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China adopts COVID-19 as official English name for disease

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-22 08:00
Medical worker Feng Limin makes the testing reagent at the Diagnostics Virology and Transformation Center of the Guangzhou KingMed Diagnostics Group Co Ltd in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, Feb 18, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The National Health Commission has changed the official English name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus to COVID-19, adopting the title created by the World Health Organization.

The Chinese name for the disease will remain unchanged, the commission said in a statement on Saturday. In early February, the commission temporarily named the disease as novel coronavirus pneumonia, or NCP, when there was no official English name.

The temporary name was adopted by Chinese government agencies and media outlets to discourage the use of sensationalist and misleading titles by foreign media that stigmatized the Chinese people. Now China would refer to the disease in the same way as the WHO, the commission said.

China has been collaborating with the WHO to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday night that its delegation of international experts will arrive in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, on Saturday.

The team of experts had been examining preventive efforts in Beijing, as well as Guangdong and Sichuan provinces, since arriving last weekend.

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