Man who pushed for birthday party despite coronavirus ban charged in China 

Man who pushed for birthday party despite coronavirus ban charged in China 

Prosecutors in China have brought criminal charges against a 59-year-old man who strapped on firecrackers and doused himself with gasoline to defy a ban on public gatherings during a coronavirus epidemic.

The resident of the southwestern city of Chongqing planned a birthday banquet for more than ten tables of guests on Jan. 28, but local officials battling the outbreak asked him to cancel the plan, Xinhua reported.

But after the man failed to convince them to let the party go ahead, he wrapped firecrackers round his waist, poured gasoline on his chest and held up a lighter, trying to threaten them into agreeing.

"The actions prevented town and village cadres from carrying out epidemic prevention and control work," the agency reported, adding that it was not immediately clear what kind of penalties the man would face if convicted.

Authorities have banned large gatherings, such as banquets and parties, as they try to rein in the virus epidemic, which has killed more than 1,100 and infected more than 40,000 in China.

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