China’s chief epidemologist Wu Zunyou: To avoid monkeypox, don’t touch foreigners, and avoid ‘skin-to-skin contact’ with those who had been abroad recently, as well as ‘strangers’

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Monkeypox: don’t touch foreigners, says China health chief, as first case reported

Official Wu Zunyou also called for people to avoid ‘skin-to-skin contact’ with those who had been abroad recently, as well as ‘strangers’

Reuters

Mon 19 Sep 2022 01.52 BST

A senior Chinese health official has advised people to avoid physical contact with foreigners to prevent possible monkeypox infection after the first known case of the virus on mainland China was reported on Friday.

“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,” Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted on his official Weibo page on Saturday.

Wu also called for people to avoid “skin-to-skin contact” with people who had been abroad within the past three weeks as well as all “strangers”.

“It is necessary and very important to strengthen the surveillance and prevention of monkeypox epidemic at the social level,” he wrote.

His post was widely shared across social media over the weekend, but the comments section under his initial post were disabled on Sunday and in the early hours of Monday in Beijing.

Some, who commented on forwarded versions or screenshots of his post, questioned why foreigners in China, many of whom are long-term residents and have not left recently due to Covid-19 barriers, were considered more dangerous than locals.

Wu did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on this, sent to his social media account on Monday.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/19/monkeypox-dont-touch-foreigners-says-china-health-chief-as-first-case-reported

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