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.
The new strain has killed over 1,000 people in China and sickened more than 43,000 others globally.