China likely to postpone annual parliament session because it battles coronavirus

China likely to postpone annual parliament session because it battles coronavirus

BEIJING: China may postpone its annual parliament session, state media said Monday, because the country battles to regulate the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

China's ruling council will "deliberate a draft decision" over postponing the ten-day National People's Congress (NPC), said official press agency Xinhua, before the meeting thanks to start on March 5.

The top parliamentary meeting has been held annually in March for the past 35 years.

More than 70,000 people are infected by the epidemic in China , which started in central Hubei province and has spread across China and to other countries.

It has claimed 1,770 lives and prompted the closure of the many schools, entertainment venues and large-scale events across China.

A meeting of China's elite Politburo committee next week is predicted to "deliberate a draft decision on postponing the third annual session of the 13th NPC", consistent with Xinhua.

It will also review a choice on banning the "illegal wildlife trade and eliminating the bad habits of eating wild animals to ensure people's lives, health and safety", Xinhua said.

The virus is believed to possess come from a wild animal market in Wuhan, Hubei's capital, where the virus is suspected of getting originated before spreading between humans.

The committee will meet to debate those decisions on February 24.