Coronavirus in pictures: Scenes from around the world

Countries completely lock down as the toll mounts and the race for a cure continues. From the US to Italy, Pakistan to Somalia, the world reacts to a pandemic.

CNET News staff
1 of 60 Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A far-reaching pandemic

A never-before-seen virus first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan has infected people around the world with a pneumonia-like illness. The pandemic has caused sickness, death, alarm and social shutdowns worldwide. Here are some scenes from around the globe since early 2020, starting with the most recent, as scientists, governments and citizens struggle to grapple with and contain the illness. 

In a scene that's become all too familiar around the world, a man in Barcelona crosses an empty street on March 20 wearing a face mask as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Residents of the city are facing confinement and being asked to practice social distancing.  

Keep updated on the fast-moving developments here and get answers to the most common questions here. And for more images, see the emptiness as the coronavirus pandemic closes stadiums, landmarks and schools.

Originally published Jan. 25 and updated as new developments occur.

Protest in Venice
2 of 60 Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto via Getty Images

May 4: Protest in Venice

People gather near the Rialto Bridge in Venice on May 4 in a demonstration seeking the loosening of restrictions on commercial activities, including on restaurants and bars, that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

New Jersey beach
3 of 60 Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

May 3: Beaches reopen

People spread out across the sand in Long Branch, New Jersey, on May 3 as the state reopens public beaches and parks.

Volunteers serve free lunch at a Bronx pub
4 of 60 David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

April 23: Serving free lunch

Volunteers for World Central Kitchen hand out meals at the Bronx Draft House on April 23. Bronx Draft House is serving free daily lunch to first responders as well as assisting World Central Kitchen to distribute free meals to people in vulnerable situations in the community.

Nancy Pelosi with scarf as mask
5 of 60 Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

April 23: Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (center) walks out of the chamber of the US House of Representatives after debate April 23 on a $484 billion relief package. The bill would provide funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, along with other small-business loans, emergency relief for hospitals and money for coronavirus testing.

6 of 60 David McNew/Getty Images

April 16: Empty Los Angeles International Airport

A man waits in an empty baggage claim area at a nearly deserted Los Angeles International Airport. Since COVID-19 has forced most travelers to stay home, passenger air travel has plummeted more than 90 percent at LAX as airlines slash flights and consolidate operations. 

7 of 60 Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

April 16: Sanitizing in New Delhi

New Delhi Municipal Council health department workers spray disinfectant from a fire truck during a public sanitization drive in New Delhi's Connaught Place.

8 of 60 Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

April 15: Anti-quarantine protest in Michigan

Protesters participate in a "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing. The group is upset with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's decision to expand the state's stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Drive-in church service
9 of 60 Mario Tama/Getty Images

April 12: Drive-in church service

On Easter, Pastor Jerel Hagerman led a "Drive-in Crusade" church service in the parking lot of the Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley, California. Parishioners stayed in their cars rather than gathering in the church building to minimize the risk of infection with the coronavirus.

Field hospital at Columbia University
10 of 60 Misha Friedman/Getty Images

April 11: Field hospital at Columbia University

In New York, Columbia University's Baker Field Athletic Complex has been transformed into a field hospital in anticipation of a surge in coronavirus patients in the hard-hit city. Pictured here on April 11 is Dr. Laureen Hill, chief operating officer of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Judge presiding over court cases by teleconference
11 of 60 Spencer Platt/Getty Images

April 9: A US judge presides remotely

Wearing his official robe, New York City Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell works remotely from his Brooklyn apartment rather than his Manhattan courtroom. McDonnell still works a full day, but he's seen a drop in criminal arrests as COVID-19 slows all New York activity.

Ice cream cake styled like a toilet paper roll
12 of 60 Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

April 6: Toilet paper ice cream cake

As people have stocked up for long stays at home, toilet paper has been in short supply. An ice cream parlor in Rastatt, Germany, has used that as inspiration for ice cream cakes in the shape of toilet paper rolls. The cakes must be ordered by phone and picked up through a window, for safe social distancing. They weigh 2 kilograms (or nearly 5 pounds) each, and can serve eight to 10 people.

Priest conducting mass in an empty church
13 of 60 Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

April 6: Priest conducting mass

In Innsbruck, Austria, a Roman Catholic priest conducts mass in an empty church on April 6. The pews, though, hold hundreds of photos of parishioners, and the priest records the masses on video, then uploads them by evening for viewing by his congregation via the internet.

14 of 60 Sarah Tew/CNET

April 3: Free goods in North Carolina

Outside Dr. Dave's Automotive in West Asheville, North Carolina in the US, volunteers from disaster relief organization Grassroots Aid Partnership offer up free food and soap to those in need. They handed out the freebies for four days, three hours a day.  

15 of 60 Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

April 2: Supplies for refugees in Somalia

Volunteers distribute cleaning supplies to refugees at the Barwako refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, and explain how to use them to protect against coronavirus. 

16 of 60 Joe Raedle/Getty Images

April 2: Former cruise ship passenger treated

A patient is transported from an ambulance at the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The patient is one of a group of people taken from the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships after they arrived at Port Everglades following 19 days at sea. South American ports denied the ships' entry due to the coronavirus outbreak, and reports indicated two of four people who died aboard the Zaandam had tested positive for COVID-19. 

The hospital ship USNS Comfort docks in New York
17 of 60 Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

March 30: Hospital ship in New York

The USNS Comfort, a US Navy hospital ship, docks at Pier 90 on the Hudson River in New York on March 30 to provide 1,000 beds for non-COVID-19 patients in support of the city's overtaxed medical infrastructure.

18 of 60 Erika Santelices SANTELICES/AFP via Getty Images)

March 27: Fumigating in the Dominican Republic

An employee of the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Public Works fumigates a street in Santo Domingo. 

19 of 60 Ethan Miller/Getty Images

March 27: Blood drive in Las Vegas

American Red Cross team leader Eva Klappa transports boxes for donated blood during a blood drive at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 27. The speedway plans to hold four blood drives to help alleviate a supply shortage stemming from a lack of donated blood and facilities large enough to collect it while also observing social distancing guidelines. Many blood drives across the United States have been canceled as a result of the spread of the virus.

20 of 60 Sean Gallup/Getty Images

March 27: COVID-19 testing tent in Berlin

Medical volunteers in Berlin dispose of the protective gear used while taking blood and throat mucus samples to test visitors for COVID-19. Dr. Ulrike Lipke said she set up the tent next to her medical practice in Berlin as a way to offer testing while avoiding possible coronavirus infection inside. Germany is seeking to radically increase its coronavirus testing capacity to up to 200,000 tests a day by the end of April in an aim to allow people to return to work and get the German economy back into action. 

21 of 60 Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

March 27: Intensive care unit in Belgium

Medical workers wearing protective gear treat a patient infected with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit of Brussels' Erasme Hospital. 

22 of 60 Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix /AFP via Getty Images

March 26: Shelter for the homeless in Norway

A homeless man walks past beds in the gym of the closed Uranienborg school in Oslo, Norway. The Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter there for the homeless due to the pandemic.  

23 of 60 Banaras Khan/AFP via Getty Images)

March 25: On patrol in Pakistan

Security personnel in Quetta, Pakistan, patrol the streets to implement the government-imposed partial lockdown. 

24 of 60 Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

March 25: A prayer in Vienna

A sign above lighted candles reads "Protect us from the coronavirus" at Vienna's Plague Column, erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679. A recession in Austria seems likely as economic activity slows and many businesses are temporarily closed. Schools, daycare centers and universities remain shuttered.

25 of 60 Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images

March 24: On the (empty) train in Belgium

A passenger on the nearly empty metro in Brussels. Like many cities around the world, the Belgian capital is now on strict lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

26 of 60 Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images

March 23: National Guard in NY

US Army National Guard members gather at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces plans to convert the facility into a field hospital to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases.

27 of 60 Boris Vergara/Getty Images

March 20: Precautions in Venezuela

Security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, wear masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered a "collective quarantine" in seven states. 

28 of 60 Mustafa Kamaci/Getty Images

March 20: Turkish president expresses thanks

From their balcony in Istanbul, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, Emine Erdogan, applaud the many doctors, nurses and health care workers who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

29 of 60 Valery Sharifulin\Getty Images

March 20: Keeping the arts going from afar

Pianist Denis Matsuev, double bassist Andrei Ivanov and percussion player Alexander Zinger perform from the empty Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow during a live broadcast. With museums, theaters, symphonies and opera houses closed due to the coronavirus, many artists have been livestreaming performances for people in lockdown to enjoy at home. 

