WHO officially names Coronavirus disease as Covid-19

WHO officially names Coronavirus disease as Covid-19

WHO officially names Coronavirus disease as Covid-19

Written by Staff Writer

12 Feb, 2020 | 8:41 am

BBC – The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19.

“We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected. Dr. Ghebreyesus called on the world to fight the new virus as aggressively as possible.

The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain. The virus itself has been designated SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Researchers have been calling for an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation of any group or country.

The new name is taken from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease”, with 2019 representing the year that it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December). There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China. The number of deaths has overtaken that of the Sars epidemic in 2002-2003.

On Monday, some 103 people died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016. But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478.

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