The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus will be Covid-2019.
“We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected.
The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain.
Researchers have been calling for an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation.
“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,” the WHO chief said.
“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”
On Monday, some 103 died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016.
But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478.