Coronavirus: China accused US of spreading panic and fear

Coronavirus China accused US of spreading panic and fear
Chinese government accused the US of spreading fear instead of offering help. Source: Getty Images
3 Min Read

Daily US Times, Beijing: The Chinese government has accused the US of spreading panic and fear in its response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The US declared a public health emergency and deny entry to foreign nationals who had visited China in the past two weeks.

At least 361 people died so far from the outbreak in China and more than 17,000 cases confirmed in the country. Most of the deaths reported in Wuhan, a city of Hubei province where the outbreak started.

There have been more than 150 cases reported outside of China, while the first death reported in the Philippines.

The virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough.

On Monday, a Chinese virologist published a study where he said a pneumonia outbreak associated with the coronavirus had likely started in bats.

What did the US do?

On Friday, the US announced bars foreigners who recently visited China in the past two weeks as Coronavirus outbreak created global tension. The country also declared a public health emergency over the spread of the virus.

US citizens who are returning from Hubei province will be quarantined for 14 days. Hubei is the epicenter of the current outbreak.

Health Secretary Alex Azar said US citizens returning from Hubei province would face 14 days of quarantine while those returning from other parts of China would be allowed to monitor their own condition for a similar period.

He said the US declared a public health emergency in the United States following the World Health Organization decision.

Urging the need to relieve pressure on authorities, he said that foreign nationals who recently visited China ( in the last 14 days) would be denied entry to the US.

“The risk of infection for Americans remains low and with these, and our previous, actions we are working to keep the risk low,” he added.

How did China react with the measures?

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying accused the US of spreading panic and fear, pointing the measures the US has taken.

The spokesperson said the US actions “could only create and spread fear” instead of offering assistance.

She said the US is the first country to impose a travel ban on Chinese citizens and the first to suggest a partial withdrawal of its embassy staff.

According to a Reuters report, Ms. Hua said: “It is precisely developed countries like the US with strong epidemic prevention capabilities… that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations.”