The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced “COVID-19” as the official name for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
As of 11 February 2020, there have been about 40,626 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 910 reported deaths across the world.
“We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”
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“We now have a name for the #2019nCoV disease:
I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19″
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020
We now have a name for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus: COVID-19.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 11, 2020
According to the latest health figures, the death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak has surpassed that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The global death toll during the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003 was 774, while more than 8000 people were reportedly infected between November 2002 and July 2003.
There have been 15 confirmed cases in Australia, including five in Queensland, four in NSW, four in Victoria and two in South Australia.
All cases in Australia have come from Wuhan except one in NSW who had contact in China with a confirmed case in Wuhan.
Earlier this month WHO declared the new strain a public health emergency of international concern.
The decision was announced after a Geneva meeting of the international organisation’s emergency committee.
Last week, WHO issued a call for $675 million, which is what the world needs to support preparedness and response operations in countries.
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