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A war of words: China tells US to stop misleading world about origin of COVID-19

China said recent accusations by United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan were part of a political strategy ahead of the 2020 US presidential election.

FILE: US President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the House chamber on 4 February 2020 in Washington, DC. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The war of words about the origin of COVID-19 continues.

China said that recent accusations by United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan were part of a political strategy ahead of the 2020 US presidential election.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the US to stop spreading disinformation or misleading the international community.

The European Union economy is forecast to contract by a record of 7.5% this year.

That’s according to the European Commission and comes as the coronavirus pandemic batters economies around the world.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the UK is now the highest in Europe and second only to the US globally.

Britain stands on more than 29,500 deaths.

Singapore has confirmed 788 new cases on Wednesday, raising it past 20,000 infections.

Forty people died in Pakistan on Tuesday, the country's highest single-day death toll.

In India, two Navy ships have been deployed to the Maldives to repatriate 1,000 citizens.

Those stranded will begin to board the ships on Friday in an operation that will bring people back to India in phases.