WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s Remarks at the Media Briefing on 2019-nCoV on 11 February 2020
11 February 2020
Now to coronavirus.
First of all, we now have a name for the disease:
And it is COVID-19. And I will spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19. CO stands for corona, you know, VI stands for virus, D stands for disease of COVID.
Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization, means WHO, OIE and FAO of the United Nations, 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.
Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.
And now to the coronavirus situation.
As of 6am Geneva time this morning, there were 42,708 confirmed cases reported in China, and tragically, we have now surpassed 1000 deaths – 1017 people in China have lost their lives to this virus. Most of the cases and most of the deaths are in Hubei province, Wuhan.
Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death.
Last week, I told you that we had engaged WHO’s network of country representatives, as well as the United Nations resident coordinators in countries, to brief them on the outbreak and inform them about the steps they can take.
I also briefed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and we agreed to leverage the power of the entire UN system in the response.
Today, we have also activated a UN Crisis Management Team, to be led by my general, Dr Mike Ryan. This will help WHO focus on the health response while the other agencies can bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak so we are all working to our strengths.
So Mike will continue to be the chief and will also coordinate the whole UN response.
As you know, today and tomorrow, WHO is hosting a meeting of more than 400 scientists from around the world, both in person and virtually.
The main outcome we expect from this meeting is not immediate answers to every question that we have.
The main outcome is an agreed roadmap on what questions we need to ask, and how we will go about answering those questions.
This is exactly what WHO is for – bringing the world together to coordinate the response. That’s the essence of multilateralism, which is very important for the world.
此前，国家卫健委命名新冠肺炎英文为“Novel coronavirus pneumonia”，简称为“NCP”。