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Coronavirus costs China service sector $144bn in 1 week

Gloom pervades Lunar New Year holiday as people cancel travel and stay home

A robot serves meals at a Beijing restaurant in November 2018. Restaurant sales have plunged during what is usually the busiest time of the year.   © Reuters

China's coronavirus outbreak cost more than 1 trillion yuan ($144 billion) in losses to the restaurant, tourism and movie industries in seven days of the Lunar New Year holiday, economists estimated.

The coronavirus, which has already killed more than 400 people and infected more people than the SARS outbreak in 2003, has brought large parts of the country to a standstill. Chinese people are being forced to stay home, cancel travel and avoid gatherings, hammering the service industries.

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