There has been a change in name of the death-dealing coronavirus detected last December in China’s Wuhan City in the central Hubei province, the virus that now sports a different identity bracelet.
The novel coronavirus 2019 which swamped print pages and decked broadcast screens for some two months is now called COVID-19: CO for corona, VI for virus, and the D for disease.
The reason proferred by officials of the World Health Organization, which previously declared the coronavirus a world emergency, is they wanted a name that would not refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.
But aren’t the surviving relations and the people affected, the people who have since been quarantined, or those reading updates and watching broadcast episodes as well as those in social media platforms beyond the shorelines of China—incidentally the world’s most populous nation with 1.43 billion middle of this week—aware of the same disease, name changed or not?
Whatever, the numbers game, or the counting game, has begun. After a wink after reading the last word of this piece today, the supposedly latest death toll of near 15,000, mostly in China— and three outside that country: One in the Philippines, another in Hong Kong and a third in Japan, all Chinese—and the almost 65,000 thus far diagnosed to be infected by the coronavirus strain may have a frighteningly brusque change of face.
And there are more than 1,700 doctors in China who have been infected as they try to contain the outbreak and treat sick patients.
Data experts, health care watchers say, are in a hypersonic battle to map the path of the coronavirus outbreak, with some saying the coronavirus has not been genetically engineered in Wuhan lab.
Two-thirds of Chinese airlines’ planes have also been grounded over coronavirus, while global shipping market reels from coronavirus, in the same vein the strain has hit global tourism industry as Chinese stay home.
Whatever the new name of the 2019 disease may have today as a sticker, the essential thing is to exercise utmost precautions as in them good old days.
The novel Corona virus 2019 or nCoV-2019 is now COVID-19. Same strain, different name.
But like Juliet, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, who seems to argue, paraphrasing her now, that the name change doesn’t matter, nCoV-2019 or COVID-19 would still be as deadly a disease, against which all discreetness and prudence must be exercised.