Taipei mayor's absence attributed to norovirus infection

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je cancels meetings, itinerary due to norovirus infection

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Ko Wen-je (right).

Ko Wen-je (right). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) disappeared from public view over the weekend and concerns grew over his health, officials say that he has contracted the norovirus.

On Sunday (March 1), Ko canceled his attendance of an art exhibition just 40 minutes before the event was slated to begin at 3 p.m. Taipei City Government deputy spokesman Tai Yu-wen (戴于文) told CNA that the mayor had had to make the sudden cancelation as he was suffering from stomach and intestinal problems.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilman Wang Shih-Cheng (王世堅) said on his Facebook page Monday (March 2) that the mayor canceled his itinerary because he was suspected to have contracted norovirus. He then posted a photo of a bouquet of flowers he had sent to the mayor along with a card wishing him a speedy recovery.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters at the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday (March 3) that Ko is believed to have contracted the norovirus but that he is still tending to his duties as mayor, according to Liberty Times. Su said that local leaders on the front lines of the battle against the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic are responsible for the heavy burden of managing the crisis.

Su emphasized that maintaining one's health is the most important thing. He said that he hoped all leaders will take the right steps to keep themselves in good health during these stressful times.