A top Chinese health official took to social media to warn people against touching foreigners as the country reported its first case of monkeypox.

In a Weibo post on Saturday, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that China now has A monkey disease Strictly “in the net” though. Covid-19 Limitations.

“Strengthening control and prevention of monkeypox is important and necessary,” Wu wrote.

He also listed five tips in the post, the first of which sparked controversy online.

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“To prevent monkeypox and as part of our healthy lifestyle, it is recommended to 1) Avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners.” He wrote.

Chinese health officials have reportedly contracted the monkeypox disease, which causes flu-like symptoms, severe rashes and other symptoms, from an “international arrival” that was under a Covid-19 quarantine in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality.

Many Weibo users reportedly shared Wu’s post, with some supporting his advice and expressing relief at not knowing so many non-Chinese citizens. However, some users criticized Wu’s message and even compared it to what Asians faced at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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One user commented that when this outbreak started, some people living overseas were fearfully avoiding any Chinese they saw. “I don’t believe these two things have any scientific basis, they are very broad and they are aggravating. public panic”.

When the epidemic first started, some of our foreign friends stood up and used our own platform to tell everyone that ‘the Chinese are not the virus,’ another user wrote. After that, when the domestic epidemic was brought under control and our foreign friends were discriminated against, many Chinese people who had their own platforms were completely silent.

Other Weibo users questioned Wu’s post as to why foreigners who have been in China for a long time are more dangerous than locals.

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

Senior health authority He wrote After the backlash on Monday, people were urged to avoid “direct skin-to-skin contact” with people from abroad or people who have traveled from areas affected by monkeypox.

Unlike COVID-19, which some Chinese experts believe has led to sudden lockdowns across the country — including the months-long one that began in Shanghai At the end of March – Monkey disease does not lead to nationwide lockdowns.

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Talking with Global TimesLu Hongzhou, head of Shenzhen’s Third People’s Hospital, said the disease “doesn’t pose much of a threat to Chinese communities.” However, Lu cited strict customs detention controls in China to prevent cases from being imported.

From September 19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention In the United States, there have been 23,893 confirmed cases of monkeypox, with California having the highest number of infections with 4,656, followed by New York with 3,755 infections.

Featured image by Peking University

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