COVID-19: WHO gives official name for novel coronavirus


Geneva: 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.

The CO stands for corona, while the VI for virus and the D for the disease.

“Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the OIE Animal Health and FAO, we had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters 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.

According to details, the WHO stated that 42,708 have been infected with the deadly disease in mainland China while the death toll has tragically surpassed over 1000.
Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, with one death, the director-general added.

The virus had been tentatively referred to as 2019-nCoV. Some people also refer to the respiratory illness as the “Wuhan virus” or “China virus.”

“With 99 per cent of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said.

Expert says that there is plenty of researches that have been done to ascertain the period of persistence of viruses on surfaces following the Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003.

The virus that caused the outbreak of SARS belongs to the same family as that of the Coronavirus which has spread throughout the world originating from China’s Wuhan city. (ANI)