People in China are staying at home because of the coronavirus, leaving streets and public transport almost empty and creating serious problems for the country’s legions of low-paid workers [Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

Beijing, China – On Tuesday morning, Lanying Guo began work at her small dumpling restaurant in a Beijing alleyway – just as she had for the previous seven days.

With people advised to stay indoors to minimise the spread of the coronavirus Guo had earned a pittance  the previous week. But she was hoping for more customers on Tuesday as more people were supposed to be back at work after the Lunar New Year holiday.

But the alley remained eerily quiet.

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