The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday the official name for the diseases caused by a novel coronavirus: COVID-19. The acronym stands for coronavirus disease 2019, as it was first detected towards the tail end of 2019.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the chosen name did not refer to any places, animals, or people to avoid stigma.
“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,” Ghebreyesus announced via Twitter.
? BREAKING ?
“We now have a name for the #2019nCoV disease:
I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19″
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020
“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks,” he added.
According to the Chinese officials on Tuesday, the death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic continues to rise. About 1,017 people had already died, while the number of confirmed infections in China is now around 42,700. Furthermore, 393 cases are from abroad in a total of 24 countries. Including three confirmed cases in the Philippines.
Furthermore, Ghebreyesus said that the first vaccine for COVID-19 could be available in 18 months. “So we have to do everything today using available weapons,” he said.
—(Source: The New York Times)