The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the deadly coronavirus as “COVID-19”.
“We now have a name for the disease and it’s ‘COVID-19’,” WHO Secretary General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
“CO” stands for “corona”, “VI” for “virus” and “D” for “disease”, while “19” represents the year the outbreak was first reported, he told reporters.
Ghebreyesus clarified that the new name was selected to avoid references that can be inaccurate, create confusion or cause stigmatization of any group or country.
“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.”
The viral infection that claimed the lives of more than 1000 people and infected more than 40000 others, mostly in China, has so far been globally known as 2019-nCoV.
Most of the cases are reported in Hubei province. The outbreak was first reported in Wuhan in December. The city of around 11 million now remains in lock-down.
By the end of Tuesday, a total of 1,113 people died of the disease and 44,653 confirmed cases were reported on the Chinese mainland.
Xin Hua quoted China’s National Health Commission as saying on Wednesday that it received reports of 2,015 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 97 deaths.
Symptoms associated with this virus have included fever, cough, and acute respiratory infection.
The new disease, against which no specific cure or vaccine has yet been developed, is a “very grave threat” for the world but there was a “realistic chance” of stopping it, according to the WHO chief.
Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, with 1 death in the Philippines, he says.
But According to a global map published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus infections were reported in 28 countries.
In the United States, 13 people in six states were confirmed positive in lab tests.
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