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In Rare Move, China Contemplates Postponing Annual Parliament Session Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Passengers wearing masks are seen at Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China. (Reuters)

Passengers wearing masks are seen at Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China. (Reuters)

It will be regarded as an unprecedented move if the NPC, which is held every year along with the advisory body Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is postponed.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: February 17, 2020, 3:14 PM IST
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Beijing China is considering a rare move to postpone its annual parliament session, which is to be held in early March. As the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 1,700 lives, official media reported on Monday.

According to an official announcement in December 2019, the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), country's top legislature, is due to hold its annual session in Beijing on March 5.

"But amid the chaos of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NPC Standing Committee is to discuss postponing this year's NPC plenary session." the state-run China Daily said in a brief report.

This will be regarded as an unprecedented move, if the NPC, which is held every year along with the advisory body Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is postponed.

The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) considers these two sessions as a significant political event to adopt its national agenda, including the annual budgets.

Together the NPC and CPPCC have over 5,000 delegates. China is discouraging large gathering to prevent the spread of the virus.

The postponement is reportedly being contemplated as the coronavirus continued its virulent run, though officials say it is slowing down.

China reported 105 new deaths due to the coronavirus on Monday, increasing the overall death toll to 1,770.

The Xinhua news agency reported that according to The National Health Commission 2,048 new cases of the virus have been confirmed, taking the total number of infected cases to 70,548.

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