GENEVA, February 11. The first samples of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus may be ready in 18 months, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing in Geneva.
"The first vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) could be ready in 18 months," he said.
"The development of vaccines and therapeutics is one important part of the research agenda - but it is only one part. They will take time to develop, but in the meantime, we are not defenseless," the director general added.
WHO has given an official name to the novel coronavirus that caused an outbreak in China: COVID-19. "We now have a name for the 2019-nCoV disease: COVID-19," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed.
On December 31, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan - a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. On January 7, Chinese experts identified the infecting agent - coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The virus spread to 24 more countries apart from China - Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency.
Currently, the total number of people infected with coronavirus exceeded 42,700 in China with over 1,000 people reported to have died from the disease. Meanwhile, over 4,000 people are said to have recovered from it.