TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Air China on Thursday (Dec. 17) issued a notice to passengers warning them that if a negative coronavirus test report contains the words "Wuhan pneumonia," it will be deemed invalid and will affect "itinerary and customs clearance."
According to local media reports, Taiwanese WeChat groups on Thursday circulated an announcement issued by Chinese airlines regarding regulations for nucleic acid test reports for the Wuhan coronavirus. It was issued by the "Taiwan branch" of Air China and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines earlier that day.
The notice, which was directed at "agents," stated the following:
Remind passengers and related travelers that the relevant testing project is aimed at the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If the word "Wuhan pneumonia" appears on the test report, it will be deemed invalid and will directly affect the passenger's itinerary and customs clearance. Please be sure to inform passengers of this requirement. "
Since the beginning of October, the Chinese government has stipulated that passengers who take flights from Taiwan to China must provide a negative nucleic acid test certificate. Despite the fact the virus started in Wuhan, the communist country's leaders early on in the pandemic made reference to the geographic origin of the virus in official nomenclature a taboo.
In January, China launched a successful propaganda campaign to convince Western media outlets and influencers the term "Wuhan coronavirus" is "racist." However, the Taiwan government continues to officially refer to the disease as "Wuhan pneumonia" (武漢肺炎).
In March, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said China is seeking to whitewash its gross mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic by claiming that terms such as "Wuhan coronavirus" and "Wuhan virus" are racist. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) agreed with Tsai's assessment and said it was a fact the disease started in Wuhan, so it was reasonable for the world to give it the name "Wuhan pneumonia."