World Health Organization names new coronavirus ‘COVID-19’

  • World Health Organization names new coronavirus ‘COVID-19’

World Health Organization names new coronavirus ‘COVID-19’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday gave the official name for the latest novel coronavirus, that has sickened more than 42,000 people, as 'Covid-19, ' which stands for coronavirus disease starting in 2019.

"We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

Ghebreyesus said that the agency wanted to avoid stigmatising or inaccurately naming a group that belongs to a particular geographical location, an animal, or an individual.

In scientific and medical literature, COVID-19 has been referred to as 2019nCoV, certainly not a catchy name.

Over the course of a two-day forum this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) brought together leading health experts and major research funders to discuss COVID-19.

The head of the WHO's emergency programme, Mike Ryan, also said the stabilisation of new case numbers in China was reassuring, as was the apparently less aggressive and less accelerated behaviour of the virus outside of Hubei province.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses have designated the virus as SARS-CoV-2. "Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death".

She also appreciated China's sharing of the genetic sequence of the virus, which helped other countries to quickly detect and prepare for the virus."Early data sharing really helps save lives", she said, commending and congratulating China for being that open and transparent.

While reiterating that now is a window of opportunity to fight the disease as most of the cases have so far remained in China, Dr Tedros also expressed his concerns that the virus could spread to countries with weaker public health systems and create havoc. Go for a diagnosis if you have travelled to China recently. However, the number of new infections nationally was down by almost 20% from the day before-coming down from 3,062 to 2,478. "We should recognize China for its efforts and for doing all it can to contain the spread of the virus [from] the rest of the world".