TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Tuesday (Feb. 23) defended the use of the term "Wuhan pneumonia" (武漢肺炎), saying the virus originated from Wuhan, China, and that the term is based on geography.
At an opening ceremony for a kindergarten in Hsinchu Tuesday morning, the premier accepted a joint interview. When asked if he was creating anti-China sentiment by using “Wuhan pneumonia,” he said, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
He pointed out that when the virus was found to have mutated into a new form in the U.K., Taiwan referred to it as the "U.K. strain." He also stated that German measles, Japanese encephalitis, and the Mandarin name for athlete's foot, "Hong Kong foot" (香港腳), had all come about the same way, CNA reported.
He emphasized that “Wuhan pneumonia” was not meant to pass judgment but solely to describe the geographic origin of the virus.
The premier then expressed his hope that Taiwan will soon have zero confirmed cases and that life will return to normal. With regard to vaccines, Su stated: "We are also very serious about purchasing on the one hand and research and development on the other."
He added that the first inoculations would be given to frontline medical staff to protect them from coronavirus patients returning from abroad.