China has decided to postpone its annual parliament session for the first time in decades as the country is battling the deadly coronavirus outbreak for weeks. According to the state media, the top officials supposed to attend the meeting are busy tackling the virus in their home region as the death toll continues to rise.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping has called the coronavirus outbreak as the 'largest public health emergency' since its Communist China’s founding in 1949, Beijing has also provided slight relaxation in Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly outbreak. Authorities announced on February 24 to ease restrictions in the quarantined city and permit some people to leave Wuhan under certain conditions.
Non-residents of Wuhan are allowed to leave the city if they don’t show any symptoms of coronavirus and have never contacted any infected person. People who need treatment for other medical issues and those who are working for epidemic prevention may also leave the city after seeking permission from the local authorities.
According to the latest report, 150 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll because of the deadly virus to nearly 2,600. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, other countries, including Italy, Japan and the Philippines, have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.
Kuwait and Bahrain have reportedly confirmed first cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the one confirmed case in Bahrain had arrived from Iran, the country which has reported 12 deaths from coronavirus. Kuwait’s state news agency, citing the Ministry of Health, reported that three persons, including a Saudi national, have been tested positive for coronavirus. Iraq has decided to shut its Safwan border crossing with Kuwait at the latter’s request.
South Korea has also reported major coronavirus outbreak with 763 confirmed cases, making it the largest number of cases in the world after China. Most numbers of cases in South Korea are related to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu.
(With inputs from agencies)