China’s state-run Global Times on Monday boasted that repressive coronavirus lockdowns imposed on Chinese cities will keep monkeypox, a disease spreading at slow rates in some parts of the world, at bay.
The Chinese Communist paper cited a warning from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) that monkeypox infections could spread during the summer holiday season to confidently declare that none of that spreading will be happening in locked-down China:
Although no case has been reported so far in China, Chinese research institutions and experts have been paying close attention. The rare cases outside known epidemic areas of Africa suggest a potential epidemic in those places, posing a risk to China.
As many countries have lifted bans for international travel, there is high risk of continued transmissions, an expert with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told the Global Times on Sunday on condition of anonymity.
As the Global Times admitted between bouts of congratulating Chinese officials for distributing test kits and restricting travel to keep the latest pandemic threat at bay, the monkeypox is not nearly as contagious or dangerous as the Chinese coronavirus and existing smallpox vaccines are generally effective at treating it.
The Global Times alluded to a politically sensitive hypothesis that is just beginning to attract Western media attention that the monkeypox outbreak might be traceable to a few specific “super-spreader” events in Europe – events that involved a type of activity that is frowned upon in China:
According to WHO official David Heymann, an infectious disease specialist, monkeypox is now being sexually transmitted as most of the cases are detected at sexual health services.
The CDC expert said that China’s [Chinese coronavirus] control measures in place and largely reduced international arrivals minimize the risks of contagion in China.