Organisation declares the coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic”; soon after, the epicentre of the pandemic moved from Asia to Europe.

16 MARCH 2020

European countries impose border controls with their neighbours; almost 15,000 commercial airplanes are grounded across the globe.


One million dead from Covid-19 worldwide.

Aerial view of Airport during Corona crisus.

Doctor hand in blue gloves holding coronavirus vaccine disease preparing for human clinical trials vaccination shot.


Pfizer announces a vaccine which is 90% effective; in the following weeks, other pharmaceuticals announce their own vaccines.

27 NOVEMBER 2020

60 million people worldwide infected with coronavirus.