China’s health chief warns against ‘skin-to-skin contact with foreigners’ amid first case of monkeypox

A senior Chinese health official recently took to social media to warn people not to touch foreigners as the first case of monkeypox was reported in the country.

In a Weibo post on Saturday, Wu Zunyu, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that China has now a case of monkeypox He “slipped through the net” despite being tight COVID-19 Sanctions.

“Strengthening surveillance and prevention of monkeypox is essential and important,” Wu wrote.

He also listed five recommendations in the post, the first of which caused controversy online.

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“To prevent possible monkeypox infection and as part of our healthy lifestyle, it is recommended that 1) you do not have direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners,” he said. wrote,

Chinese health officials reportedly traced monkeypox, an infection that causes flu-like symptoms, severe rashes and other symptoms, to an “international arrival” under COVID-19 quarantine in Chongqing, a municipality in southwest China. From.

Several Weibo users reportedly shared Wu’s post, with some endorsing his advice and expressing relief for not knowing many non-Chinese citizens. However, some users criticized Wu’s message and even compared it to what Asians experienced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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,It’s something like when the pandemic started, when some people overseas avoided any Chinese out of fear,” one user commented. “I don’t think these two things have any scientific basis, they are very widespread and will increase public panic.”

“When the pandemic first started, some of our foreign friends stood up and used our own platform to tell everyone, ‘Chinese people are not viruses,'” another user wrote. ,Later, when the domestic outbreak was brought under control and our foreign friends faced discrimination, many Chinese were completely silent with their own platform.”

Other Weibo users questioned Wu’s post, asking why foreigners in China have long been more dangerous than locals.

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The comments section of Wu’s post, which was widely circulated on Weibo over the weekend, was closed on Sunday.

senior health officer clarified your post Following backlash on Monday, it advised people to avoid “intimate direct skin-to-skin contact” with foreigners or people who have traveled from areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Some Chinese experts believe that is unlike COVID-19, which triggered a sudden lockdown across the country – including the months-long lockdown that began in Shanghai. at the end of march Monkeypox will not lead to nationwide lockdown.

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talking to Global TimesLu Hongzhou, head of Shenzhen’s Third People’s Hospital, said the disease “poses little danger to Chinese communities.” However, Lu also mentioned strict customs quarantine inspections to avoid imported cases into China.

until 19 September, Center for Disease Control and Prevention There have been 23,893 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, with California recording the highest number of 4,656 infections, followed by New York with 3,755 infections.

featured image via Peking University

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