A food delivery man leaves a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing. File / AFP
The novel coronavirus outbreak traced to the provincial capital Wuhan in central China has killed more than 130 people and infected nearly 6,000 people across the country.
That has prompted factories and businesses to close, airlines to cancel flights to the country and governments to discourage travel to China.
McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski called the situation "fluid" and "concerning," and said the chain decided to close all of its restaurants in Hubei, which amount to "several hundred."
But three thousand outlets elsewhere in China remain open, he said during a call to discuss the company's fourth quarter financial results.
"Right now, as you would expect, our priority's really on our employees, on our customers, doing everything we can to make sure that they are safe and taken care of," Kempczinski said, adding that the company would establish a special team to deal with the outbreak.
China accounts for nine percent of all McDonald's restaurants but only about four to five percent of its sales and three percent of its income, he said.
But commenting on the potential financial hit from the virus, he said "its actual impact on our business is going to be fairly small, assuming, again, that it stays contained to China."
There are now 16 countries that have confirmed cases of the SARS-like illness, from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.
American coffee chain Starbucks announced on Tuesday that it had shuttered half of its cafes in China, and Disney shut down its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The McDonald's announcement came as they reported healthy fourth quarter results, that showed sales growing worldwide by 5.9 percent with revenues of $5.35 billion, compared to the final three months of 2018.
The earnings were the first since chief executive Steve Easterbrook left the chain following a "consensual relationship" with an employee that violated company policy.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre said it is "caring for a patient who has a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.” Officials said the man is his 50s and recently flew from Wuhan, China to Guangzhou, China and then on to Toronto on Jan. 23.
The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.
Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China were closed Tuesday for Lunar New Year holidays, while South Korea's benchmark tumbled 3.1% to 2,176.72 as it reopened after its own holidays.
Summary: "Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating licence for the first Barakah plant," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said in a tweet
The UAE has led the way in setting plans for the future. The only issue is that the technology is changing very fast. We still have progress to make in terms of changing the mindset, especially among government agencies that refuse to share their data — even with other departments, said Dr Saeed Al Matrooshi, CEO and Secretary-General at the Ajman Executive Council.
She signed up for the Little League because she loved the American sport, only to be rejected because she was not a boy.