WHO names Novel Coronavirus as COVID-19

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DAVAO CITY —The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday names the novel coronavirus as COVID-19.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the new name of the disease in Geneva on Tuesday “We now have a name for the disease and it’s COVID-19”..

COVID-19 means “co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”, while “19” was for the year, when the outbreak was first identified. Health experts identified the virus on 31 December.

In a video of the WHO Geneva press briefing shared by TIME magazine, Tedros explained “We have to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal , an individual or group of people and which is pronounceable and related to the disease.”

Tedros explained “Having a name matters, to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising, it also gives us a standard format for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”

WHO had earlier given the virus the temporary name of “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease” and China’s National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it “novel coronavirus pneumonia” or NCP.

Public health experts agree with the choice not to name the disease after a geographic region in China.-EZC/

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