New name for disease caused by virus outbreak: COVID-19

Grant Boone
February 14, 2020

The World Health Organisation described the new coronavirus as a major global threat while speaking out against some of the extreme measures that have been taken to contain it.

"Viruses can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action", he told reporters later.

With 1,820 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1,369 deaths, all but two have been in China.

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.

Tedros said that "co" stands for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease", while "19" was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on December 31.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization director general, said at a press conference. Keep your distance - we recommend at least one meter - from people who are unwell.

Ultimately, however, scientists may end up in the same situation they were during the 2002-03 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - which died out before a vaccine could be fully developed.

The disease now has the official name Covid-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. It will take some time. There have even been accusations that the virus was engineered by China to be used as a weapon.

TT Govt News
TT Govt News

"To date, there remains no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Bahamas", the Ministry of Health said.

Countries should also react in proportion to the health risks when it comes to air travel, said the head of the UN aviation agency ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization), in an interview with UN News.

Some 300 scientists and donors gathered in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first global conference on the virus hosted by the WHO.

This follows after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000 with tens of thousands people infected at the moment. Apart from China, 319 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in other countries affected by it. However, the number of new infections nationally was down by almost 20% from the day before-coming down from 3,062 to 2,478.

Two stranded cruise ships have illustrated the fears surrounding Covid-19.

Three cruise ships had either experienced delayed port clearance or been denied entry to ports.

Strengthening preparedness for health emergencies and outbreaks has always been and will continue to be a priority for WHO in the Western Pacific Region.

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