China will extend the current Lunar New Year Holiday for an unspecified period of time to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus that has killed at least 56 people in the country and continues to trigger new infections around the globe.
The holiday is a time when many Chinese leave large cities like Wuhan, where the disease broke out, to return to their hometowns, and the more than 3 billion trips can help spread the disease.
The country will extend the holiday “to a proper extent” beyond Jan. 30, state media Xinhua News reported Sunday, citing a government statement. The period began Jan. 24.
An epidemic response committee led by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang earlier Sunday said extending the holiday was an “appropriate measure” to control the spread of the virus.