June 16, 2021

Why is the new coronavirus now called Covid-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that the disease caused by Wuhan’s new coronavirus will officially receive the name “Covid-19”, as decided on the first day of meeting of 300 experts on this epidemic in Geneva.

WHO decided to use a name that “can be pronounced and does not refer to a specific geographical location, an animal or a group of people” To avoid stigmatization, the general director of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a press conference when announcing this decision.

Name born from an acronym in English from the expression “corona virus disease” and it will be a standard for eventual coronavirus outbreaks in the future, Tedros said. With an official name “avoid using others that may be inaccurate or stigmatic,” added the head of WHO. The denomination Covid-19 is significantly different from previous coronaviruses which also caused international health alarms in past years, such as SARS (acute and severe respiratory syndrome) or MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), the latter with reference to the geographical origin of the disease.

The WHO headquarters in Geneva hosts from today until tomorrow, Wednesday, a meeting of 300 experts from around the world in virology, epidemiology and other scientific branches to study research pathways of the hitherto known as Wuhan coronavirus and possible treatments and vaccines .

The meeting, behind closed doors and in which some experts (including many Chinese doctors) participate remotely by teleconference, seeks to advance in the knowledge of the origin of the new disease, its routes of transmission, its severity and the measures to be taken. be taken against it, WHO reported.

According to Tedros, “The measures taken by Wuhan and the rest of China are slowing the spread of the virus and we must take advantage of this to hit hard and fight together against it, or else there will be more prices and higher costs.”

“A very serious threat”

A very serious threat to the rest of the world, ”said the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the coronavirus epidemic, during a meeting with more than 400 researchers aimed at accelerating research of drugs, diagnoses and vaccines on the virus.

To date, China has confirmed 42,708 cases, including 1,017 deaths, Tedros said. However, as echoed by Reuters, the head of the WHO said that “with 99% of cases in China, this is still largely an emergency for that country, but it also poses a very serious threat to the rest of the world”. Regarding all the questions that remain to be answered about a new outbreak of coronavirus, the director general hopes “that one of the results of this meeting will be an agreed roadmap for the research around which researchers and donors join “


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