Jan 24, 2020 11:50 UTC
  • China shuts schools, temples, as virus death toll rises to 25

China stepped up measures to contain a virus that has killed 25 people and infected more than 800, with public transport suspended in 10 cities, the shutting of temples and the rapid construction of a hospital to treat the infected.

Some famous temples have closed due to virus. Beijing's Lama Temple, where people make offerings for the New Year, will close from Friday. Beijing also canceled two Lunar New Year temple fairs, and closed the Forbidden City, the capital's most famous tourist attraction.

School closures have been extended from one week to three to cover the virus' incubation period of two weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared the new coronavirus an emergency for China but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of international concern.

Health authorities fear the infection rate could accelerate over the Lunar New Year, when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel to their homes and abroad during week-long holidays, which began on Friday.

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