China postpones annual meeting of parliament

Top Communist Party leaders including President Xi Jinping attend each year's gathering of the National People's Congress

The regulation of protest and dissent is not new in China, but people who have shared information about the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan describe relatively tame social media interactions that nonetheless resulted in both direct and indirect responses from the Chinese government, according to Vice.

Xi has been wounded by the virus outbreak, but can minimize the damage by "moving aggressively to contain the damage and regain control by postponing" the meetings, said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

With 508 new cases confirmed, Monday marked the sixth consecutive day that China's daily number of new infections remained under 1,000 and the seventh consecutive day that newly recovered patients outnumbered infected ones.

Italy has at least 215 reported cases and six deaths.

Vice reported Monday that WeChat administrators were sending warning messages to even users outside China, who were sharing information about the outbreak.

China, in an unprecedented move, today postponed the annual session of Parliament scheduled to begin in Beijing from the 5th of next month due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. "Every person you talk to there has a sense of responsibility, they are mobilized like in a war against this virus".

The Communist Party's political and legal affairs commission said Tuesday that 323 coronavirus cases were reported in Hubei prisons by Sunday, including 279 in the Wuhan Women's Prison.

Meanwhile, experts and World Health Organization officials are concerned that the coronavirus outbreak is nearing pandemic status, STAT News reports.

South Korea's outbreak has centred around a religious sect in Daegu, the country┬┤s fourth largest city.

Italy, which has reported seven deaths and over 200 cases, has locked down 11 towns, while upcoming football matches in its Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors.

Authorities should prepare hospital beds, isolation zones, respirators and oxygen for severe cases, he said.

An announcement that the city of Wuhan would relax some of its travel restrictions and allow some people to leave was made without authorisation and has been revoked, the local government said yesterday.

Several countries have taken measures to prevent arrivals from Iran.

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