Covid-19 pandemic timeline - February 2021

  • Vaccines into arms

  • Face surgery booms in Albania
Susan Ramsay |

Latest Articles

Hong Kong university students say volunteering at Asian Games an ‘honour’

5 best English literature classics for teenagers, picked by a Hong Kong student

Hong Kong areas hit by last big storm and rainfall fear further damage

Muslim students of Man Kwan Pak Kau College approach imam for help after school threatens demerits

Not so black and white? Panda fibs fuel anti-US vibe in China


2019 - January February March April May June July August September October November December 

Feb 28

More than 20 million people in Britain have received vaccine dose Health Secretary Matt Hancock reports

Faroe Islands free of Covid-19 for the first time since July 2020

Feb 27

Hong Kong receives delayed Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines from Germany

Biden urges Senate to swiftly pass 1.9-trillion-dollar stimulus bill

Feb 26

Facial surgery booms in Albania as people take advantage of wearing masks to cover up scars

In Japan, android pets ease virus isolation

As Somalia's cases surge, a variant is suspected

2 US Navy warships in Mideast affected by coronavirus, USS San Diego and USS Philippine Sea

Britain’s 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who last month had her first COVID-19 vaccination dose, has encouraged the public to follow suit, saying it did not hurt and those who were wary should think of others.

Feb 25

US Vice-President Kamala Harris encourages people of colour to get the vaccine.

Feb 18

South Africa has registered more than 140,000 excess natural deaths since May 2020, according to the South African Medical Research Council. Leading private medical insurance Discovery estimates that around 90 per cent of those fatalities are attributable to Covid-19, pushing the real death toll past 120,000. A study released last week of almost 5,000 blood donors across four provinces found that between 32 and 63 per cent of sampled individuals had contracted coronavirus since the pandemic started -- compared with clinically confirmed case rates of two to three per cent. Most antibodies were detected in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, both epicentres of South Africa’s second infection wave when it started in December, one month before the study was conducted.

As of 7.30 pm,110,496,412 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 85,391,493 and 2,442,662 people have died.

Feb 17

Pfizer says South African variant could significantly reduce vaccine protection, researchers urge governments to delay second dose

As of midnight GMT, 110,418,817 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 85,322,617 and 2,439,912 people have died.

A commercially available electronic “nose” manufactured by Dutch company Breathomix can tell when a person does not have Covid-19 and would be a useful screening tool, researchers have found.

Brazil recorded 56,766 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 1,150 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said

Sinovac vaccine works on UK, South African variants - Brazil institute says, citing studies in China. “We have tested this vaccine in China against the English and the South African variants, with good results,” said Dimas Covas, head of the Butantan biomedical center in Sao Paulo which lead domestic trials of the Chinese vaccine and is supplying doses to Brazil’s Health Ministry

United States

  • Crippling icy weather hampers vaccine deliveries, distribution in US
  • The United States will pay more than $200 million to the World Health Organization by the end of the month after reversing Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw, Secretary of State Antony Blinken
  • The statistics show that an average of 1.7 million Americans received a shot each day last week, after a steady climb since the middle of January in which the average number of daily inoculations increased 200,000 each week.

Feb 16

India’s dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped. Infections began to plummet in September, and now the country is reporting about 11,000 new cases a day, compared to a peak of nearly 100,000. They have suggested many possible explanations for the sudden drop — seen in almost every region — including that some areas of the country may have reached herd immunity or that Indians may have some pre-existing protection from the virus. The Indian government has also partly attributed the dip in cases to mask-wearing, which is mandatory in public in India and violations draw hefty fines in some cities. But experts have noted the situation is more complicated since the decline is uniform even though mask compliance is flagging in some areas.

Amid a scandal, Peru says 487 officials were vaccinated secretly, ahead of the public.

First 550,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm’s vaccine arrive in Hungary

Hong Kong advisory panel approves China’s Sinovac vaccine for emergency use. Hong Kong’s government said in early February that it was exempting Chinese drug maker Sinovac from publishing results of its third phase clinical trials in medical journals due to the “urgency” for vaccination. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – the first approved by Hong Kong’s Health department - was required to have published results in a medical journal before being examined by the advisory panel. 

As of 7.30 pm,109,744,108 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 84,306,543 and 2,420,505 people have died.

