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WHO renames Coronavirus as ‘COVID-19’

The deadly coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 1000 people in China.

Feb 12, 2020 13:35 IST
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Coronavirus was officially renamed as ‘COVID-19’ by the World Health Organization on February 11, 2020. The deadly coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 1000 people in China, crossing the number of deaths caused during the SARs outbreak. 

The virus, which originated in a Wuhan food market, has spread across the world with maximum damage in China, followed by Japan. India also has three confirmed cases in Kerala, however, the first confirmed case was recently tested to be negative. 

The Kerala Government also rolled back its declaration of ‘state calamity’ over the virus outbreak in the state after no new case was confirmed since February 3, 2020. The quarantine period for suspected cases, who were kept under house surveillance, is also expected to end soon.

What does COVID-19 mean?

The World Health Organisation has officially named coronavirus as COVID-19. The name is a short form for the virus. ‘Co’ stands for coronavirus, ‘VI’ stands for the virus, ‘D’ stands for disease and numerical ‘19’ stands for the year it was detected. The coronavirus was detected in late 2019 but it became a global concern in January 2020, when it spread fast to an alarming number of people. 

Why COVID-19?

According to WHO, they had to find a name for the virus that did not refer to a particular animal, geographical location, individual or even a group of people and was pronounceable and related to the virus. 

The World Health Organisation stated that it is important to have an official name for the virus, as it will prevent the use of other names for the disease, which may be inaccurate or stigmatizing. The official name would also give the organisation a standard format to use in case of any future coronavirus outbreaks.

What does coronavirus mean?

Coronavirus officially refers to a group of RNA viruses that cause different diseases in humans and animals. Hence, the researchers had been calling for an official name for the deadly virus that has been taking many lives to avoid any confusion. 

Background 

As per the latest figures revealed by the World Health Organisation, there are about 42,708 confirmed  COVID-19 cases in China. The death toll has shockingly crossed 1000 with around 1017 people losing their lives to the virus in mainland China. 

Outside mainland China, around 393 confirmed cases have been reported across 24 countries with one death. 

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