Airport express train service was also suspended.
The protests surpassed earlier shows of dissent in scale and intensity, seemingly stoked by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam's refusal once again to meet any of the protesters' demands, while warning of an extremely unsafe situation.
"Support for the political strike today seems strong and it has been bolstered further by the escalating violence between the police and protesters", political analyst Dixon Wong told AFP.
"We saw recently, it is already clear that people are impertinently proposing to "reclaim HongKong, a revolution of our times"... and challenge the country's national sovereignty", she said, referencing the now most commonly-heard chant used at demonstrations.
Roving protesters, dressed for urban combat, created a series of confrontations across the territory, even closing the main tunnel linking Hong Kong Island with the rest of the territory.
She also said she would not resign, despite the protester's demands.
Hong Kong's unrest spread more widely throughout the financial hub as riot police clashed with pro-democracy protesters at multiple locations and the city's leader warned of a "very risky situation".
But Lam said she didn't think that was the answer, warning that the disruptions have seriously undermined law and order.
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Monday's attack was more bad news for a nation that depends heavily on tourism for revenue and foreign currency reserves. The Health Ministry said it had evacuated patients from the oncology centre to other hospitals in Cairo.
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An official says Hong Kong's police are fully supported by the government and there is no need to deploy China's military to cope with increasingly violent anti-government protests.
"We continue to allow these violent protesters to make use of the fugitive offenders bill and these demands to hide their ulterior motives that is going to push Hong Kong to the verge of a very risky situation", she said, adding "those ulterior motives are going to destroy Hong Kong, to risk "one country, two systems" and also to proceed with what they call revolution".
A exhausted looking Lam delivered the remarks at a news conference that follows weeks of daily marches and demonstrations that have frequently devolved into violent confrontations, with police deploying tear gas rubber bullets and other crowd control measures.
The strike comes as protests sparked by an unpopular extradition bill, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, have entered their ninth week.
Protests later took place in several districts, with police firing tear gas at demonstrators who rallied into the night, setting fires and besieging police stations.
China's cabinet-level State Council said it planned to hold a press conference on Tuesday. Major roads and public transit lines were blocked, while at least 77 flights out of the airport were cancelled.
During Monday's widespread unrest, activists descended on subway stations at morning rush hour, deliberately keeping open doors to stop trains departing and paralysing large parts of a network that millions of people use daily.
Cathay Pacific and other domestic carriers such as Hong Kong Airlines were the most affected by the flight cancellations, public broadcaster RTHK said.