10:40 GMT25 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will provide up to $100 million in aid to assist China and other countries to fight the novel coronavirus, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement issued by the State Department on Friday.

    "Today, the United States government is announcing it is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries, both directly and through multilateral organizations, to contain and combat the novel coronavirus", Pompeo stated.

    The State Secretary said that the United States has donated about 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China including masks, gauze, and respirators.

    "This commitment - along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector -- demonstrates strong US leadership in response to the outbreak", he added. "We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment. Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat".

    On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that US President Donald Trump pledged in a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Washington would show restraint in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, saying that that the US fully supported Beijing's efforts in battling the illness and was ready to send its experts to China.

    Earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the United States not to overreact to the coronavirus outbreak and instead to work with China in fighting the infection.

    ​The new strain of coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread to more than 25 countries. The number of people, who have been infected across mainland China, has reached 31,161, with 636 deaths. Last week, the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency in light of the outbreak.

    coronavirus, China, United States
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