Japan Declares State of Emergency to Curb COVID-19

TOKYO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday has officially declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures that will last for about a month as part of the government’s effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The declaration, which takes effect the same day until May 6 also covers Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Fukuoka, Hyogo and Osaka.

“We have decided that we are in a situation where nationwide and rapid spread of infection will have a grave impact on the lives and health of the people. Given this, I hereby declare the state of emergency under the Revised New Influenza Special Measures Law Article 32 (1),” he said during a meeting of a government task force dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Public transportation, such as trains, will continue to operate as well as supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, and other essential businesses.

As of April 7, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Japan has reached 5,000, including some 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with 108 deaths. - Florenda Corpuz