The move was greenlit by the government, which decreed that certain critical industries remain in operation, although shutdown measures remain in effect in more than half of China’s provinces, CNBC reported.
Nearly 40 million people have reportedly been affected by shutdowns and quarantines enacted by the government as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 360 people. The total number of confirmed cases of infection has reached 17,205 with a further 21,558 suspected cases being monitored.
China’s three key stock exchange indexes opened with significant downturns on 3 February as economic fears loom over the virus’ effect.
The new strain of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, in December and has since spread to more than 20 countries.