Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures on Tuesday to strengthen measures to fight the coronavirus epidemic, but that there would be no severe locking.
Abe also told reporters on Monday that his government will launch a 108 trillion yen ($ 1 trillion) stimulus package to help offset the economic impact of the pandemic, including cash payments to households in need and financial support to protect businesses and jobs.
Abe said experts from a government-mandated task force urged him to prepare to declare a state of emergency, with the COVID-19 epidemic spreading rapidly in major cities, including Tokyo, and the overcrowded hospitals and medical staff. He said the state of emergency will cover Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and four other hard-hit prefectures and will be in place for about a month.
The Prime Minister announced Tuesday that he will hold a press conference to explain the state of emergency.
He said the measure aims to further strengthen social distancing between people in order to slow the spread of the epidemic and continue to keep social and economic activities to a minimum.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the city would begin to transfer patients with weak or no symptoms from hospitals to hotels and other accommodation to make room for an influx of patients with severe symptoms.
The Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed 3,654 cases of coronavirus, including 84 deaths, as well as 712 other infections and 11 deaths on a cruise ship which was quarantined in the port of Yokohama near Tokyo at the beginning of this year .
Meanwhile, in Asian markets, the Nikkei 225
in Tokyo gained 4.2% on Monday.