COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. Viruses and the diseases they cause have different names. For example, AIDS is the disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.
As mentioned above, COVID-19 is an acronym. In its full form, COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease of 2019.
The coronavirus disease of 2019 was given the abbreviated name of COVID-19 by the WHO in a press release on February 11, 2020.
On December 31, 2019, a strange new pneumonia of unknown cause was reported to the Chinese WHO Country Office. A cluster of these cases originally appeared in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. These infections were found to be caused by a new coronavirus which was given the name “2019 novel coronavirus” (2019-nCoV).
It was later renamed “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” or SARS-CoV2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses on February 11, 2020. It was named SARS-CoV2 because the virus is a genetic cousin of the coronavirus which caused the SARS outbreak in 2002 (SARS-CoV).