Sign on door: This household is in a 14 day isolation
30 of 60 Polly Thomas/Getty Images

March 18: Household isolation in Wales

A sign on the door of a residence in Cardiff, Wales, lets visitors know the inhabitants are in isolation for two weeks and instructs delivery people to leave packages outside.

Food handouts in New Rochelle
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March 18: Food handouts

Residents of New Rochelle, New York, receive bags of free food at a community center. US National Guard troops have been assisting local staff in distributing food in the city, which has been a hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic.

32 of 60 Justin Jaffe/CNET

March 16: Starting school at home

Kids in Portland, Maine, settle in for a day of home schooling. A growing list of states across the US, including Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia, have closed schools in an attempt to contain the coronavirus. Major cities including New York City and Los Angeles have done the same. 

33 of 60 Smith Collection/Getty Images

March 16: Bay Area shelter-in-place alert

An emergency public safety text message alerts residents of Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area to a shelter-in-place order going into effect until April 7. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the measure March 16 at a press conference with leaders of the surrounding six counties. The order requires residents to stay at home except for essential needs. Most businesses will close, though "necessary government functions and essential stores" will still be open. On March 30, Bay Area counties extended their stay-at-home order until at least May 1. 

34 of 60 Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

March 15: Chaos grips major US airports

Travelers arrive at the international terminal of Chicago's O'Hare Airport on March 15. Chaos gripped it and other major US airports as Americans returning from European countries hit by the coronavirus overwhelmed authorities attempting to process the surge. Passengers complained of lines that lasted for hours, crowded and unsanitary conditions and general disarray in the system for screening people for symptoms of the virus.

Warning sign at Krakow bus station
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March 13: Warning sign in Poland

At a bus station in Krakow, Poland, an electronic sign urges travelers to alert their health care provider if they've been exposed to the coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease it causes.

Empty supermarket shelves
36 of 60 Mark Wilson/Getty Images

March 13: Empty shelves in Maryland

Shoppers across the US have been clearing store shelves of cleaning supplies and groceries, as here at a Giant Supermarket in Dunkirk, Maryland. People are preparing for long stays at home as offices shift to remote working and schools shut down.

The Dow drops 10%
37 of 60 Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images

March 12: Dow dive

On March 12, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down around 2,350 points, or 10 percent, suffering its worst session since 1987 as emergency measures by central banks failed to calm fears of a recession arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

38 of 60 Pontus Lundahl/Getty Images

March 11: Another sporting event canceled

This is a view of the empty stands at the Are ski resort in northern Sweden. Like many cultural and sporting events around the world, the Alpine skiing World Cup finals this weekend have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. On March 11, Sweden's Public Health Agency asked the government to temporarily ban events with more than 500 people.

39 of 60 Spencer Platt/Getty Images

March 9: Stocks sink

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 9. Trading was halted for 15 minutes after the opening bell as stocks fell 7% amid escalating coronavirus fears.  

40 of 60 Stringer/Getty Images

March 8: Italy on lockdown

Medical officers in Salerno, Italy, check bus passengers on March 8. After Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte decided to prolong school closures until April 3 and attempt to lock down 16 million people in the north in an attempt to curb the virus' spread, many people traveled to southern Italy to reach relatives. Ultimately, the whole country went on lockdown. 

41 of 60 Artur Widak/Getty Images

March 8: Israel closes border with Egypt

Tourists outside the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. Israel closed its land border with Egypt on March 8 due to the spread of the coronavirus. 

42 of 60 Peter Kovalev/Getty Images

March 8: Quarantined Russian students

Quarantined students in the dorm of St. Petersburg, Russia's Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University after having contact with a foreign citizen infected with COVID-19.

An ambulance in Turkey with health personnel in protective gear
43 of 60 Getty Images

Feb. 25: Quarantine in Ankara

In Ankara, Turkey, an ambulance transports passengers and crew of a Turkish Airlines plane from Tehran to a local hospital for a 14-day quarantine and to be tested for possible coronavirus infection.

Two weeks earlier, on Feb. 11, the World Health Organization officially named the virus SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting illness COVID-19.

