China takes a page from WHO, which recently renamed monkeypox.
Legal Insurrection recently reported that Monkeypox was being renamed Mpox by the World Health Organization “(WHO) because of senseless concerns the original name of the virus was racist.
We have also noted that the Chinese, despite rescinding some of their more aggressive covid policies, were still bitterly clinging to their “zero-covid” policies that have recently caused nationwide protests and continue to hamper its economy.
Now the Chinese government appears to be taking a page from WHO by renaming the virus.
China should change its official name for COVID-19 to reflect the virus’ mutation, and patients with light symptoms should be allowed to quarantine at home, a leading authority on traditional Chinese medicine was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Gu Xiaohong told the state-run Beijing Daily newspaper that the coronavirus’ Chinese name, which identifies it as a pneumonia-causing disease, should be changed to call it simply an infectious virus.
China’s approach to COVID – which has emphasised widespread testing and the quarantining of positive cases in specialised facilities – should change from “passive detection” to “active prevention”, with recuperation at home for light cases.
Gu said the China Association of Chinese Medicine’s infectious disease arm, which she heads, had reached a consensus to change how they describe the virus.
Her remarks are in line with a recent softening of the tone from China’s health experts and state media towards COVID, while authorities have loosened what remain some of the world’s toughest COVID curbs.
Whatever they rename it, the virus is now endemic and will be spreading through their country in waves until it joins the family of other common respiratory viruses.
But now Chinese officials, especially President Xi, can claim their policies ended the pandemic in a face-saving move.
Interestingly, in the wake of this announcement, China’s largest airport, the Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) no longer requires travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.
The entry requirement was dropped on December 6, 2022. No advice was given whether outbound passengers leaving PEK airport can also leave without a covid test result.
China has remained one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to entry requirements post-pandemic, with the country still operating a zero-COVID policy.
The 2022 IATA annual meeting in June 2022 was originally set to take place in Shanghai, but was moved to Qatar due to China’s strict policy.
The easing of Beijing’s entry requirement comes after citizens expressed discontent over China’s strict COVID-19 laws.
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