Coronavirus will be defeated soon, Xi tells Trump amid rising death toll
During a telephone call with Trump, Xi said that the prevention and control of Wuhan coronavirus is at “a critical stage” and that China was gradually achieving results.
Chinese President Xi Jinping assured his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on Friday that China was doing “all it can” to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has killed almost 640 people and infected over 31,400 people across 25 countries and territories.
During a telephone call with Trump, Xi said that the prevention and control of Wuhan coronavirus is at “a critical stage”, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China was gradually achieving results and was confident it could defeat the epidemic with no long-term consequences for economic development, Xi told his US counterpart, the state television reported.
Xi said he was hopeful that the US could “assess the epidemic situation in a calm manner” and “adjust response measures in a reasonable way,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said.
The same Chinese Ministry had criticised the US earlier this week, accusing it of “overreacting and feeding mass hysteria” without providing assistance in the fight against the coronavirus in China.
Xi had earlier declared a "people's war" on the virus, saying China had responded with all its strength and "the most thorough and strict prevention and control measures", the state media reported.
The phone call to the White House came as China’s central bank vowed to step up policy support for affected sectors.
First-quarter growth in the world's second-biggest economy could slow by 2 percentage points or more, from 6%, in the last quarter, analysts say, but could rebound sharply if the outbreak peaked soon.
The death toll in mainland China reached 636 on Friday with 73 more deaths recorded the previous day and 3,143 new confirmed infections, taking the total to 31,161 cases, said the National Health Commission.
The virus has spread around the world, with 320 cases in 27 countries and regions outside mainland China, according to a Reuters tally of official statements.
China's capital of Beijing resembles a ghost town, with main thoroughfares and tourist spots almost deserted, as the country has sealed off cities, cancelled flights and closed factories, cutting supply lines to global businesses.
China has chafed at some travel curbs imposed by other countries, which the WHO says are unnecessary.