After the coronavirus pneumonia spread to 25 countries and infected more than 40,000 people, it finally had an official name, COVID-19.
On the evening of February 11, Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced at the Global Research and Innovation forum in Geneva that the disease caused by the new coronavirus has been officially named “COVID-19”, in which “CO” stands for “coronavirus”, “VI” for “virus” and “D” for “disease”.
The new name COVID-19 does not include reference of any places, people or animals that are associated with the virus to avoid stigmatization. Until now, xenophobia across the world had risen as monikers such as “Wuhan Pneumonia” or “Chinese Virus” have unfairly stigmatized Chinese people worldwide.
Prior to this, “2019-nCoV” has been been the most widely used abbreviation of the virus, including by the WHO before the new official naming. However, many pointed out that it is difficult to remember, write or pronounce. Dr. Tedros said on his Twitter that the WHO is in full response mode and the first vaccine could be ready in 18 months.