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Chinese official warns against touching foreigners after monkeypox case

A top Chinese health official has warned locals against touching foreigners, a day after China recorded its first monkeypox infection.

In a post on Weibo, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wu Zunyou advised against "skin-to-skin contact with foreigners".

The post drew controversy, with some labelling it as racist.

Comments on the original post have since been disabled from the platform.

"In order 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," Mr Wu wrote on his Weibo page on Saturday.

In addition, he called for locals to avoid skin-to-skin contact with recent travellers who had returned from abroad in the past three weeks, and with strangers.

He posted the comments a day after the south-western city of Chongqing reported its first case of monkeypox in an person who arrived from abroad. It is not clear if they were a Chinese citizen or a foreigner.

The post, which was widely shared on social media over the weekend, drew largely critical comments on Weibo.


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