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Chinese medical expert says COVID has mutated, needs to be renamed – State media – SABC News

China should change its official name for COVID-19 to reflect the mutation of the virus, and patients with mild symptoms should be quarantined at home, a leading authority on traditional Chinese medicine was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Gu Xiaohong told the state-run Beijing Daily that the Chinese name for the coronavirus, which identifies it as a disease that causes pneumonia, should be changed to simply call it an infectious virus.

China’s approach to COVID – which emphasizes widespread testing and quarantining positive cases in specialized facilities – needs to change from “passive detection” to “active prevention”, with home recovery for mild cases.

Gu said the infectious diseases division of the Chinese Association of Chinese Medicine, which she heads, had reached a consensus to change the way they describe the virus.

Her remarks are in line with a recent softening of the tone by Chinese health experts and state media on COVID as authorities loosen what remain some of the world’s strictest COVID restrictions.

There is widespread expectation that these moves could herald a clearer transition to normality three years after the pandemic began.

Officials began downplaying the dangers posed by the virus.

On Monday, the official Xinhua news agency said in a comment that “the most difficult period has passed,” citing the weakening pathogenicity of the virus and efforts to vaccinate 90 percent of the population.

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