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US says consulate in China's Wuhan to reopen in near future

US says consulate in China's Wuhan to reopen in near future

People wearing face masks are seen at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Apr 14, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

BEIJING: The United States will soon resume operations at its consulate in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began late last year, the US Embassy said on Wednesday (Jun 10).

US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, "intends to resume operations in Wuhan in the near future", Frank Whitaker, minister counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, said in an email to Reuters, without giving a specific date.

The US State Department withdrew consulate staff and their families in late January after the Chinese government put the city under lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

READ: COVID-19 may have been spreading in China since last August, Harvard research indicates

Wuhan, a central Chinese city with a population of about 11 million, has accounted for the majority of China's coronavirus cases and deaths, though the epidemic has since subsided there and in other parts of the country.

Since apparently jumping to people in a Wuhan market selling wildlife, the coronavirus has spread globally, infecting more than 7 million people and killing more than 410,000. 

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Source: Reuters/ga

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