By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - The spread of the coronavirus in China has forced authorities to prolong the closure of educational institutions, reports said Tuesday.
The country's Ministry of Education announced that the spring semester would be postponed until further notice, Xinhua news agency reported.
The death toll in China from the virus has climbed to 106 while some 4,515 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by it were reported in 30 provincial-level regions as of Monday night.
The ministry, however, said decisions on resuming public education should be made "depending on their localities."
Beijing has also postponed the opening of central government-run colleges and universities.
The virus, which originated in the central city of Wuhan, has spread across 30 provinces in the country.
Tens of cases have been reported in Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam.
The ministry emphasized that students who left their school campuses for the Spring Festival holiday "should not return without approval before the new semester."
After the fatal coronavirus outbreak, China extended the seven-day Spring Festival holiday until Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, regional authorities of autonomous Hong Kong directed employers "to allow their staff to work from home" soon after the end of the Spring Festival holidays.