Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
The death toll from COVID19 outbreak surpassed 3,000 on 2nd March 2020 as more people died in China, Iran and the U.S. and Europe raised its state of alert.
The new coronavirus, also called SARSCoV2, has now infected more than 89,000, spread to over 60 countries and threatens to cause a global economic slowdown.
In the last 24 hours there were almost nine times more COVID19 cases reported outside China than inside China.
About Corona Virus
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, including some that cause the common cold to some that cause major diseases.
- The 2019-nCoV belongs to this group of viruses, six of which, including the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) viruses, were earlier known to cause disease in humans.
- The new name is taken from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease”, with 2019 representing the year when it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31st December, 2019).
- The WHO wanted to avoid stigmatizing a country or particular group, so it chose a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or a group of people.
- Moreover, the word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain. The latest strain has been designated ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)’ by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.