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3 Feb, 2020 11:30

‘All US has done could only spread fear’: China slams Washington for ‘stoking panic’ against Beijing over coronavirus

‘All US has done could only spread fear’: China slams Washington for ‘stoking panic’ against Beijing over coronavirus

China’s Foreign Ministry has slammed Washington over the coronavirus outbreak, saying the US has been using it to fuel mass hysteria against Beijing, introducing measures that hurt civil rights more than they fight the virus.

Speaking at a press briefing on February 3, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that contrary to advice from World Health Organization (WHO), the American government has inappropriately “overreacted,” especially by banning travelers who have been to China in the past two weeks.

“The US government hasn’t provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers. All it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example”, she added.

The spokeswoman drew a direct comparison between the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak, and influenza in the US in the latest flu season. 

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Hua said that while there has been over 17,000 cases of nCoV worldwide so far, with over 300 deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there has been 19 million cases of the flu in the US since October last year, with at least 10,000 deaths.

The novel coronavirus outbreak began in late December in Wuhan, central China. The city has been sealed off, with no one allowed to leave. So far, nCoV has spread across all of China, with over 17,000 confirmed cases there. The total number of confirmed cases across other countries is fewer than 200.

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