The novel coronavirus disease now has an official name COVID-19, which stands for the coronavirus disease originated in 2019, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.
Despite the ongoing global research effort, the World Health Organization chief estimated that it could take 18 months for the first Covid-19 vaccines to be ready.
He said all countries should be "as aggressive as possible" and not allow the virus space for regional transmission.
The affliction is also known as SARS-CoV-2, according to the Coronavirus Study Group (part of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses), which is responsible for naming the coronavirus itself. Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. Henceforth, the Coronavirus disease will be referred to as COVID-19, as it was identified in Wuhan, China towards the end of a year ago.
As of Wednesday morning, Geneva time, there were 44,730 cases of COVID-19 in China, with 1,114 deaths.
Expert says that there is plenty of researches that have been done to ascertain the period of persistence of viruses on surfaces following the Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003. The number "19" represents the year of 2019 when the first cases were reported on December 31 in Wuhan, China.
If enough resources were devoted to fight the virus, there's a realistic chance of containing the disease, said Dr Ghebreyesus.
"Like with Ebola in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, our strategy is to hammer the virus at its epicenter in China, where 99 percent of all cases have been reported", WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his speech at Kinshasa, Congo where he is attending an emergency meeting concerning the Ebola outbreak.
He added that a WHO-led advance team that travelled to China earlier this week had made "good progress" on the composition and scope of its work.
Covid-19 has spread to more than two dozen countries, including India. Two deaths have been reported outside of China, one in Philippines and one in Hong Kong.