President Xi Jinping calls situation grave as China scrambles to contain virus | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

President Xi Jinping calls situation grave as China scrambles to contain virus

China's leader has called the accelerating spread of a new virus a grave situation, as cities from the outbreak's epicenter in central China to Hong Kong scramble to contain an illness that has infected more than 1200 people and killed 41.

President Xi Jinping's remarks, reported by state broadcaster CCTV, came at a meeting of Communist Party leaders convened on Lunar New Year — the country's biggest holiday whose celebrations have been muted — and underlined the government's urgent, expanding efforts to control the outbreak.

Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours, the state-owned English-language China Daily newspaper reported, citing the China Association of Travel Services.

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