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February 12, 2020updated 15 Mar 2022 6:56am

WHO officially names new coronavirus disease Covid-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus, initially identified in Wuhan, China, as Covid-19.


Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

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Follow the latest updates of the outbreak on our timeline.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus, initially identified in Wuhan, China, as Covid-19.

Chinese authorities first reported a case of pneumonia with an unknown cause in Wuhan to the WHO China office on 31 December.

As more cases emerged, the cause was identified as a novel coronavirus, temporarily named 2019-nCoV or Wuhan coronavirus, in some cases.

The name Covid-19 will avoid the use of other inaccurate names and any references to a geographic location, an animal, an individual or group of people, said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

A statement from WHO reads: “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.”

The virus has now spread to 25 more countries, leading to a total of 1,115 deaths and more than 45,100 cases, as of the end of 11 February. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January.

On 11 February, WHO began its two-day forum to identify knowledge gaps and research priorities to control the spread of Covid-19 epidemic.

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Free Report
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Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
by GlobalData
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