Coronavirus news and live updates: Death toll soars to nearly 500

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A closing notice on the gate of Casino Lisboa after its closing on February 5, 2020 in Macao. Anthony Kwan/Getty ImagesA total of 41 entertainment operations in Macao have been suspended for 15 days starting tonight, according to the city’s government.The operations include casinos, betting branches, theaters, cinemas, game centers, internet cafes, discos, bars, nightclubs and dance halls.Six gambling corporations promised to continue paying salaries to their staff during this period.Gambling capital: A semi-autonomous Chinese territory, Macao is sometimes described as the Las Vegas of Asia, and is considered the unofficial gambling capital of the world.The shutdown follows Macao’s announcement of two additional confirmed coronavirus cases yesterday, one a worker in the gambling industry. The city has reported 10 cases in total.Macao’s economy suffers: Macao received almost 40 million visitors last year — but this January, tourism figures plunged 87% compared to the previous year.Hotels that were nearly at 100% capacity during the 2019 Lunar New Year — the busiest holiday of the year — were left half empty in January.The health scare has threatened the business model at the heart of Macao’s economy. The former Portuguese colony depends on millions of visitors from mainland China.



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