A Chinese government official has criticised the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the country of “stigmatising” China over the outbreak.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US was “completely wasting the precious time” Beijing won in attacking the global pandemic.
During a briefing in Chinese capital he accused America of attempting to “discredit others and look for a scapegoat to shift its responsibilities”.
He urged that the US should "stop politicising the epidemic, stop stigmatising and defaming China and other countries”.
It comes as Donald Trump continues to divide opinion by referring to Covid-19 as “the Chinese Virus”.
Many have accused the president of racism over the remark, while others have defended the link between the phrase and the origin of the disease in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
China’s health ministry said Wuhan has now gone five consecutive days without a new infection, showing the effectiveness of draconian travel restrictions which are slowly being relaxed around the country.
Elsewhere, China is stepping up measures to prevent the virus from being brought back from overseas, requiring international flights into Beijing to first stop at airports outside the capital for inspection.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has defended his handling of the virus, saying that he has “always” taken it seriously.
In the last few days he tweeted: “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China - against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”
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