WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke to reporters in Geneva and said that the coronavirus has been given a “pronounceable” name that’s “related to the disease“. The new name for the coronavirus is now COVID-19, and here’s how that name was conceived. The “CO” is for coronavirus, the “VI” is for virus, the “D” is because it’s a disease and “19” is for the year it was discovered – 2019.
According to Tedros, “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.” The WHO has also said that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be around 18 months away and until then the virus is worse than terrorism. “To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack“, said Tedros.
Tedros also stated COVID-19 should be considered as “public enemy number one“. Here’s the full statement, “A virus can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action. If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons.“