Mainland China has reported its first case of monkeypox in the western megacity of Chongqing in a traveller who arrived in the city from overseas, media reports said.
The traveller arrived in China at an unspecified date, Wall Street Journal reported citing the Chongqing health commission. The traveller exhibited a rash and other symptoms while being quarantined in line with COVID-19 controls, a practice that affects anyone arriving from overseas, WSJ added.
The monkeypox case was confirmed once the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed test results. As per the report, the traveller is receiving treatment at a designated hospital and is in stable condition.
As a cautionary measure, anyone who had come into close contact with the traveller was put under medical observation. “The case was quarantined and controlled immediately after entering Chongqing, and there was no social activity,” the health commission’s statement said, citing health experts.
The Chongqing case comes after Hong Kong reported its first case of monkeypox last week, a 30-year-old man who arrived from the Philippines after travelling to the U.S. and Canada, the city’s health authorities said.
As soon as the news of the first monkeypox case came out, a hashtag related to the Chongqing case gained more than 120 million views in less than an hour on the Chinese social-media platform Weibo.
Just like China’s stern zero-COVID policy hashtags, this monkeypox case became the top-trending topic on the site in a short duration of time. China has tried to contain the Covid-19 outbreaks by implementing extreme measures such as lockdowns and mass testing.
Many residents throughout the country, from the eastern province of Shandong to the western region of Xinjiang, have recently pleaded for help online, saying they were running low on daily necessities, such as baby formula, food and medicine, amid stay-at-home orders, reported WSJ.
The media portal while quoting analysts said that as Chinese President Xi Jinping eyes his third term in power, it is unlikely that the government will ease Covid-control restrictions. China has reported around 1,000 new local Covid-19 cases a day over the past week, including asymptomatic cases.