WASHINGTON : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Beijing on Friday to make details of the emergence of the novel coronavirus ''available to the whole world'' after accusing the communist regime of initially covering up the outbreak.

''The Chinese government was the first to know of this risk to the world. And that puts a special obligation to make sure that data gets to our scientists, our professionals,'' Pompeo told reporters at the White House.

''This is not about retribution,'' Pompeo said.

''We're in a live exercise here to get this right. We need to make sure that even today, the data sets that are available to every country, including the data sets that are made available to the Chinese communist party, are made available to the whole world. It's an imperative to keep people safe.''

In an earlier interview on Fox News, Pompeo said Beijing ''wasted valuable days'' after identifying the novel coronavirus by letting ''hundreds of thousands'' leave the epicentre of Wuhan to places, including Italy. [AFP]


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