Amid the worldwide epidemic outbreak of Coronavirus which has so far claimed 722 lives just in China, the country's National Health Commission on Saturday announced that it has temporarily named the virus as Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP). The National Health Commission while addressing a press conference stated that the temporary name should be adopted by all government departments and organisations in China until a permanent name for the infection is determined.
The naming of a new virus is decided by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. A name for the Coronavirus has also been submitted to the committee and it is expected to be announced in a few days.
The virus has spread overseas with more than 20 nations reporting confirmed cases. Apart from the 34,546 infected cases reported in China, the virus has claimed 722 lives in the country. However, there has so far been only two deaths outside mainland China, in the Philippines and China.
The Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who was said to be the whistleblower of the deadly Coronavirus, succumbed to the virus in the early hours on Friday at the Wuhan hospital. "Our hospital's ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected with coronavirus during his work in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic," the hospital statement read on Friday, as quoted by international media.
He first broke out the information about the deadly virus in December by informing his medical school alumni about the patients affected with a SARS-like illness in his hospital in Wuhan. He was then told by the local police to stop fear-mongering on the issue. The report of his death has caused a massive uproar over the social media with anger and tributes pouring in over his unfortunate death.
The virus was diagnosed first in December in Wuhan which is known to be the epicentre of the virus and the capital of Hubei province in China. The deadly virus has so far killed 636 and over 31,000 infected cases reported in mainland China alone. While no reliable treatment currently exists for the virus, a very skewed number of health organisations has had some positive results with a mixture of HIV and other antiviral medicines.
The outbreak took place in Wuhan in January and multiple countries have started evacuating their citizens from China, and have decided to restrict the entry of foreigners returning from China. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Coronavirus as a 'global public health emergency'.