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Novel coronavirus named COVID-19 by WHO

By Chen Weihua in Brussels and Bo Leung in London | | Updated: 2020-02-11 23:34
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The novel coronavirus disease has been named COVID-19 by the director general of the World Health Organization.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the name was decided 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".

He added: "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."

Before the Tuesday announcement, the virus has been referred to as 2019-nCoV. At a news conference on Saturday, China's National Health Commission gave the virus a temporary name, the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, or NCP.

The WHO is holding a global research and innovation forum on the virus in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday. It has sent an expert team to China to collaborate with Chinese experts to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19.

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