Trump downplays epidemic fears of new coronavirus Feb 28, 2020 0 1603 12345 AFPWashingtonPresident Donald Trump has played down fears of a major coronavirus outbreak in the United States, even as infections ricochet around the world.“I think that there’s a chance that it could get worse, a chance it could get fairly substantially worse, but nothing’s inevitable,” Trump told reporters at the White House. His comments contradicted US health officials who urged Americans to be ready to cancel mass gatherings and work from home. There are 60 cases in the US so far.Following Trump’s upbeat assessment, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said it had detected the first case of unknown origin in the country, signalling that the virus may be spreading within communities.The US and other countries are also bracing for more cases to be imported from abroad, with growing concern for poorer nations with weak health care systems.Trump said the US was considering travel restrictions on Italy and South Korea, which has almost 1,600 cases, the highest number outside China. The US already restricts arrivals from China.Trump said on Wednesday he was appointing Vice President Mike Pence to lead the US response to the novel coronavirus.“I’m going to be announcing exactly right now that I’m going to be putting our vice president Mike Pence in charge,” Trump said.“Mike will be working with the professionals and doctors and everybody else that’s working on the team.” The WHO has urged countries to prepare for a potential pandemic, though it stopped short of declaring one. RELATED ARTICLES PAKISTAN CELEBRATES ONE YEAR AFTER DOWNING INDIAN JET Feb 28, 2020 0 1670 Erdogan denounces ‘massacres’ in India over citizenship law, toll rises to 33 Feb 28, 2020 0 1614 Virus at ‘decisive point’ as world battles spread: WHO Feb 28, 2020 0 344 covid Malaysian parliament to vote on new PM amid crisis Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s parliament will vote on Monday on the country’s next prime minister in a bid to end a political crisis, but if no candidate has enough support there will be a snap election, Mahathir Mohamad said. .. Japan PM calls for nationwide closure of schools over virus Tokyo: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday urged schools nationwide to close for several weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as authorities reported the country’s fourth death linked to the .. New South Korean virus infections exceed new cases in China Seoul: South Korea on Thursday reported 505 new infections from the coronavirus, a greater number of new cases than were reported in China for the same period. The new infections bring the total number of cases in South .. Assange’s UK extradition hearing paused until May London: A British judge on Thursday paused Julian Assange’s extradition hearing following four days of intense legal wrangling over Washington’s request for the WikiLeaks founder to stand trial there on espionage .. Far-left German MPs accuse Merkel over Soleimani killing AFP Frankfurt am Main Eight MPs from Germany’s radical-left Left party said on Thursday they had filed a criminal complaint against Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers, accusing them of complicity in the US .. Indonesians stranded after Saudi Arabia bans religious pilgrims Jakarta: More than 6,000 Muslim pilgrims were stranded at Indonesian airports on Thursday after Saudi Arabia suspended the entry of visitors seeking to worship in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in an attempt to .. US urges India to allow peaceful assembly after riots THE United States on Thursday urged India to respect the right to peaceful assembly and called on all sides to refrain from violence. “We echo (Modi’s) call for calm and normalcy and urge all parties to maintain peace, .. US, South Korea postpone joint military exercises over virus AFP Seoul The US and South Korean militaries on Thursday postponed forthcoming joint exercises as the Asian country announced its biggest increase in coronavirus cases to date. The decision to delay the training was ..