The coronavirus is “the worst enemy you can ever imagine” and poses a greater global threat than terrorism, the World Health Organisation has warned.
Urging the world to “wake up” and be as aggressive as possible in tackling the outbreak, the UN health agency has given a new name to the disease that has sickened more than 44,600 people.
It is now going to be officially known as COVID-19 – CO stands for corona, VI for virus, D for disease and 19 for the year it emerged.
Chinese health officials have expressed hope that the outbreak will be over in April, but the head of the World Health Organisation was far less optimistic.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the first vaccine for COVID-19 was 18 months away, adding: “To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack. It’s the worst enemy you can imagine.”
WHO officials added that they have gone to great lengths to ensure the name did not refer to a geographical location, animal or group of people.
In other developments:
- Deaths from COVID-19 pass 1,100; total cases near 45,000
- 2,015 new cases confirmed on 11 February – the fewest since 30 January
- An A&E worker at Worthing Hospital is among the eight confirmed UK cases
- Two prisoners being tested in Oxfordshire – one had recently transferred from a Thai jail
- Another 39 test positive on Diamond Princess ship off Japan, bringing total to 169
- British man believed to be a “superspreader” identified as businessman Steve Walsh
- The only two deaths outside mainland China remain one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines
- Bank of England governor says virus “already bigger than SARS” from economic perspective
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SOURCE: sky news – Connor Sephton