China admits ‘shortcomings and difficulties’ in response

China admits 'shortcomings and difficulties' in response

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Chinese health officials acknowledged “shortcomings and difficulties” in their initial response to a fast-spreading new virus as the death toll soared above 400 Tuesday. 

The powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo issued a statement saying officials who had failed in their duties would face discipline and pledging improved responses to emergencies in the future.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that failing to halt the outbreak could impact social stability in the nation of more than 1.4 billion people.

“The outbreak is a major test of China’s system and capacity for governance,” Xi said, according to state media. “We must sum up the experience and draw a lesson from it.”

More than 20,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed around the world, fewer than 300 of them outside mainland China. Eleven of them are in the U.S. 

The death toll was at 427, all in mainland China except for one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

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