The World Health Organization has named the new coronavirus as Covid-19.
“We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,” WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
“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.
“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 WHO chief said.
The virus itself has been designated SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
The new name is taken from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease”, with 2019 representing the year that it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December).
There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China.
On Monday, some 103 people died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016.