A Chinese top medical expert said that it is now not suitable to call the novel Coronavirus pneumonia as it is, but should be changed to “novel cold”.

Zhong Nanshan, China’s chief pandemic prevention expert, downplayed the risks of COVID-19 pandemic in a recent interview with local media.

As Radio Free Asia reported, Zhong said the death rate from the omicron variant of the coronavirus has dropped to around 0.1%, similar to the common seasonal flu.

He said that the omicron infection now rarely reaches the lungs, and most people recover from the variant within 7 to 10 days.

The expert said that the novel Coronavirus should be renamed as “novel cold”.

Zhong Nanshan made the comments as the Chinese government is talking down the disease’s dangers as it moves toward exiting its zero-Covid  policy.

Though the authorities are reporting a decrease in infections, doubts have been raised about the accuracy of case numbers, because fewer people are being tested. 

Following the comments from China’s top medical expert, some netizens angrily denounced that China’s ability to prevent and control the pandemic in three years has not increased much, and it wants to create new words to hide their inability.

One netizen mocked that “Zhong Nanshan should be renamed “Zhong Guo Thief”.

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