China battles coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates
China is extending the Lunar New Year holiday for three days and enforcing strict containment measures in an attempt to curb the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed 80 people and infected at more than 2,700, most of them in the central province of Hubei where the virus first emerged.
The holiday season was due to end on Friday but will now be extended until February 2.
More than 56 million people in almost 20 cities, including the Hubei capital of Wuhan, have been affected by travel restrictions, introduced amid fears the transmission rate will balloon as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a pandemic as more countries report cases. Confirmed cases have so far been announced in several Asian countries, Europe and North America.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but the organisation said on Thursday it was too early to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, January 27
Holiday extended to February 2
China will extend the Lunar New Year holidays to February 2, to strengthen the prevention and control of the new coronavirus, state broadcaster CCTV reported early on Monday.
The holidays had been due to end on January 30.
Schools that are currently on a term break will also extend their holidays, but the specific dates will be announced by the Ministry of Education, CCTV said.
Popular hotpot restaurant closes stores across China
The popular Haidilao chain of hotpot restaurants will close all its outlets across China from January 26 – 31 to contain the spread of the virus.
Haidilao has restaurants in 118 cities in mainland China.
Death toll rises to 80 with more than 2,700 infected
China said on Monday that the death toll from a deadly outbreak of coronavirus jumped to 80 as the hard-hit province of Hubei announced 24 new fatalities, while total confirmed cases nationwide rose sharply to 2,744.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies