ANKARA

The initial epicenter of the novel coronavirus, China has reassured other countries that it brought the outbreak under control.

Beijing has brought the outbreak under control through arduous efforts, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the top diplomats of Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Estonia in a late Thursday phone call on the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry, Wang also said the country was gradually resuming economic and social life while regularly undertaking prevention and control measures.

Expressing the country’s gratitude to his counterparts for their solidarity and support for China’s fight against the outbreak, he stressed that international cooperation was required to subdue the virus.

This would also give countries a chance to strengthen relations and assist each other, Wang added.

In response to criticism accusing China of spreading COVID-19, Wang said that some figures insisted on politicizing the outbreak and defaming the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said such moves, which are a serious violation of international moral principles and undermined international anti-epidemic efforts, should be jointly rejected by the international community.

In early May, the US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced allegations that COVID-19 spread from a laboratory in Wuhan.

On April 27, Trump noted that the US could demand compensation from China regarding the outbreak.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, with Europe and the US currently the worst hit.

The pandemic has killed more than 304,000 people worldwide with over 4.5 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.6 million.

* Writing by Fahri Aksut

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