Co and Vi come from coronavirus, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, explained, with D meaning disease and 19 standing for 2019, the year the first cases were seen.
Researchers have been striving to agree on an official name in order to avoid stigmatisation of the Wuhan region through people referring to the outbreak as the ‘Wuhan virus’ or ‘Wu Flu’.
"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," the WHO said.
"Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks."