First, it was called the rare pneumonia viral disease. Then, it was ‘Wuhan Virus‘, which spurred criticisms that the name denotes xenophobia and stigmatism.
For weeks after, media outlets made ‘novel coronavirus’ a household name.
Now, as of 11 Feb, it is called Covid-19.
According to the Straits Times, the World Health Organisation (WHO) gave the highly infectious coronavirus an official name.
First identified in China on 31 Dec, we can now call it Covid-19.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a conference in Geneva that the name stands for:
He says it’s essential that the virus has a name, so that this would stop the use of other names that are incorrect, or stigmatism.
From now on, it will also give the organisation a standard format to use for – touch wood – any outbreaks of the coronavirus in the future.
Dr Tedros was further quoted as saying,
We had to find a name 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.
Better let Covid-19 sink in, for it will no longer be ‘novel coronavirus’ from now on.
Featured image adapted from WTHR.
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