Donald Trump thanks Xi Jinping for efforts to contain deadly coronavirus

Lee Jeong-ho

US President Donald Trump on Friday thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his efforts in trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as officials confirmed a second case in America.

“The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!” Trump said on Twitter.

“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus,” he said.

The president’s comments came after US health officials reported that a woman in her 60s had been confirmed as contracting the virus.

According to Dr Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, the woman had travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan – where the outbreak began – in late December and returned to the US on January 13.

“The patient is clinically doing well, is in stable condition, and remains hospitalised primarily for infection control,” Arwady said.

“She was not symptomatic when flying, and based on what we know now about this virus our concerns for transmission before symptoms show up is low, so that is reassuring.”

Health departments in Chicago and Illinois “are investigating locations where this patient went after returning to Illinois and are identifying any close contacts who were possibly exposed”, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The US reported its first confirmed case on Tuesday, when a man in his 30s from the Seattle-area of Washington state reported himself to the authorities after falling ill on his return from a trip to Wuhan.

Trump said on Wednesday that he believed the situation was “under control”.

However, a senior US state department official reportedly said that Washington was “still concerned” about transparency in the Chinese government’s handling of the epidemic.

Rush on in Wuhan to build coronavirus treatment centre

Besides the two confirmed cases in the US, 63 other people are being monitored, according to the National Centre for Immunisation and Respiratory Diseases.

US authorities have responded quickly to the spread of the coronavirus, setting up screening facilities at several airports and monitoring suspected cases.

China has put Wuhan and several other mainland cities on lockdown as it seeks to contain the coronavirus, which has killed 41 people and infected almost 1,300 others.

Outside mainland China, cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and eight other countries.

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