US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called a top Chinese diplomat to seek transparency on coronavirus outbreak reiterating Trump administration's demand for full information sharing from China. According to reports, Secretary Pompeo called Yang Jiechi, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China on April 16 to stress on full transparency and information sharing on COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Pompeo had previously accused China of not sharing information about COVID-19 with the world, while US President Donald Trump lashed out at the World Health Organisation (WHO) for siding with the Asian country on the matter. The phone call came a day after Trump halted the WHO funding of $400 million accusing the global health body of favouring China amid the crisis.
Pompeo while talking to the press said that China did not give full access to the United States at the beginning of the virus outbreak and also criticised WHO of taking a long time in declaring COVID-19 a pandemic. The United States is currently the most affected country in the world with over 6 lakh confirmed cases and more than 28,000 deaths. The US has announced a stimulus package of $2 trillion to deal with the social and economic effects of the outbreak.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 2 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,36,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Currently, the United States, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom are the most affected countries in the world as all of them have recorded a death toll of more than 10,000.
(Image Credit: AP)