What is covid 19?
The definition of Covid-19. Photo: SCMP


The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been seen in humans until now and has caused viral pneumonia. It was first linked to Wuhan’s South China Seafood City market which is a wholesale market for seafood and live animals in December 2019.

The virus has now been detected in several areas throughout China, along with countries across Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and Oceana, according to ELF.


You may have noticed different names circulating which relate to the novel coronavirus. Below we have listed some of the more common names and explained what they mean.

COVID-19- this is the name for the disease caused by the coronavirus. This is simply short for coronavirus disease 2019. The World Health Organization announced this name on the 11 February 2020.

SARS-CoV-2- severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2. This is the name of the virus, not the disease that results from it. The World Health Organization emphasizes that while the viruses are related, COVID-19 is different from the SARS outbreak of 2003.

Novel coronavirus 2019 (nCoV-19)- this was initially used at the start of the outbreak. It refers to the virus which is a novel form of the coronavirus that was first seen in 2019.

Coronavirus- you may see or hear about the virus referred to just as the coronavirus. This is not inaccurate as it is a novel strain of a coronavirus.