Shanghai — China’s coronavirus outbreak may peak soon, a prominent Chinese expert said on Tuesday, as the death toll soars past 1,000 and worry grows about the true extent of economic disruption to the world’s second-largest economy.

Companies struggled to get back to work after an extended Lunar New Year holiday, while hundreds of Chinese firms said they would need loans running into billions of dollars to stay afloat. Layoffs have also begun, despite assurances by President Xi Jinping that widespread sackings would be avoided...

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