Calling novel coronavirus 'China virus' extremely irresponsible: FM spokesperson

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 5, 2020
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Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Wednesday slammed some media organizations that had called the novel coronavirus "China virus," saying the wording was "extremely irresponsible."

Zhao said the World Health Organization (WHO) had made it clearly for many times that using COVID-19 as the name of the novel coronavirus disease, instead of referring to a geographical location, was to prevent the use of other names that can be stigmatizing.

The spread of the virus was a global issue and the work to track the source of the coronavirus is still underway with no conclusions made, Zhao said.

He also quoted renowned respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan as saying that the epidemic first appeared in China but did not necessarily originate from China.

"What we should oppose is 'information virus' or 'political virus'," Zhao said, adding that those media organizations' ill intentions to use the "China virus" phrase were to have China blamed for having created the epidemic.

He said COVID-19 is a global challenge that requires concerted efforts of international community to contain the epidemic in a scientific, rational and cooperative manner, while rejecting rumors and prejudice. 

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