China’s second-largest market district will close for its two largest holidays on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency said, amid concerns that air pollution is putting people at risk.
The Xinhua report on Sunday said about 2.4 million people will miss out on the two days of festivities because of the pollution, which has been linked to coronavirus infections in China.
“On the second day, the district will be closed to tourists and non-business people,” Xinhua said.
“The district is also to reopen to residents on Monday.”
A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that there was no specific reason for the closure.
“We are still in a process of determining what causes this pollution, but we think it is linked to the coronaviruses,” the source said.
A coronaviral virus that has been found in China and has spread throughout Asia.
Reuters/File PhotoA senior Chinese official said on Sunday the country would not allow “foreign forces” to interfere in the country’s internal affairs and would not accept foreign interference in internal affairs.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, a strong critic of the Communist Party, has also threatened to block any attempt by the United States to impose a travel ban on Chinese nationals.
In an interview on Sunday with a state-run TV channel, Xi said: “If we see foreign forces, we will not let them interfere in our internal affairs.”
On Sunday, thousands of people lined the streets of Beijing’s financial district for the biggest parade of the year, in celebration of the end of the traditional Chinese New Year holiday, known as the Great Festival of Lights, in the capital.
The festivities had been overshadowed by the coronaviirus pandemic, which caused severe health problems in some areas and has forced the cancellation of more than 150 events.
Xi has said that the coronavia virus outbreak was not caused by any foreign power, and has called for the country to move away from the “military-style” model of government he helped build during his first term as president.
China’s coronavid pandemic has been the worst on record and killed at least 13,000 people.
The health problems have left some communities struggling to cope with high levels of pollution.
A coronavacide campaign in China started in late 2016 to clean up the countrys most polluted urban areas.