Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and delay phase – what do all the Covid-19 phrases mean?

Covid-19 is the name of the respiratory illness caused by the latest type of coronavirus Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

The coronavirus outbreak is officially considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization and governments everywhere are expected to step up efforts against the spread.

As more and more expert advice is communicated to the public, scientific terms and phrases will become more commonplace in our everyday lives.

But what do all these key words mean?

Here's a breakdown of what you need to understand:

The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Credit: AP

Coronaviruses: A group of viruses that causes a variety of illnesses, including the common cold and more serious respiratory conditions.

Covid-19: The name of the respiratory illness caused by the latest type of coronavirus. This particular type was identified in Wuhan City, China, in January 2020.

Self-isolation: The act of remaining in your own home and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.

Social distancing: Action taken to mitigate the spread of the disease by reducing people’s contact with each other. Examples include closing schools, encouraging staff to work from home and reducing the number of large-scale public gatherings.

Donald Trump has banned flights from Europe to the US. Credit: AP

Community transmission: When a person contracts the virus despite not having travelled to an affected area such as China, or not being in contact with someone known to have the disease.

Pandemic: A worldwide spread of a new disease.

Epidemic: The increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in a population in a geographical area.

Endemic: The constant presence of a disease in a population within a certain area.

Outbreak: The number of disease cases that exceed what is normally expected.

part of Government advice is to keep hands clean. Credit: PA

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Containment phase: Steps introduced to prevent the virus from spreading across the UK for as long as possible, such as detecting early cases and trying to establish who the infected person has been in contact with.

Delay phase: Measures introduced to reduce the peak impact of the virus and slow its spread, such restrictions on public gatherings.

Mitigation phase: Providing hospitals with the support they need to maintain essential services as the virus spreads, and help those who are ill in the community to reduce the overall impact of the disease on society.

Category 1 traveller: People who should self-isolate, regardless of showing any symptoms, if they have travelled to the Hubei Province in China, Iran, Italy, or Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea.

Category 2 traveller: Travellers returning from countries including Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. These people should only self-isolate and call NHS 111 if they develop symptoms.