Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

Coronavirus: disease officially named Covid-19

The World Health Organisation said the decision had been taken to name the strain to avoid 'stigmatization' of any location or group of people

The World Health Organisation confirmed the official name for the disease caused by the coronavirus is Covid-19.

Officials made the announcement in an effort to avoid stigmatizing any geographical location or group of people.

The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain, which was discovered in 2019.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed the name of the disease at a press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

"Having a name matters, to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing," the WHO chief said.

"It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks."

He said the name had been agreed upon by WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The virus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected more than 45,000 across the globe.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Grand Prix was postponed as a result of the outbreak.

The FIA, Formula 1's governing body, accepted a request from organisers to delay the hosting of the Shanghai race, which was due to take place on 19 April.

Updated: February 12, 2020 06:56 PM

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