Is Covid-19 a noval coronavirus or novel coronavirus? Is there a difference between noval and novel? In the advertisement issued in the newspapers in the national capital of India by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of NCT of Delhi, on 4 March 2020, it seems noval and novel are interchangeable words. The advertisement titled: ‘NOVAL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GENERAL ADVISORY FOR PUBLIC’ informs ‘The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Wuhan coronavirus, is a contagious virus that causes respiratory infection, can transfer from human to human’. It mentioned the symptoms of coronavirus were ‘fever, difficulty in breathing, coughing, tightness of chest, running nose, headache, feeling of unwell, pneumonia, and kidney failure.’

Dear reader, the words noval and novel are not interchangeable words, and the word ‘noval’ is a non-existent word unless someone coins a meaning for it. In the above advertisement, in the place of noval, it should have been ‘novel’. In January 2020, the coronoavirus disease was novel: meaning which is new, different from the existing one, unusual; that was why it was termed at that time as ‘novel coronavirus disease’ or Covid-19.  

“On 20 January 2020, National IHR Focal Point (NFP) for Republic of Korea reported the first case of novel coronavirus in the Republic of Korea. The case is a 35-year-old female, Chinese national, residing in Wuhan, Hubei province in China,” informed World Health Organization. “The case-patient had developed fever, chill, and muscle pain on 18 January while in Wuhan. She visited a local hospital in Wuhan and was initially diagnosed with a cold. On 19 January, the case-patient was detected with fever (38.3 °C) upon arrival at the Incheon International Airport. The case-patient was transferred to a national designated isolation hospital for testing and treatment. She was tested positive for pancoronavirus reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, and subsequently was confirmed positive for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on 20 January by sequencing at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Upon detection, the patient had chills, runny nose, and muscle pain.


Naval is an adjective: it means related to warships, and its noun form is navy. Navy refers to a country’s fleet of ships and the strength of ships, the personnel involved in manning it. 


Navvy is an unskilled labourer.


Navel is the belly-button.

Navel is the small hollow in the middle of a person’s belly where the umbilical cord existed at the time of one’s birth but disconnected as the baby is separated from the mother.


Novel has two meanings.

Novel as noun refers to a tale, story, fiction, narrative.

Novelist is an author or writer who writes fiction: stories that are in long format.

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is one of the classic novels, and also one of the longest tales. So is Vikram Seth’s novel titled ‘A Suitable Boy’.

Novel as an adjective means that which is new, different from the existing one, original, that which is unusual and innovative,


Novelty is a noun. Novelty means newness, uniqueness, curiosity, souvenirs and mementoes.


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