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US could become next epicentre, warns WHO

GENEVA: The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that the United States could become the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The coronavirus outbreak represents a major external shock to the macro outlook, akin to a large-scale natural disaster,” analysts at BlackRock Investment Institute said.In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters there had been a “very large acceleration” in infections in the United States.

Over the previous 24 hours, 85 per cent of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of those, 40 percent were in the United States.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicentre, Harris said: “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the US. So it does have that potential.” Some US state and local officials have decried a lack of coordinated federal action, saying that having localities act on their own has put them in competition for supplies. President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

“The World market for face masks and ventilators is Crazy. We are helping the states to get equipment, but it is not easy,” he tweeted.

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