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China to hold Congress meeting delayed by coronavirus

The meeting involves bringing delegates from across the country by plane and train to Beijing.

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A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

China will hold the annual meeting of its ceremonial parliament in May after it was postponed following the coronavirus outbreak.

The National People’s Congress will open in Beijing on May 22, according to a decision made by its standing committee, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The convening of the full session, which would encompass about 3,000 members, indicates China’s growing confidence that it has largely overcome the pandemic that was first detected in the country late last year.

The meeting involves bringing delegates from across the country by plane and train to Beijing, where they first meet to hear a state of the country address from Premier Li Keqiang, seated shoulder-to-shoulder in the colossal auditorium at the Great Hall of the People.

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The Chinese city of Wuhan that was the original epicentre of the pandemic again reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths on Tuesday (Andy Wong/AP)

The Chinese city of Wuhan that was the original epicentre of the pandemic again reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths on Tuesday (Andy Wong/AP)

AP/PA Images

The Chinese city of Wuhan that was the original epicentre of the pandemic again reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths on Tuesday (Andy Wong/AP)

It was not clear from the report whether delegates would be meeting in person or virtually and there was no word on any meeting of the congress’ advisory body that meets around the same time.

Health authorities in China reported no new deaths from Covid-19 on Wednesday, but did see 22 new cases with all but one brought in from abroad.

China, where the pandemic began, has registered 4,633 deaths from the virus among 82,858 cases.

Authorities have relaxed social distancing restrictions, but have maintained strict quarantine rules on those coming from abroad or other parts of the country to ward off a second wave of virus cases as summer approaches.

PA