March 17, 2020 / 1:23 PM / in 14 days

Canada's six largest banks work to limit coronavirus spread

March 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s six largest banks will take new coordinated measures to support social distancing to control the coronavirus pandemic, including temporarily limiting operating hours and cutting the number of branches, the Canadian Bankers Association said.

The association said here on Tuesday many banking services will continue to be available through automated banking machines, mobile apps, bank websites and telephone banking, as businesses rush to shelter employees and customers from the fast-spreading virus.

The banks will maintain critical services for customers and special care will be given to branches in rural communities.

The move comes on a day when Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and ordered the closure of bars and restaurants in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Monday, the death toll in Canada had risen to four and the number of infected jumped to 407 from 341.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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