China extends Spring Festival holiday to contain coronavirus outbreak

Monday, 2020-01-27 11:58:06
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Passengers line up to have body temperatures measured at a station in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, January 26, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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China announced on January 27 that the Lunar New Year holiday will be extended to Febuary 2 as a measure to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The General Office of the State Council said in an announcement that the measure is taken to effectively reduce mass gatherings, block the spread of the epidemic, and to better safeguard the safety and health of the Chinese people.

The holiday started on January 24 and was originally to end on January 30.

Universities, primary and middle schools and kindergartens across the country will postpone the opening of the spring semester until further notice.

Employees unable to take leave due to epidemic prevention and control can take deferred holidays in accordance with the labor Law. Their wages and remuneration for the untaken leave should be paid in accordance with relevant policies.

* Chinese health authorities announced Monday (January 27) that 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 461 in critical conditions, had been reported in the country by the end of Sunday.

Overseas, confirmed cases were reported in Thailand (7), Japan (3), the Republic of Korea (3), the United States (3), Vietnam (2), Singapore (4), Malaysia (3), Nepal (1), France (3) and Australia (4).

* The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved four new products for test of new coronavirus Sunday (January 26).

The products, including reagent test kits and sequencing system of the virus, are expected to speed up the diagnosis process and further expand the supply capacity of virus detection products.

* All levels of financial departments in China have allocated a total of CNY11.21 billion (about US$1.63 billion) by 12:00 a.m. Sunday to curb the spreading novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The funds allocated were mainly used for the medical treatment and procurement of medical equipments and epidemic control materials, the MOF said in an online statement.

China will step up efforts to ensure adequate funding support for epidemic prevention and control, it added.

* The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday that he is leaving for China on the novel coronavirus outbreak situation.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter Sunday that he will go to China to meet with the government and health experts to support the coronavirus response, and that his team would understand the latest developments there and strengthen the partnership with China in providing further protection against the outbreak.