The US crosses 500,000 Covid deaths

Feb 15

Thailand finds South AfricanCovid-19 variant in quarantine.

‘We should have provided more information faster’: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledges data void in NY nursing home deaths. “No excuses: I accept responsibility for that. I am in charge. I take responsibility. We should have provided more information faster.” “The void in information that we created started misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and now people have to hear that, and they don’t know what is the truth,” Cuomo said. “The truth is you had the best medical professionals and advice on the globe. The truth is it was in the middle of a terrible pandemic. The truth is Covid attacks senior citizens. The truth is, with all we know, people still die in nursing homes.”

Guinea Ebola death toll rises to five

Zimbabwe gets its first batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, the first country in southern Africa to receive it.

As of 8.30 pm,109,448,208 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 81,545,097 and 2,412,815 people have died.

Feb 14

Guinea sees first Ebola outbreak since 2016 epidemic declared over

Tens of thousands protest in Myanmar against coup

Britain meets self-imposed target of 15 million vaccinations

As of midnight GMT,109,382,551 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 81,617,794 and 2,411,067 people have died.

Feb 13

As of midnight GMT,109,091,004 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 81,271,588 and 2,404,174 people have died.

Feb 12

More than 9,000 recovering virus patients were sent into NY nursing homes early in the pandemic under a controversial order that was scrapped amid criticisms it accelerated outbreaks, according to new records obtained by The Associated Press. The new number of patients sent to hundreds of nursing homes is more than 40% higher than what had been previously released by the state health department. And it raises new questions as to whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March 25 directive helped spread sickness and death among residents, a charge his administration disputes.

Feb 11

The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain has fallen from record levels but still remains high, with conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic playing a role, a Jewish advisory body says.

African countries without the coronavirus variant dominant in South Africa should go ahead and use the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

In UK, roving teams bring Covid-19 vaccine shots to homeless

A second person has died of Ebola in the DRC, Who announces

Feb 10

Six months after being asked, New York’s top health official answers questions of elderly home Covid deaths. State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker’s showed that 15,049 residents had died of Covid. Officially, the state had reported that fewer than 9,000 care home residents had died of Covid, but that number did not include those who had died after being admitted to hospital. Those admitted to hospital would have been counted on the general deaths tally.

Seoul offers free Covid-19 testing for cats and dogs

Before Lunar New Year, Vietnam’s streets blossom with flowers

Vienna misses its waltzes as ball season falls silent

Almost one in three children in Germany are suffering from mental health problems less than a year into the coronavirus crisis, according to the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf’s COPSY study

Taiwan to receive 5 million Moderna shots in second quarter

First cases of South African coronavirus strain found in California

Feb 9

As of 7.30 pm,107,074,258 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 78,953,376 and 2,338,203 people have died.

3,000 pigs to be culled after African swine fever found at Hong Kong farm

Feb 8

As of midnight,106,998,175 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 78,990,655 and 2,335,732 people have died.

Feb 7

As of midnight,106,678,791 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 78,536,609 and 2,327,488 people have died.

Feb 6

Riots break out in St Louis prison, in the US state of Missouri, as inmates protest lack of Covid protection.

Feb 5

Feb 4

Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson requests emergency authourisation for Covid vaccine

US FDA gears up for rapid review of potential COVID-19 booster shots

Pandemic pet demand blamed for surge in Britain’s  dog thefts

Desperation grows as Mexico runs out of vaccines

Feb 3

With China’s help, Serbia overtakes EU in vaccine rollout

Feb 2

As of 6 pm,103,969,901 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 75,817,103 and 2,248,872 people have died.

Feb 1

Britain has now administered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to more than 9.2 million people, Health Minister Matt Hancock announces

Cardiologist Professor Martin Halle from the Technical University of Munich. warns that even people who have had a very mild case of Covid-19 should not go back to 

As of midnight,103,921,820 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 75,727,220 and 2,247,108 people have died.

Chinese police have arrested more than 80 people who were making counterfeit Covid-19 vaccines. The gang had been putting saline water into vials and selling them as Covid-19 vaccines in an operation that had been running since last September. Police swooped on several locations across Beijing and multiple cities in the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, seizing “more than 3,000 fake Covid-19 vaccines on the spot,” Xinhua said.

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy