China is extending the Lunar New Year holiday to February 2, Sunday, as it seeks to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus through the country.
Stock Market Likely To Extend Leave
The week-long holiday that began last Friday was set to end this Thursday. Educational institutes will remain closed, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
It remains unclear whether the stock market will extend the holiday too, or open as usual on Friday. The China Securities Regulatory Commission is yet to make an official announcement, but according to Bloomberg, the markets are likely to remain closed as they did during the 2003 SARS outbreak.
The stock markets in China dropped significantly last Thursday, before closing for the holiday.
Hong Kong Bans Travel From Hubei, As Death Toll Rises
The move came as the country's health authorities confirmed 2,744 cases by the end of Sunday, with 80 reported deaths. 461 people remain in critical conditions.
At least 33 cases have been confirmed internationally including seven in Thailand, three in Japan, three in South Korea, three in the United States, two in Vietnam, four in Singapore, three in Malaysia, one in Nepal, three in France, four in Taiwan, and four in Australia, according to Xinhua.
Hong Kong has banned all travel from China's Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is the epicenter of the virus' spread, starting Monday indefinitely.
At least 8 cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong by Sunday, according to Xinhua, and five others in Macau.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that five cases were confirmed in the U.S. by Sunday, including two in California and one each in Washington, Arizona, and Illinois.