Tokyo, 6 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to declare a state of emergency over the spread of the new coronavirus, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Monday citing a government official.
The declaration will empower authorities to close schools and order the public to stay home, and will particularly target major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, according to Kyodo.
Abe has come under increasing pressure to take emergency action to slow the spread of the fast-moving virus as the country’s caseload rises.
On Sunday, Japan recorded 143 new cases, taking the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, to over 1,000.
The number of new infections recorded daily surpassed 100 for the first time on Saturday.
Japan has already been forced to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo by one year due to the global crisis.