Beijing pledge support as Corona cases spiralled in the US. 55 per cent of all cases and 55 per cent of all new cases continue out of the New York and New York metro area…. reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
The United States now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests. According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has overtaken China (81,782 cases) and Italy (80,589).
But with almost 1,300 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,291) and Italy (8,215).
The grim milestone came as President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work “pretty quickly”
Nineteen out of 50 US states are reporting “extraordinarily” low numbers of coronavirus infections and the New York area alone is turning up 55 per cent of all new cases.
“At this time, we do have 19 out of our 50 states that had early cases but have persistently low level of cases and at this point have less than 200 cases”, Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus co-ordinator said at an hour-long briefing this evening.
Birx reassured Americans that they need not fear a sudden spike where a substantial portion of the population gets infected.
“There’s no model right now and no ground reality where we can see that 60 to 70 percent of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks. I just want to be clear about that”, Birx said.
Birx explained that the 19 states which are showing a total of only 200 cases are continuing to test and apply mitigation strategies. Most of the high risk cases are concentrated in urban areas, Birx said.
“Still though, 55 per cent of all cases and 55 per cent of all new cases continue out of the New York and New York metro area”, Birx said.
At this time, 86 per cent of the tests done on people who present with fever and symptoms are coming back negative, according to Birx.
Continuing to shine a light on data-led bright spots, Birx said that no country till date has shown an attack rate of more than one in 1000.
“The only people who are over really one in 1000 cases are those that have very small populations, like Monaco.”
Four counties – New York City, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau County e account for the maximum cases in the New York metro area. New York currently accounts for 31 per cent of people succumbing to Covid-19, according to data from Birx and New York Governor Cuomo.
The White House coronavirus task force pointed to early signs that social distancing norms in the US are beginning to work, with the number of new cases in the high risk New York area relatively “constant” instead of curving sharply upwards.
Two other areas e Wayne County in Michigan and Cook County in Chicago e are on the White House radar now because of a rapid increase in the number of cases.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the US to take concrete steps to push forward cooperation to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and said he was concerned about the outbreak in America, pledging Beijings support.
Xi and his US counterpart Donald Trump spoke by phone on Friday in an attempt to ease tensions following weeks of finger pointing over the pandemic, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper said in a report.
Xi told Trump that China had been transparent and responsible in its release of information, including the gene sequence of the coronavirus, since the start of the outbreak, and had provided assistance to other nations, the SCMP report quoted China’s state broadcaster CCTV as saying.
The call comes in the wake of a grim milestone where the US has surpassed China, where the virus originated last December, in terms of confirmed cases.
According to the latest updates by the John Hopkins University, the US has a total of 85,505 cases, while China has 81,782. The overall death toll in the US and China currently stands at 1,290 and 3,291, respectively.
In the call, Xi said: “The virus knows no boundaries and ethnicity, and it is our common enemy. The international community can only defeat it through working together.
“The relationship of China and the US is at a critical juncture. Cooperation is mutually beneficial to both nations, while fighting will hurt. Cooperation is the only correct choice.
“It is hoped that the US will take concrete actions to improve China-US relations, and the two sides will work together to strengthen cooperation in areas such as epidemic control.”
Xi said he was concerned about the outbreak in the US and health officials from two sides were in constant communication, said the SCMP reported citing the CCTV as saying.
“China is willing to continue to share information and experience with the US without reservation,” he said.
Following the conversation, Trump took to Twitter where he said: “Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the coronavrus that is ravaging large parts of our planet.
“China has been through much and has developed a strong understanding of the virus. We are working closely together. Much respect.”
Chinese and American officials have been trading accusations over handling of the crisis in recent weeks, the SCMP report said.
The US has criticised China, where the outbreak was first reported, for its slow initial response and attempts to silence people who raised the alarm about the pandemic. But Beijing has said it informed the US in early January, according to the SCMP report.
Trump also angered Beijing by describing COVID as the “Chinese virus”.