Chinese Health Official Says Don't Touch Foreigners To Avoid Monkeypox, Draws Flak On Social Media

Zinger Key Points
  • The official said that people should avoid ‘skin-to-skin contact with foreigners.’
  • China's southwestern city Chongqing, meanwhile, recorded the country's first monkeypox virus infection on Friday.

A Chinese health official has advised residents to stay away from foreigners to prevent the spread of monkeypox infection after the country discovered its first known case of the virus.

What Happened: Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on his official Weibo page, said that people should avoid "skin-to-skin contact with foreigners."

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"To prevent possible monkeypox infection and as part of our healthy lifestyle, it is recommended that you do not have direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners," Wu posted on Weibo on Saturday, Reuters reported.

While urging vigilance, Wu also called on citizens to avoid such contact with people who have been abroad in the past three weeks and all "strangers."

The chief epidemiologist's post was widely shared across social media in mainland China over the weekend and faced massive backlash. Wu also had to disable the comments section under his initial post on Sunday.

Meanwhile, China's southwestern city Chongqing recorded the country's first monkeypox virus infection on Friday. The infected individual is a 29-year-old Chinese national who had returned from Spain a few days ago.

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