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New coronavirus gets official name of 'COVID-19'
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.02.12 11:40
  • Updated 2020.02.12 11:40
  • comments 0

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the new coronavirus disease as “COVID-19,” which stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019.

According to Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, COVID-19 had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location, animal species, or a group of people and to prevent stigmatization. "A virus can cause more powerful consequences in political, economic, and social upheaval than any terrorist attack, and the world should consider the virus as public enemy No. 1," the WHO head said.

Experts and researchers have asked for an official name for the new coronavirus to avoid confusion and negative perceptions of certain groups or regions. The official name, COVID-19, provides a standard format to use for future coronavirus disease outbreaks, according to the WHO.

The number of confirmed cases reached 42,638, and the virus caused 1,018 deaths worldwide as of Wednesday. South Korea has confirmed 28 patients and discharged four fully recovered patients from hospitals.

WHO said that the vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready in 18 months.


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