The death toll from China’s new coronavirus increased to 80 on Monday as residents of the province of Hubei, where the disease originated, were banned from entering Hong Kong amid global efforts to stop the rapid spread of the outbreak.
The number of deaths from the flu-like virus in the province of Hubei rose from 56 to 76 overnight, officials on the health commission said, with four deaths elsewhere. In China, the total number of confirmed cases had risen to 2,744 around 30 percent.
US S&P500 e-mini futures dropped more than 1 percent in Asian trading on Monday due to growing worries that the virus outbreak could seriously disrupt the Chinese economy, a global growth engine.
New Zealand’s shares, kicking off the Asian trading day, fell among the worst performers with travel and tourism-related stocks, as the speed of the outbreak spread raised alarm about its future movement impact.
In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, China’s cabinet said it would extend the week-long Lunar New Year holiday to Feb. 2 by three days. The outbreak’s epicenter, the Hubei city of Wuhan, is already under virtual lockdown, with extreme travel restrictions in place in several other Chinese cities.
Since public trust was undermined by a cover-up of the spread of SARS, a coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2002 and 2003, Beijing called for accountability in crisis management.