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

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.