Tedros said having a name for the new disease is important to prevent the use of other names that might be stigmatizing.
"Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, 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".
COVID-19 is a mashup of the words "corona", "virus", and "disease"-with 2019 representing the year it emerged".
He said viruses have "more powerful consequences than any terrorist action".
Authorities said on Wednesday another 97 people had died in China, raising the national toll to 1,113, while more than 44,600 people had been infected by the newly named COVID-19 virus.
Criticism of US Mideast plan softened in United Nations draft resolution
Then-Israeli PM Ehud Olmert meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas , in Jerusalem, on November 17, 2008. In exchange the Palestinians would be granted a demilitarised state in the remaining parts of the West Bank and Gaza.
The coronavirus has a new name: COVID-19.
Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese epidemiologist, said that while the virus outbreak in China may peak this month, the situation at the centre of the crisis remains more challenging.
"We are not defenceless", Tedros insisted.
The agency has appealed for sharing of virus samples and speeding up research into drugs and vaccines. "So, we have to do everything today using the available weapons to fight this virus while preparing for the long term using the preparations for the vaccines", Tedros said.
Information about the coronavirus outbreak is spreading fast, but what do we actually know about the illness? World Health Organization also wanted a name that was "pronounceable and related to the disease", he said.
Australia mega-fire doused as torrential rain brings relief
Numerous bushfires have been fueled by the drought conditions that have plagued eastern Australia for the last three years. More than 38,000 homes are without power after several days off the grid following extreme weather .
More general names such as "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome" or "Spanish flu" are also now avoided as they can stigmatise entire regions or ethnic groups.
The total death toll in China climbed to 1,113.
Several countries have banned arrivals from China, while major airlines have halted flights to and from the country, as hundreds of people have now been infected in some two-dozen countries.
China's official media reported Tuesday that the top health officials in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, have been relieved of their duties. Meanwhile, 42,638 infections have been reported.
At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei.
200 personnalités du cinéma dénoncent un fonctionnement " élitiste et fermé" — César
Dans leur tribune, les signataires expliquent que ces changements à venir sont réconfortants mais restent insuffisants . Un mécontentement relayé aussi par plusieurs professionnels du cinéma sur les réseaux sociaux.