Coronavirus explained: Why is it called coronavirus – What does corona mean? |

Coronavirus is continuing to spread around the world, with 722,425 people infected and 34,003 to have died. Across the globe, people are being urged to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus, and now in Italy, the death toll from coronavirus had risen to 10,779 surpassing China’s death toll – 3,304 – where the disease originated.


The total number of infected people in Italy now stands at 97,689.

Cases and deaths have slowed in China, but more cases are breaking out around the world.

Now Spain’s death toll has also surpassed that of China, with 6,803 to have died in Spain while infections in the country have reached 80,11-.

Since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, outbreaks have been confirmed in more than 100 countries and territories.

Now the global total death toll has reached 34,003, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned it could get worse before it gets better.

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Coronavirus explained: Why is Coronavirus so called? (Image: GETTY)

Coronavirus explained

Coronavirus explained: Travellers are screened for high temperatures as they commute (Image: GETTY)


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The United States has now confirmed 142,744 cases – the most of any country.

In the UK, 19,522 cases have been confirmed, with the numbers growing each day.

In a press conference last week, Mr Johnson urged the public to abide by the strict measures he had imposed.

The Prime Minister urged people to stay home, only leaving for essential food shopping, key jobs and one form of exercise per day.

Coronavirus explained

Coronavirus explained: Coronavirus has a series of crown-like spikes on its surface (Image: GETTY)

It comes as a Public Health England (PHE) briefing warned health chiefs the epidemic in the UK could last until spring next year and could lead up to 7.9 million people being admitted to hospital.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which were passed in January, a person who is required to be kept in isolation can be taken there by a constable, with the use of “reasonable force, if necessary”.

Failure to comply with restrictions, or absconding from isolation, is punishable with a fine of up to £1,000.

Now, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed on Friday he has coronavirus, as does his health minister Matt Hancock.

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England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty announced he also had symptoms.

Now Mr Johnson is warning every household he could impose even stricter lockdown measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak as it inevitably worsens.

The Prime Minister, who is self-isolating with Covid-19, is writing to every address telling people the closer they adhere to the rules “the sooner life can return to normal”.

Stressing the “national emergency”, the letters will land on doorsteps after the number of people to have died in UK hospitals surged past 1,000, increasing by 260 in 24 hours.

NHS England’s national medical director warned that now was not the time for complacency after a study suggested social distancing could deliver a lower death toll than previously feared.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack became the latest Cabinet minister to enter self-isolation with Covid-19 symptoms after the PM and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

In letters to 30 million households, Mr Johnson writes: “We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do. We know things will get worse before they get better.

“But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”

Coronavirus explained: Symptoms of coronavirus

Coronavirus explained: Symptoms of coronavirus include fever and coughing (Image: EXPRESS)Why is it called coronavirus? What does corona mean?

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronaviruses are a group of viruses which produce symptoms similar to that of flu.

Symptoms can range from a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever, but can also escalate to pneumonia.

Coronavirus gets its name from the word ‘corona’ which means crown in Latin.

Coronavirus explained

Coronavirus explained: WHO are meeting on Thursday to discuss the virus (Image: REUTERS)

Coronavirus has a series of crown-like spikes on its surface, which is the reason for the name.

Other well-known coronaviruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The first SARS outbreak came in China between November 2002 and July 2003 which triggered 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths reported in 17 countries.

MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States.

Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many of them have died.

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Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO health emergencies programmes, said China had “a laser focus” on stopping the coronavirus outbreak.

He said: “We are at an important juncture in this event. We believe these chains of transmission can still be interrupted.

Referring to China he continued: “They are taking extraordinary measures in the face of what is an extraordinary challenge.”

The coronavirus has remained “remarkably stable”, according to Dr Ryan, a veteran of outbreaks including the SARS epidemic as well as Ebola outbreaks in West Africa.