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China Says US Creating, Spreading Fear After Virus Outbreak

WASHINGTON: The United States has taken actions that create and spread fear following a coronavirus outbreak in China, instead of offering any significant assistance, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.

The United States was the first nation to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a ban on Chinese travellers, said ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

“All it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example,” Hua told an online news briefing, adding that China hoped countries would make judgments and responses that were reasonable, calm and based on science.

The United States began evacuating US citizens from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have first emerged late last year, on January 28.

The World Health Organisation on Jan. 30 declared the accelerating outbreak a global emergency. On the same day, the US State Department raised its travel advisory for China.

“It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations,” Hua said.