COVID-19: A Timeline of Events and the Response Across East Asia

As the world community grapples with the challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we wanted to take a look at the timeline of major events related to the disease, as well as highlight some of the comparisons in the responses of the peoples and governments of East Asia to the virus. We will regularly update the links in this feature as events continue to take shape globally.


An excellent timeline of events, particularly as events relate to Asia and the Middle East, is available here.

The critical moments detailing the evolution of response to the coronavirus are also presented in timeline form here.

On nearly all metrics East Asia has contained the pandemic more successfully than Western countries, culture and attitudes toward privacy and authority play a big role in this, from 5/15/20.

However, might there be two different versions of the coronavirus, one afflicting the East, one the West? From 5/8/20.


Second wave of coronavirus breaks out in Beijing as China adopts "wartime" measures to contain spread throughout the capital, from 6/16/20.

How Wuhan tested 6.5 million in a matter of days, from 5/26/20.

Two weeks of zero local infections: How Hong Kong contained its second wave of Covid-19, from 5/5/20.

China imposes restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, from 4/13/20.

China releases new regulations in order to prevent asymptomatic “silent carriers” of coronavirus from causing a second wave of infections, from 4/8/20.

Wuhan ends lockdown--the city's reopening comes after only three new coronavirus cases were reported in the previous three weeks, one day after China reports no new deaths for the first time since January, from 4/7/20.

World Health Organization epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that data out of China — frequently under international scrutiny — suggests that 75 percent of novel coronavirus patients originally listed as asymptomatic go on to develop symptoms, from 4/3/20.

Wang Zhonglin, Wuhan's Communist Party chief, says the risk of a resurgence there remains high and that authorities must maintain prevention and control measures, from 4/3/20.

China believed they had coronavirus effectively managed, but new and asymptomatic cases are arising, from 4/6/20.

A comparison of democratic and autocratic responses to disease control, from 2/24/20.


For an in-depth timeline of major events related to Japan's response to the coronavirus, please see our article here.

Comparison of Taiwan and South Korea's response to the virus with the United States, from 3/25/20.

Taiwan, seen as a model for their response to the outbreak (having only 200 cases), and their relationship to the World Health Organization, from 3/30/20.

Praise for Taiwan's response, from 3/17/20.


For an in-depth timeline of major events related to Japan's response to the coronavirus, please see our article here.

Japan has lifted a state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus in 39 out of 47 prefectures, after a sharp fall in new infections, from 5/14/20.

Japan's Coronavirus cases fall sharply without compulsory measures, from 4/27/20.

Japan doctors warn of health system 'break down' as cases surge, from 4/18/20.

Did Japan wait too long to declare an emergency and impose stringent restrictions like other nations? From 4/7/20.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced public backlash after he said the government would distribute two reusable cloth face masks per household, from 4/2/20.

A brief tweet thread on Abe and Japan’s response.


Second wave of Covid-19 infections appears in Seoulfrom 6/22/20.

South Korea imposes new travel restrictions on people travelling from overseas, from 4/8/20.

How South Korea flattened the curve without stiffling their economy, from 3/23/20.

Comparing the US response to South Korea, with a critique of America's lack of leadership over the critical first six weeks, from 3/28/20.

Concern that the coronavirus may be able to remain in the body and "reactivate" later after 51 recovered patients from the city of Daegu, South Korea, had all spent time in quarantine while recovering from the virus, but were diagnosed again within days of being released, from 4/6/20.


Can Vietnam's success fighting Covid-19 lead to broader social reform? From 6/19/20.

How overreaction led to successful prevention of outbreak in Vietnam, from 5/15/20.

Coronavirus: what’s behind Vietnam’s containment success? From 4/13/20.


What we can learn from the “second wave” of coronavirus cases in Asia, from 4/17/20.

Asian countries fear coronavirus resurgence as cases in China hit 6-week high, from 4/14/20.

Asian countries impose new restrictions as coronavirus cases come roaring back, from 4/2/20.

Why Asia’s new wave of virus cases should worry the world, from 3/31/20.

What could the West learn from Asia's response to COVID-19? From 3/21/20.


The Covid-19 Riddle: Why Does the Virus Wallop Some Places and Spare Others? From 5/3/20.

Asia may have been right about coronavirus and face masks, from 4/1/20.

A look at masks, and different countries approaches to recommending their use, from 4/4/20.

A description of how canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart, from 3/10/20.

Alumni Update Form
Stay connected and tell your story of life after graduation.

Follow Us on Facebook
For events, articles, and news from the East Asian Community.

Join Our Mailing List
Updates on events happening in the UVA East Asian Studies community