Home / News / World /  Chinese experts demand to change the name of ‘Covid-19’; Here's why
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Chinese medical experts have reportedly tabled a bizarre demand, asking authorities to change the name of the Covid-19 virus. According to a report by Reuters, coronavirus' Chinese name, which identifies it as a pneumonia-causing disease, should be changed to call it simply an infectious virus. Gu Xiaohong, a leading authority on traditional Chinese medicine has raised this demand.

She said that 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.

Gu said the country change from "passive detection" to "active prevention", with recuperation at home for light cases.

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 pandemic curbs.

Officials have started to play down the dangers posed by the virus. On Monday, the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that the "most difficult period had passed". Therefore, China is likely to announce home quarantine kinds of relaxation on Wednesday as per media reports.

China may also look at reducing or even scrapping the need for people to scan health codes via a smartphone app whenever they enter public places, Bloomberg news reported.

China’s planned changes come after major cities from Beijing to Shanghai and Shenzhen in the past two weeks rapidly wound back policies such as mass testing and broad, sweeping lockdowns that have been hallmarks of China’s punishing approach. The adherence to Covid Zero has hobbled the economy, led to unprecedented social unrest in recent weeks, and left the world’s second-largest economy increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, which has mostly moved on from the pandemic.

The home isolation concession was first introduced last week in Beijing, the capital, as centralised quarantine facilities ran out of space amid surging cases. Expanding the rule nationwide so quickly represents a major shift away from a bedrock practice of the elimination strategy.

Yesterday, China reported 25,321 new Covid cases of which 4,409 were symptomatic and 20,912 were asymptomatic. The country reported 0 coronavirus deaths in the mainland on 6 December.

(With Reuters input)

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