Pre-triage medical tent in Tuscany
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Feb. 25: Tent in Tuscany

A pre-triage medical tent stands ready in front of Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence as Tuscany reported its first two cases of COVID-19.

Also on Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that coronavirus cases in the US are likely to spread, though the immediate threat to the general public is still low.

Hygiene information sign at MWC venue
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Feb. 12: MWC canceled

Mobile World Congress, the biggest event of the year for the mobile phone industry, was scheduled to take place the week of Feb. 24. But with less than two weeks to go before the show, as more and more companies pulled out because of coronavirus worries, MWC officials canceled the event.

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Feb. 7: Mourning whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang

A card with a portrait of Dr. Li Wenliang is surrounded by flowers at Li's hospital in Wuhan on Feb. 7. The 34-year-old Chinese doctor is considered a whistleblower for speaking out about the rising cases of pneumonia in an online chat room during the early days of the outbreak. He passed away Feb. 6 as a result of the virus. 

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Feb. 7: Wuhan on lockdown

A resident rides a motorbike across an empty track in Wuhan, China. The city went into lockdown due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

48 of 60 Ali Murat Alhas/Getty Images

Feb. 1: Turks evacuate China

A Turkish Armed Forces cargo plane lands at the Wuhan airport on Feb. 1 in China to evacuate citizens of Turkey and other nearby countries from the heart of the coronavirus outbreak. 

49 of 60 John Keeble/Getty Images

Jan. 31: Warning sign in London

People walk past a news banner that reads "Killer virus now spreading fast" at London's Bank station on Jan. 31, the same day the US declared the coronavirus a public health emergency. 

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Jan. 30: Workers disinfect

Workers from a funeral home disinfect themselves after handling a coronavirus victim in a hospital in Wuhan, China. 

51 of 60 Noan Seelam/Getty Images

Jan. 27: Isolation ward in India

Nurses work inside an isolation ward in a government-run medical clinic in Hyderabad, India. Patients coming from Hong Kong requested medical checks as a preventive measure.

52 of 60 Chaideer Mahyuddin/Getty Images

Jan. 27: Checking for fever

An Indonesian health official checks the temperature of a passenger upon his arrival at the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Blang Bintang on Jan. 27. By that date, an effective quarantine was in place in China, with all flights in and out of Wuhan grounded and a ban on Chinese tour groups domestically and abroad.

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Jan. 25: Building a new hospital in Wuhan, fast

Diggers excavate for a new 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 25. The goal for the rapidly built temporary hospital: help accommodate a growing number of coronavirus patients. 

54 of 60 Willie Siau/Getty Images

Jan. 25: Caution in Hong Kong

Wary of the coronavirus, people in Hong Kong wear surgical masks in public. On Jan. 25, Hong Kong declared a citywide emergency, its highest warning level, canceling all official Chinese New Year celebrations and extending school breaks. 

55 of 60 Arne Dedert/Getty Images

Jan. 24: Keeping trains clean in South Korea

A worker in protective gear in Seoul, South Korea, sprays disinfectant in a train amid rising public concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, which medical experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. 

56 of 60 Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Jan. 24: Canceled flight in Japan

A notice at Japan's Narita airport on Jan. 24 shows a canceled flight to Wuhan, China. Japan is a popular travel destination for Chinese tourists during the Lunar New Year holiday, but on Jan. 25 China said it'd clamp down on travel for some of its citizens heading abroad, including suspending tour groups and temporarily halting the sale of flight and hotel packages.

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Jan. 24: Working toward a vaccine

Virologist Sandro Halbe looks at cell culture dishes in a lab at the Institute of Virology at the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany on Jan. 24. Virologists at the university are involved in the development of a vaccine to combat the lung pathogen. 

58 of 60 Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty Images

Jan. 24: Demanding action in Moscow

An environmental activist pickets in front of the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on Jan. 24 demanding a thorough screening of passengers arriving from Southeast Asia.

59 of 60 Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Jan. 24: Trying to stay safe in Scotland

Tourists in Scotland wear face masks as they visit Edinburgh Castle on Jan. 24. The Scottish government created a daily incident management team to monitor the developing situation.

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Jan. 22: Making more masks

Workers step up production of protective masks in Handan, China, on Jan. 22. Masks and other medical supplies quickly went out of stock in some places.

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