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Wuhan coronavirus gets name COVID-19

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 11, 2020
The World Health Organization has named Wuhan coronavirus COVID-19, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today.
Tedros Adhanom
Health in China   Tedros Adhanom
The "CO" stands for corona; "VI" for virus; and "D" for disease, Ghebreyesus said, speaking at a press conference.

Topics: Wuhan coronavirus

This name avoided referring to any locations, animals or population groups to prevent the spread of “inaccurate or stigmatizing” information, Ghebreyesus noted.

He also defended China's response to the virus. He cited the fact that while more than 40,000 cases of the virus have been reported in China, fewer than 400 cases have been reported in the rest of the world — and only one death.

This relatively small number of cases outside China is due to the "serious measures that China is taking" that are "slowing the virus to the rest of the world," he said.

However, he also warned that this could change, adding that the world "could have far more cases and far higher costs on our hands."

Ghebreyesus said there's still a "window of opportunity" to fight the disease and that "we still have time." A vaccine is in the works, even though it won't be ready for another 18 months. He also called upon countries to give more money to strengthen the WHO's response.