As China and America trade accusations of blame for the coronavirus pandemic, there is increasing talk in US government circles of “decoupling” from China

As China and America trade accusations of blame for the coronavirus pandemic, there is increasing talk in US government circles of “decoupling” from China — the disentangling of economies and supply chains, reduction of co-operation and erecting of new trade barriers.

Beijing’s state media and diplomats have not only disputed whether the global pandemic originated on Chinese soil but have pushed unfounded speculation that the US was the source.

It came as Italy recorded a record 4,207 infections and 475 new deaths from the virus yesterday, squashing hopes that the unprecedented national lockdown was beginning to slow the spread of the pathogen. 

The crisis is underlining how health services in northern Italy have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, with doctors describing hospitals in crisis and many medics working from makeshift tents.

By Friday Arce ing 19,500 cases and 260 deaths had been confirmed in the US, and tens of thousands of sacked workers had applied for unemployment benefits, as large swaths of the country implemented lockdowns in efforts to slow the spread.

As medical experts and local officials implore Americans to stay at home and observe social distancing, construction crews at multiple sites continue to work, sleep and eat in close quarters.

In a Twitter post, Dominic Raab said: “I had a good conversation this afternoon with my opposite number in Peru, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

“Amidst all the challenges of tackling coronavirus, we committed to working together in the coming days to enable UK nationals in Peru and Peruvian nationals in the UK to return home.”

“I do not know whether it is true, but it is strange that you want to help Iran.

“Aside from the fact that you have shortages in your fight against the virus, what if you give us a drug that will help the virus to remain in Iran permanently?”