Thu, Feb 13, 2020 - Page 1 News List

Virus Outbreak: CECC to continue using the ‘Wuhan pneumonia’ name

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would use the name “Wuhan pneumonia” when communicating with the public about the disease caused by the previously-named 2019 novel coronavirus, after the WHO on Tuesday officially named the virus “COVID-19.”

The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, that “co” stands for corona, “vi” for virus and “d” for “disease,” while “19” denotes the year 2019, as the outbreak was first identified in December last year.

The name was chosen to avoid references to specific geographical locations, animal species, an individual or group of people, and prevent the use of other names that might be stigmatizing, he said.

The WHO last month temporarily named it 2019 novel coronavirus, while the Chinese National Health Commission had temporarily called it “novel coronavirus pneumonia,” and many news reports called it the “Wuhan coronavirus.”

The CECC yesterday said that it would also adopt the name COVID-19 to be in line with international information published by the WHO.

However, it would continue to call it “Wuhan pneumonia” when announcing disease information to the public for better understanding, it said.

Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the decision was made because people are used to calling the disease “Wuhan pneumonia,” so they might be confused by the name COVID-19.

The official name for the illness as a notifiable infectious disease in Taiwan — “severe pneumonia with novel pathogens” — is too long for people to remember, Chuang added.

In related news, the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation on Tuesday urged three types of people to postpone donating blood for at least 28 days: those who have returned from China, Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore; people who have recovered from COVID-19; and people who have come into direct contact with infected people.

It also urged people who have developed a fever and respiratory infection or pneumonia symptoms after donating blood to see a doctor and contact the blood center as soon as possible.

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