WHO Officially Names New Coronavirus ‘Covid-19’ While Media Prefers TCV (Tedros’ China Virus)
The World Health Organization, announced on Tuesday that "Covid-19" will be the official name of the deadly coronavirus
from China, saying the disease represented a "very grave threat" for the world but there was a "realistic chance" of stopping it.
Covid-19 or 'TCV'
World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a close ally of China, told reporters in Geneva, "We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19." He explained that "co" stands for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease", while "19" was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on Dec 31.
Many media however were not impressed by the new name plus it seemed suspicious that all domain names online associated with the name was already snapped up even before the announcement. Some media preferred the old name or a name which one media colleague jokingly created : TCV or Tredros’ China Virus!)
He further added that the name had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location, animal species or group of people in line with international recommendations for naming aimed at preventing stigmatization.
The World Health Organization had earlier given the coronavirus
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.
Conforming to a new set of guidelines issued in 2015, WHO advises against using place names such as Ebola and Zika - where those diseases were first identified and which are now inevitably linked to them in the public mind. General names such as "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome" or "Spanish flu" are also now avoided as they can stigmatize entire regions or ethnic groups.
Using animal species in the name can create confusion, such as in 2009 when H1N1 was popularly referred to as "swine flu". Furthermore this had a major impact on the pork industry even though the disease was being spread by people rather than pigs.
Individual names, usually the scientists who identified the disease - are also banned, as are "terms that incite undue fear" such as "unknown" or "fatal", the WHO said.
has killed more than 1,100 people, infected over 44,500 and reached some 26 countries, with the WHO declaring a global health emergency.
Speaking to scientists at the first international conference on combating the virus earlier on Tuesday, Tedros warned that the virus was a "ve
ry grave threat". "Viruses can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action."
More than 420 scientists were taking part in the two-day international meeting in Geneva called to review how the coronavirus
is transmitted and possible vaccines against it.
Tedros added, "We are not defenseless. If we invest now... we have a realistic chance of stopping this outbreak."
Researchers will also discuss the source of the coronavirus
, which is thought to have originated in bats and reached humans via other "intermediary" species such as snakes or pangolins.
The World Health Organization sent an advance team to China this week for an international mission to examine the epidemic.
However, It was unclear, however, whether the team would be able to visit Wuhan, a city in central China which has been under lockdown after the outbreak was registered in a food and live animal market in the city.
To date no specific treatment or vaccine against the coronavirus
exists, and WHO has repeatedly urged countries to share data in order to further research into the disease.
Tedros told the scientific conference, "That is especially true in relation to sharing of samples and sequences. To defeat this outbreak, we need open and equitable sharing, according to the principles of fairness and equity."
Tedros hoped the scientists could agree a roadmap "around which researchers and donors will align".
Many teams of experts in Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany and the United States are racing to develop a vaccine, a process that normally takes years.
The main efforts to come up with a vaccine are being led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a body established in 2017 to finance costly biotechnology research in the wake of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people.
Though, however, scientists may end up in the same situation they were during the 2002-03 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) ,which died out before a vaccine could be fully developed. A close cousin of 2019-nCoV, Sars spread around the world and killed nearly 800.
However many medical experts are saying that this is most unlikely as it seems that the new coronavirus
or 2019-nCov is here to stay for a long time and wreak havoc as it seems to be evolving.
Many government leaders have also lost faith in WHO, with many seeing it as a bureaucratic ‘paper tiger.’ The agenda of the leadership under Ethiopian national Tedros is being questioned and may also expect that calls for raising funds of more than US$675 million needed for a three month campaign to reign in the coronavirus will most probably not be met as already the US is planning to cut down funding to the WHO.
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