Whereas China confirmed 55 new cases yesterday, the US reported over 314 cases
Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday offered support to US President Donald Trump in fighting the coronavirus, as the United States faces a risk of becoming the next global epicentre of the pandemic.
The US, with 84,946 infections, now has the most coronavirus cases in the world, reports Reuters. It has overtaken China, which has 81,782 cases, and Italy, which has 80,589 cases. With 1,259 fatalities though, the US death toll lags behind Italy at 8,215 and China at 3,291.
Whereas China confirmed 55 new cases of the coronavirus yesterday – all but one of which were imported, the US reported over 314 cases.
The offer of assistance came amid a long-running war of words between Beijing and Washington over various issues including the coronavirus pandemic.
But for now, Trump seems to be happy with whatever assistance he can get. Tweeting about the phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Trump said he and Xi were "working closely together".
"China has been through much and has developed a strong understanding of the virus," he said.
Now, with new daily cases at home dwindling into the single digits, China is mounting a diplomatic offensive to help the rest of the world get the virus under control.
From Japan to Iraq, Spain to Peru, it has provided or pledged humanitarian assistance in the form of donations or medical expertise – an aid blitz that is giving China the chance to reposition itself as a responsible global leader at a moment of worldwide crisis, reports New York Times.
The pandemic is also spreading fast in Europe, with its latest victim being British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who tested positive for coronavirus yesterday and went into self-isolation.
European leaders are anxious that the virus could also threaten the integrity of the European Union.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned his fellow EU leaders on Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak risked undoing the bloc's central pillars, such as its no-border zone, if they failed to show solidarity in this crisis, a diplomat told Reuters.
"What is at stake is the survival of the European project," he told the 26 other leaders in a conference call, according to a French diplomat. "The risk we are facing is the death of Schengen," Macron added, according to the same source.
Schengen is an area comprising 26 European states that had officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.
But on Thursday, the EU was compelled to mark the 25th anniversary of its Schengen open-border policy with internal land borders shut or subject to heavy checks imposed in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.