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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2) is the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the respiratory illness responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Also colloquially known simply as the coronavirus, it was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and has also been called human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19 or hCoV-19). The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.