Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program, urged that no stigma should be associated with the fast-spreading novel coronavirus.
"It is the responsibility of us all to ensure there is no stigma associated with the disease. They are unnecessary and unhelpful," Xinhua news agency quoted Ryan as saying in a technical briefing here on Friday.
He added that profiling of individuals is "awfully and completely unacceptable," and "it needs to stop".
Ryan underlined that governments have the responsibility to educate their populations on the act of discrimination.
"This is a very important responsibility, and something we do need to engage with," he reiterated.
Also speaking at the briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, voiced similar concern.
Van Kerkhove said that the WHO has provided an interim name for the disease, calling it the "2019-novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease".
"We thought it was very important that we provide an interim name, so no location was associated with the name," she said. "We want to ensure that there was no stigma associated with this virus."
The WHO said the final name of the disease will be provided by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), with the final decision being made by the International Committee on Taxonomy of viruses.
As of Saturday, the virus has killed 722 people in China, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Indo-Asian News Service
China says the number of cases of a new virus has risen to 440 and the death toll to 9. All the deaths had been in Hubei province, home to Wuhan city where the first illnesses from coronavirus were reported in late December.
A new coronavirus, a mysterious SARS-like disease, has spread around China and three other Asian countries since first emerging in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The virus has now infected 62 people in Wuhan, city authorities said, with eight in a severe condition, 19 cured and discharged from hospital, and the rest remaining in isolation receiving treatment.
Actress Kangana Ranaut has shared how her fashion sense has evolved over the years, and defines fashion as freedom of expression.
Sedentary behavior, including sitting for long periods of time, can contribute to adverse health effects, including something referred to as “sitting disease.”
From using reusable masks to buying in bulk, here’s how to make sustainable choices during this pandemic.