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British bank HSBC has revised an earlier directive and extended the ban on its staff from travelling to Hong Kong to 2 March 2020.

The move was reported by Reuters citing an internal memo.

The decision comes as novel coronavirus continues to spread with death toll rising to 565, primarily from China.

Previously, HSBC issued an order that prohibited its staff from travelling to Hong Kong for two weeks. The same order banned all journeys to mainland China indefinitely.

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By GlobalData

A HSBC spokesperson also confirmed the extension of the directive to the news agency.

It comes nearly a week after HSBC, along with several other lenders, decided to shut down 20-30% of their branch network in Hong Kong.

The bank decided to shutter 20 premier service centres and four business centres in Hong Kong. HSBC subsidiary Hang Seng Bank also shut down 18 branches.

The response also included trimming working hours for several of its branches. HSBC employees, who visited China or Hong Kong recently, were asked to go on self-imposed 14-day quarantine.

As of 6 February 2020, Hong Kong confirmed 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Earlier this week, Chinese central bank unveiled plans to inject $173bn into the financial system to ensure adequate liquidity. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will infuse the funds through open market operations.