World • 12 February, 2020

WHO: Coronavirus disease named Covid-19

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The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19, BBC reports.

"We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected.

Dr Ghebreyesus called on the world to fight the new virus as aggressively as possible.

The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain.

The virus itself has been designated SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.

Researchers have been calling for an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation of any group or country.

Scientists from around the world are meeting in Geneva to discuss ways to combat the outbreak.

Dr Ghebreyesus of the WHO said there was still a realistic chance of containing the disease if enough resources were devoted to the fight.

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