China willing to help India in COVID-19 fight

Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China is willing to help India as it fights a surge in coronavirus cases, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

China is aware that the epidemic in India has been severe recently, and there is a temporary shortage of necessary materials for epidemic prevention, said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman at the foreign ministry. He was responding to a question at a regular media briefing about what action China is taking in view of the spreading epidemic in India.

"China is willing to provide the necessary support and help," Wang said, without giving details of what such assistance might consist of. "The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of all mankind, and the global community needs to unite as one to fight against epidemics."

India recorded nearly 315,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday and its health services are struggling to cope. Health officials in northern and western India said they were in crisis, with most hospitals full and running out of oxygen.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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