Close to 1,000 Americans stuck in China’s coronavirus epicenter

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that the country is in a struggle against the “demon” coronavirus, the death toll from which has climbed to 106 as about 1,000 Americans remain stuck in the epicenter city of Wuhan.

“The epidemic is a demon, and we cannot let this demon hide,” Xi said during a meeting with the head of the World Health Organization as he pledged transparency in the government’s effort to contain the outbreak.

“The Chinese government has always adopted an open, transparent and responsible attitude to the timely release of information on the epidemic to domestic and foreign countries,” he told WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing.

His comments came as Japan and Germany reported the first human-to-human infections outside China.

Until now, all cases in more than a dozen countries involved people who had been in or around Wuhan, a city of 11 million residents where the virus originated at the Huanan Seafood Wholesales Market in December.

In Japan, a man in his 60s contracted the virus apparently after recently driving two groups of tourists from the city, health officials said. He has been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, according to Agence France-Presse.

A 33-year-old German man caught the illness from a Chinese colleague from Shanghai who visited Germany last week, officials said.

In the past 24 hours, the number of cases has soared — doubling to more than 4,500, including five in the US. More than 100 people in the US also were being tested across 26 states.


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