COVID-19 is the official name of the new coronavirus – WHO

The novel coronavirus finally has a proper name. It’s called COVID-19. The official name of this new coronavirus (temporarily called 2019-nCoV) was declared in an announcement made by the World Health Organization.

CO – corona
VI – virus
D – disease

The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease, says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of WHO. This was announced on a Tuesday (11 February 2020) at a news conference at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

world health org name coronavirus covid-19

Below is a statement from the World Health Organization, announcing the name for the #2019nCoV disease.

World Health Org Officially Names New Coronavirus as “COVID-19”

The officials of the World Health Organization chose officials chose a name that does not refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.

Dr. Tedros also mentioned that having a proper name is important to prevent the other names that might be inaccurate or stigmatizing.

An example was a confusion when Philippine Labor Secretary confused the cause of death of a Filipino maid in Dubai. The cause of the death of the Filipino was due to pneumonia, not the novel coronavirus.


Dr. Tedros also Tweeted that it could take about 18 months for a vaccine to be ready.

“Researchers from around the world are meeting at @WHO for a research & innovation forum on #COVID19. The first vaccine could be ready in 18 months, In the meantime, there’s a lot we can do to prevent transmission and prepare for any further spread.” he Tweeted.

Updates about COVID-19 in the UAE: