Chinese President Xi Jinping has told US President Donald Trump that he has China’s support in fighting the coronavirus as Wuhan – the Chinese city where the outbreak emerged – reopened to incoming traffic.
The US now has the most coronavirus cases of any country, with nearly 85,000 infections.
Hospitals in cities including New York and New Orleans are struggling to cope with the wave of patients.
Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market and which had been on lockdown for more than two months, was open to incoming traffic late on Friday (local time) although cars were not allowed to leave.
Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, removed border restrictions on Wednesday for all but Wuhan, which will allow people to leave the city starting on April 8.
Xi’s offer of assistance to the US in a telephone call came amid a war of words between officials in Beijing and Washington DC over various issues including the coronavirus epidemic.
Trump and some US officials have accused China of a lack of transparency on the virus, and Trump has at times called the coronavirus a “China virus” as it originated there, angering Beijing.
In the call, Xi reiterated to Trump that China had been open and transparent about the epidemic, according to an account of the conversation published by the Chinese foreign ministry.
Trump said on Twitter that he discussed the coronavirus outbreak “in great detail” with Xi.