HONG KONG (SE): On February 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that Covid-19 would be the new, official designation for the new coronavirus the emerged out of Wuhan, China.
“Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 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,” explained Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the WHO.
The virus was previously known by the moniker Wuhan coronavirus, or by the initial official designation: Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks,” Ghebreyesus said.