Egypt records first coronavirus case in Africa
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that coronaviruses usually cause "mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses", like the common cold.
The COVID-19 continues to grip China, but advancements in genetic technology is making it simpler and faster to understand how it spreads.
Ghebreyesus said that the agency wanted to avoid stigmatising or inaccurately naming a group that belongs to a particular geographical location, an animal, or an individual.
WHO had earlier given the virus the temporary name of "2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease" and China's National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it "novel coronavirus pneumonia" or NCP. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people, infected over 42,000 and reached some 25 countries, with the WHO declaring a global health emergency.
The naming guidelines used by World Health Organization were adopted after deadly viruses Ebola and Zika were named after the places they were first identified, causing the public to link those places with the viruses.
To distinguish it from other coronaviruses, it needed its own name.
"We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual, or group of people", said World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
A total of 7,333 people have been classified as having a severe case of Covid-19 while a total of 1,018 people have died so far.
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. Although the number of newly confirmed cases has stabilised in China, Tedros cautioned that the outbreak "could still go in any direction". Tedros said, "The most important thing is to stop the virus from spreading and save lives". "Instead, the committee appended a "2" for viruses isolated from patients in Wuhan and elsewhere", the chair of the Study Group John Ziebuhr of Justus Liebig University Giessen told Science.