Map of the pandemic as of 13 March 2020

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). First identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in late December 2019, the global outbreak was characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. As of 14 March, over 145,000 cases have been reported in around 140 countries and territories, with major outbreaks in mainland China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. More than 5,400 people have died from the disease and over 72,000 have recovered.

The virus primarily spreads between people in a way similar to influenza, via respiratory droplets from coughing. The time between exposure and symptom onset is typically five days, but may range from two to fourteen days. Symptoms are most often fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. There is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment, but research is ongoing. Efforts are aimed at managing symptoms and supportive therapy. Recommended preventive measures include handwashing, maintaining distance from other people (particularly those who are unwell), and monitoring and self-isolation for fourteen days for people who suspect they are infected.

Public health responses around the world have included travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, event cancellations, and facility closures. These include the nationwide quarantine of Italy and in the Chinese province of Hubei, various curfew measures in China and South Korea; various border closures or incoming passenger restrictions; screening methods at airports and train stations; and travel advisories regarding regions with community transmission.  Schools and universities have closed either on a nationwide or local basis in at least 61 countries, affecting a record number of students.

Worldwide effects of the pandemic include social and economic instability, xenophobia and racism against people of Chinese and East Asian descent, and the online spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus.