China’s Hubei, epicentre of coronavirus, extends work suspension to March 11

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker in protective suit transports an oxygen tank at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China February 16, 2020. Picture taken February 16, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Hubei province on Thursday asked firms not to resume work before March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying only businesses involved in epidemic prevention and control or necessary public services would be exempt.

Schools will also remain shut, the Hubei government said on its official Weibo account, extending a suspension that previously stretched to Feb. 21.

Hubei is the epicentre of the outbreak, which has infected some 75,000 people and killed about 2,100.

Reporting by Colin Qian and Brenda Goh; editing by John Stonestreet

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