15:00 GMT20 February 2020
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China is transparent and open regarding the coronavirus outbreak, and the international community should not believe false rumors about the virus, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said during an online briefing on Thursday.

    "We paid attention to some rumors and lies around the outbreak, which are worse than the virus itself. You probably have noticed that that the director-general of WHO [Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] recently expressed the hope that all parties would not believe the rumors and spread them," Hua said.

    The spokeswoman added that in some countries, authorities were already making efforts to hold accountable those responsible for reporting fake rumors.

    "China's responsible attitude, openness and transparency, as well as decisive and serious measures to counter the spread of the virus, have been recognized by the entire international community," the diplomat said.

    Following the outbreak, media outlets all over the world reported that China was deliberately underreporting the mortality and confirmed case figures. John Mackenzie, a senior expert from the World Health Organization (WHO), continued this line on Wednesday, saying that China provided "very poor reporting" on coronavirus at the beginning of the outbreak.

    According to the latest data, the new strain of China-born coronavirus has spread to more than 20 countries since December. The epidemic has already left over 28,000 people infected and over 560 dead, the vast majority of them in China.

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