Coronavirus Live Updates: China Extends Holiday to Discourage Travel

Coronavirus Live Updates: China Extends Holiday to Discourage Travel

An outbreak of a new coronavirus that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has already killed 80 people in China. The virus has since spread around the world. But of the nearly 3,000 people who have so far contracted the virus, the vast majority live in China.

  • The death toll in China had risen to at least 80 by Monday. The majority of those deaths, 76 people, were in the central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak. Shanghai, a city of 24 million, recorded its first death on Saturday.

  • Across China there have been 2,744 confirmed cases, of which 1,423 cases were in Hubei.

  • The youngest confirmed case is a 9-month-old girl in Beijing.

  • The mayor of Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, said there were about 3,000 patients in the city being treated for the virus. Half of those patients, he said, would eventually test positive for the disease.

  • Thailand and Hong Kong have each reported eight cases of infection; the United States and Macau have five each; Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia each have reported four; France has three; Vietnam and South Korea have two, and Canada and Nepal have one each.

In an effort to temporarily limit travel, the Chinese government extended the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday by three days, meaning it will go through next Sunday rather than ending on Thursday.

The holiday, China’s biggest annual celebration, began on Saturday. Workers will now get an additional three days off, returning to work on Feb. 3.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel during the holiday, either for tourism or to visit family. The week, known in China as Spring Festival, typically includes large public events, but many festivities have been canceled this year.

Many tourist attractions have been shuttered including the Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong and sections of the Great Wall in Beijing.

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