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The Pandemic Was Declared 1 Year Ago: These Stats Show How COVID-19 Changed The World


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist


It's a year since the WHO officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and masks became a part of our new reality. Image credit: Matteo Roma/

The COVID-19 pandemic is officially 1 year old. While the disease outbreak originally emerged in humans at some point in late 2019, March 11 was the date the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic after the virus had spread across Asia and arrived in Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. 

One year on, here’s a roundup of statistics that reflect how this virus changed the world.

  • On the year anniversary, there have been 118,129,308 confirmed global cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard as of March 11, 2021.

  • Over 2,621,986 people have died.

  • An estimated 316,600,000 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, as per the New York Times.

  • The virus has been reported in all but 13 countries on the planet, according to the WHO. These counties are either secretive states, including North Korea and Turkmenistan, or islands in the South Pacific. 

    RIO DE JANEIRO,(BRAZIL), APRIL 6, 2020: A victim of COVID-19 is buried in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image credit: Photocarioca/
  • 75 COVID-19 vaccines have been part of clinical trials on humans, according to the New York Times. Six vaccines have been approved for full use worldwide; six have been authorized in early or limited use; 21 are undergoing large-scale testing; 30 are part of expanded safety trials; and 42 are undergoing early testing for dosage and safety.

  • Up to 3.9 billion people — around half of the global population — were under “lockdown” in April 2020, according to AFP.

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - APRIL 19, 2020: Health workers showing the peace sign. Image credit: Abdul Razak Latif/
  • Scientists have published over 111,300 research papers on COVID-19, according to PubMud.

  • Around 4 percent of the world’s scientific research output was devoted to the coronavirus in 2020, according to one database analyzed by Nature.

  • At least 115 cats, 81 dogs, 27 captive big cats, and at least 3 captive gorillas have been confirmed to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 around the world, according to the America Veterinary Medical Association.  

    NEW YORK - APR 25, 2020: An empty Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Image credit: stockelements/
  • Nearly 17 million mink were culled in Denmark in an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19, while 419 mink farms globally have reported cases.

  • Air flights worldwide were down by 43.5 percent in the week starting January 4, 2021, compared to the week of January 6, 2020, according to Statistica

  • An estimated 71 percent of weddings were postponed in 2020, according to a survey of nearly 10,000 couples across 15 countries by Knot Worldwide.

 For more information about COVID-19, check out the IFLScience COVID-19 hub where you can follow the current state of the pandemic, the progress of vaccine development, and further insights into the disease.

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