25.12.2020, 14:56

Here is a list of the major events that have happened in 2020

The Vietnam Insider has selected the top events that shaped the world in 2020. Yep, these major world events all happened this year.

The World Health Organization is notified of the novel coronavirus, then known as 2019-nCoV, in China.

The Chinese branch of the World Health Organization was officially notified of the novel coronavirus, then referred to as 2019-nCoV, on January 7, despite cases being reported as early as November 2019.

The novel coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease now known as COVID-19, is believed to have started in a wet market in the city of Wuhan, located in the Hubei province of China.

Here is a list of the major events that have happened in 2020

WUHAN, CHINA – JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) Medical staff transfer patients to Jin Yintan hospital on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Local authorities have confirmed that a second person in the city has died of a pneumonia-like virus since the outbreak started in December. (Photo by Getty Images)

The virus spreading rapidly around the world, infecting more than 78 million people and claiming over 1.7 million lives. It has pushed many countries into a twin public health and economic crisis.

The pandemic has intensively and extensively affected every aspect of the socio-economic life, changed the way people work, live, and communicate, and forced the world to adapt to a “new normal” state. The “race” to seek and develop COVID-19 vaccines has seen considerable progress, with some countries having begun to conduct vaccination programmes. The pandemic remains complex and unpredictable, however, as a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been found in Europe during the final days of the year.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, which were supposed to take place in Tokyo, are postponed until 2021.

One of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year — the 2020 Summer Olympics — was officially postponed on March 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympics were set to take place at the end of July of this year in Tokyo, Japan.


The International Olympic Committee later announced the event will be postponed until July 23, 2021.

Kim Jong Un death rumors

The North Korean supreme leader fueled speculation that he was either gravely ill or dead after he missed events commemorating his grandfather Kim Il-sung on April 15. He reemerged 20 days later in photos released by state media at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The despot, however, faced a new wave of skepticism over his health in August when a South Korean official claimed all of the appearances were faked and he was in a vegetative state.

Beirut explosion

A massive explosion at a Beirut port, sparked Aug. 4 by the accidental detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, killed at least 190 people and injured thousands of others.

Smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, August 4, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Issam Abdallah.

Most abnormal presidential election in US history

The “race to the White House” took place amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but nearly 160 million US voters – a record turnout – cast ballots.

With more than 81 million votes and 306 out of 538 electoral votes, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Nov. 7, defeating President Trump with a critical assist from his birth state, Pennsylvania, which delivered the votes to propel him to victory and end one of the most contentious elections in recent memory.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Protracted arguments and a legal battle following the election on November 3 deepened divisions and disagreements within the US political arena and society. The difficult transition has also hampered efforts to fight the pandemic, with the US already posting the highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in the world.

Global economy experiences worst recession since World War II

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that the global economy will contract by 4.4 percent in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Lockdown and border shutdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus have led to trade stagnation and disruptions in supply chains, triggering a wave of business bankruptcies worldwide, especially in the aviation, tourism, and retail sectors.


The global market has witnessed the strongest ever fluctuations, with prices of light sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange collapsing to negative 40 USD per barrel, while gold prices exceeded 2,000 USD an ounce for the first time, and many stock markets activating the “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading. Countries have also launched economic stimulus packages worth trillions of USD, along with unprecedented monetary and emergency lending measures to aid their economies.

Sudden death of football legend Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, passed away suddenly on November 25 at the age of 60. Argentina held three days of national mourning, with tens of thousands of people coming to pay tribute to him, while many events were held worldwide in his name. Argentina decided to rename the Argentine Professional League Cup the Diego Maradona Cup, while Napoli city in Italy, where he once played, renamed its San Paolo Stadium the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.


Maradona was honoured in 2000 as the FIFA Player of the 20th Century, together with the “King of Football” Pele (Brazil). Though his personal life was often controversial, with his talent, devotion, and capacity as a source of strong inspiration, he won over the hearts of generations of football fans around the globe.

Vietnam’s GDP growth amidst severe global economic downturn

Given the severe global economic downturn caused by COVID-19 in the year, Vietnam is among very few countries to post GDP growth, estimated at 2.5-3 percent.


This is attributable to the flexible management of the Government and the determination of the entire political system to complete the dual goals of containing the pandemic and maintaining economic growth. The result creates a crucial foundation for the country to fulfil socio-economic targets during the 2021-2025 period.

Compiling by Vietnam Insider