The World Health Organization said on Monday that a key emergency committee would meet this week to discuss a new Sars-like virus spreading across China after it infected 218 people and spread to three other Asian countries, reported the South China Morning Post.
The WHO panel will meet in Geneva on Wednesday to determine whether to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency – a rare move only used for the gravest epidemics.
Stocks related to catering, entertainment and transportation largely plunged on Monday, despite the uptrend of broader stock markets ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday at the end of this week. Health-care and mask-maker stocks rose.
Investors are concerned that fears of the spreading virus will force people to stay away from crowds and leisure activities, dampening the business outlook for the weeklong holiday, which is traditionally a high season for consumption, analysts said.