Coronavirus: senior US official accuses China of lack of transparency

Top White House official Larry Kudlow questions approach of Politburo as China brings in ‘wartime’ measures in more cities

Coronavirus latest updates

The Guardian
Date: 14 Feb 2020
By: Lily Kuo and agencies

Residents of some Chinese cities have been told not to leave or enter their communities without permission owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: China Daily/Reuters

A senior White House official has called on Beijing to be more transparent over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak as Chinese authorities expanded “wartime” measures to limit its spread.

Casualties from coronavirus reached nearly 1,400, with more than 5,000 new cases reported on Friday, dampening optimism that the virus will soon be contained.

At a meeting of senior leaders in Beijing leading the government’s response to the crisis, officials called for other areas to “adopt quarantine and rescue measures equal to that of Wuhan”, which has been under lockdown for more than two weeks, including centralising and quarantining patients.

The meeting, held on Thursday and chaired by premier Li Keqiang called on Wuhan to “speed up” classifying and quarantining residents suspected or confirmed of contracting the virus.

It came as a top White House official called on Beijing to be more open.

“We are a little disappointed that we haven’t been invited in and we’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese,” Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told reporters.    [FULL  STORY]