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China's industrial core at standstill as cities extend shutdown

Shanghai and Suzhou bar operations for another two weeks

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Jan. 27 visits the site of a new hospital being built to treat patients of a new coronavirus on the outskirts of Wuhan, one of China's major manufacturing hubs.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- The coronavirus outbreak in China is hitting the country's manufacturing nerve centers, as measures including an unusual decision to extend the Lunar New Year holiday lengthen plant shutdowns in industrial centers.

The Chinese government said Monday that the weeklong holiday would be extended by three days to Feb. 2 to curb the spread of the virus. Some local governments have gone further, such as Shanghai, which on Monday ordered all but certain essential companies, including utilities and supermarkets, not to resume business before Feb. 9.

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