Chinese cities remain deserted amid end of New Year

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Beijing, China – After authorities extended the Lunar New Year holiday by 10 days in an attempt to contain the new corona virus outbreak that has killed more than 900 people and infected more than 40,000, most provinces in China ended the official holiday on Monday.

However, amid concerns of a potential uptick in cases as people return to work, the official ending of the holiday did not lead to the widespread reopening of businesses as the entire country has remained on high alert.

Most companies that can function with staff working remotely have told employees to work from home. Firms that require face time with staff have to obtain permission from local governments in order to reopen their businesses.

In the latest notice issued by the State Council, the government encouraged companies to summon their employees back to work in time-staggered batches, to avoid a bulk of people showing up at the same time.

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