tirsdag 7. april 2020

Japan to declare state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic

Much of Japan will enter a state of emergency Tuesday, as the country struggles to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, months after the first domestic cases were reported. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that "basic economic activity" will continue in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, the seven affected prefectures, with public transport and supermarkets remaining open, but urged people to exercise social distancing and avoid unnecessary trips.

The state of emergency, which is expected to be formally announced at a press conference Tuesday, will last for approximately one month. The declaration comes as Japan reported 252 new cases of the coronavirus and seven more deaths Monday, bringing the total number of infections to over 4,600, with 91 deaths. Abe has faced criticism for not activating emergency measures earlier, as experts warned the true number of cases could be far higher than the official statistics suggest, due to a lack of widespread testing.