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US effort to help in containing COVID-19 shunned

By Chito Chavez

Efforts of the United States to send its medical experts to China as part of the World Health organization (WHO) mission to contain the COVID-19 has not been accepted yet since the offer was made in January.

Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus that emerged in China late last year (AFP/File / STR, STR / MANILA BULLETIN)

Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus that emerged in China late last year (AFP/File / STR, STR / MANILA BULLETIN)

Reports from the South China Morning Post said China President Xi Jinping instead has called for a deeper international cooperation in the public health crisis.

“Mistrust between Beijing and Washington has tainted US offers of help to contain a deadly coronavirus outbreak, forcing the World Health Organisation (WHO) into a political corner,’’ an analyst said.

Also, US officials claimed that no American was invited to China to take part in containing the nCoV disease despite Americans accounting for 13 of the 25 names that the WHO submitted to China for the mission.

On Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the final WHO team comprised of 12 international experts and 12 from China and would begin its investigation into the spread of the outbreak and its severity this weekend.

Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO health emergencies programme noted the mission would include health officials from the US, without elaborating.

Observers say growing strategic distrust between China and the US had influenced Beijing’s reaction to US offers of aid, with the Chinese foreign ministry earlier slamming the US for not providing “substantive assistance” and for having “inappropriately overreacted” with strict travel restrictions.

“The perception that the US could be a substantive aid giver to China in this outbreak, I think that’s the issue for Beijing – the need for it to not portray the image of weakness and needing of help, especially to the Americans,” Adam Ni, co-editor of the China analysis newsletter China Neican, said.

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