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China Reported Two New Confirmed Coronavirus Cases on Thursday

Αssociated press

Police guard at the Tiananmen Square ahead of the opening of the third plenary session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING — China reported two new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, as the country prepares to hold its biggest political meeting of the year under strict social distancing rules.

One of the new cases was imported and detected in the southern industrial center of Wuhan, while the other was a case of domestic transmission found in the financial hub of Shanghai. No new deaths were reported, leaving China’s total at 4,634 among 82,967 total cases.

Just 84 people remain in treatment, while another 382 were in isolation and being monitored as either suspected cases or for having tested positive while showing no symptoms.

On Friday, China will open the annual session of the National People’s Congress, its ceremonial parliament, which usually brings around 3,000 delegates to Beijing, along with a similar number of members of its advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which convenes on Thursday.

Economic issues and health care are expected to dominate the meeting this year, which also comes amid sharpening trade and political frictions with the United States.

Meanwhile, authorities are pressing ahead with an drive to conduct virus tests on all 11 million citizens of the central city of Wuhan, believed to be the epicenter of the global pandemic. More than 2 million people have been tested so far, according to state media citing local health officials, with 71 testing positive but showing no symptoms. The city accounted for more than 50,000 of China’s total cases.