On 5 January the WHO publishes its first Disease Outbreak News on a new coronavirus identified following a reported cluster of cases in Wuhan, China. On 12 January China publicly shares the genetic sequence of COVID-19. Evidence of human-to-human transmission mounts. A WHO delegation visits China and its Emergency Committee convenes. On 30 January WHO reports 7818 total confirmed cases worldwide, the majority in China and 82 cases in 18 other countries. It declares the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC – highest alarm level). By 11 March WHO declares the outbreak a global pandemic. Economies start to lock down, causing the most severe global economic contraction since the 1930s. The OECD expects the global economy to contract by 12% in the first half of 2020. COVID cases worldwide increase to reach over 25 million by August 2020.