The first vaccine targeting China’s coronavirus could be available in 18 months, “so we have to do everything today using available weapons,” World Health Organisation (WHO), Chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said in Geneva on Tuesday.
He said the virus had been named COVID-19, explaining that it was important to avoid stigma and that other names could be inaccurate.
“The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.”
The UN health agency wanted a name that do not refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.
WHO is leading a 2-day global research and innovation forum to mobilise international action in response to coronavirus outbreak in Geneva.
China’s National Health Commission said there were 2,478 confirmed new cases in the mainland and 108 additional deaths, most of them in Hubei province.
As of Monday night, the government said a total of 42,638 cases have been confirmed and 1,016 people have died in the country.
The outbreak’s epicentre is in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, affecting 28 countries and territories around the world. (Reuters/NAN)